View Full Version : (C.11) Laughter is The Best Medicine – Part 1

January 8th, 2013, 01:27 PM
“You are indeed in my heart eternally, Vilminha. Are you sure that was all you had to say? Nothing else happened to you or to your family?”

“Sam, now is the time to laugh. I’d like to tell you about my grandmother’s sayings.”

“Oh, you’ve mentioned them. But they are in Portuguese, right? Your grandmother came from Portugal. How will I be able to understand them?”

“To tell you the truth, Sam, I myself can’t understand them sometimes. And the way my mother pronounces them doesn’t make it easy on me either. She mimics my grandmother’s accent, it is really funny, you should hear it. But anyway, I will do my best to translate them into English without losing their rhyme, and their meaning. I also will try to contextualize them for you, because without a context they lose their meaning. I won’t be able to do that with all of them, though. There are too many, last time I counted there were 272 sayings, and they keep growing, mum keeps remembering more and more.”

“272 sayings! You should write a book about them.”

“I am working on it. Of course this book is in Portuguese. It would be impossible to write this book in any other language. But as I said, I will try to quote some for you, so you can see how wise and funny they are, and how we are able to laugh at our misery.”

“I am quite curious, dear.”

“Another thing I should warn you first, before starting telling you about the sayings is that there are some strong words in these, cursing and vulgarity. My family is like that, you know.”

“Can you give me an example?”

“I can start with a saying, a good one, pretty smart, and you will be able to see what I mean. So here it goes: Caga mais um boi do que cem mosquitos. which means ‘A million flies crapping together can’t make one cowpie.’”

“Oh, I see, now I see what you mean about the vulgarity. But sorry, dear, I can’t understand the meaning of the saying. In the literal sense I understand, indeed many flies can’t crap as much as a cow, but still, for which situation does this verse apply?”

“We use it when many incompetent people are trying to accomplish a task and are failing at it. Then, a competent person approaches and says to these people to stand aside, that he is going to do it better, because he is the cow, and he can crap better than all of them put together.”

“Oh, I see, it is really funny and original. I think I am going to like these sayings.”

“Nowadays my mum and I only communicate through them. We know so many of them, there is one for each situation.”

“Tell me another one.”

“Okay, let me see. Ah, this one: Ande eu quente, que ria essa gente. which means ‘It doesn’t matter how silly I look, I’m warm and you aren’t.’ Mum used to put many coats and sweaters on me during the winter season, and I really looked ridiculous wearing them, but she always said this saying, and it made sense to me. People could look at me, and think I looked funny, but I felt warm, I wasn’t uncomfortably cold like the other girls who dressed for style, so it was okay by me.”

“I want more, they are really great, and they stick to your mind, really clever, Vilminha. I like them.”

“I know. They get to your mind. I was brainwashed with them when I was a kid. Now that I am older they keep sounding and echoing in my head. Thank God they are good philosophy. Anyway, another one could be… this one: Vão-se os anéis, ficam-se os dedos. which means ‘You lost your gold rings, but at least you kept your fingers.’ Sometimes we go through tough times, and we lose many things, but in the end the important things are kept, and we are to acknowledge that. This is what this saying says.”

“Do you know all sayings by heart?”

“All of us do: I do, my mum does, and my brothers do. It is something that comes from my grandmother, we heard in our childhood, and we can’t forget them.”

“But you said last time you counted there were 272 of them.”

“There are more than 272 of them, these are the ones I wrote down for the book I am working on. My mum keeps remembering more. Sometimes she says another one, and if I don’t have a notebook and a pen with me, it is too bad, because I will forget. It is not that I don’t know the saying, it is just that I need to be going through the situation to remember the saying.”

“Oh, I see, I’ve got it now. The sayings are related to specific situations. So, every time you go through something, automatically these sayings come to your mind.”

“Exactly, it is kind of a curse, though. Right now they are all chasing me, or rather chasing my mum and I. Eduardo is also going crazy. Everybody in my family is thinking of the sayings. People we know - the physiotherapist, my maid, the neighbors - they all know similar sayings, different versions from other regions of Brazil, and they are also contributing. Sometimes they call me on the phone, just to tell me a saying. I am going nuts, and driving people insane.”

“We’ve got some sayings in America too.”

“You see. It is irresistible. I am including in my book sayings from other cultures. There are Spanish sayings, Italian sayings, and they sound so funny. It seems people are cursing, especially for Portuguese speaking people, Italian sayings sound like cursing.”

“Will you tell me more of your grandmother’s sayings?”

“Yes, Sam, I will. But for now, let’s just relax. Silence sometimes sounds so nice. Remember Paul Simon’s song, he wrote ‘The Sound of Silence’.”

“That’s true. Here, dear, take my chest, your pillow, I hope my heartbeat doesn’t break the silence.”

“Your heartbeat will be the drums. I like drums.”

January 9th, 2013, 12:46 PM
I'm kind of new to WF, so I'm confused about the (C.11), is that code for something?

I really like this, it's a fun and interesting conversation that you really feel like your just listening in on. I understand that the story is the conversation, and by the end we realize that we're listening in on pillow talk. It is kind of confusing in the beginning though. It's like the first sentence is from a previous scene, and doesn't really have anything to do with the following conversation. Maybe bringing the "use my chest as your pillow" comment to the front, it'll transition a bit better?

Anyway, awesome. I want to read her book now.

January 9th, 2013, 02:18 PM
Dear Freakconformist,
First of all I liked your name. Pretty smart and clever. It is true, sometimes there is no other way.
(C.11) stands for Part C – Chapter 11 of my memoir. As you can see in my signature I show the links for the other chapters. I am about to finish this book. Part C will have 32 chapters, Part A and B have 25.
I am a Brazilian and it has been pretty hard to write a book in English, but with the help of my recipient, the one who always offers me his chest, things have gotten easier, and I can only be grateful for that.
If you enjoyed (C.11) I am sure you will enjoy Part 2 and 3 of Laughter is the Best Medicine, I just posted them today.
Thank you for the compliments. I feel flattered.
V. C. Navega

January 9th, 2013, 02:48 PM
Ah-ha! Okay, I shall try to get to the other parts, that'll probably make the first part make more sense, lol.