I’m madder than the guy who stubs his toe trying to get to his phone and is greeted by a telemarketer from Calcutta looking to sell him the Encyclopedia Brittanicas over the fact that Sarah Palin was criticized by the liberal media (as if there’s any other kind!) for saying that in this country everybody should be able to speak American!
Look, you all know the ol’Screecher still only knows a few Chinese words despite the fact that Bensonhurst is becoming more and more Chinese — and those words are the ones I’ve know all my life; words that matter like chop suey, egg foo young, egg roll, and, of course, moo goo gai pan!
That’s because I speak one language and one language only: American! And that’s because when I was a kid, my sainted mother didn’t want me to know what she was saying about me to her pals and my older sisters, so she never taught me Italian! And that’s also why while growing up in Little Italy back when I was a Little Screecher, I never had a meaningful conversation with my dad, because he never spoke a word of American! And that’s why you read so little about him in my column every week — because I never understood a word he said — and he never understood a word I said!
In fact, that might be the reason I started screeching in the first place: so people would stop speaking gibberish and listen to me!
Well, it’s worked for me so far, and now that I’m 80 years young, I once again have to thank my parents for teaching me the language I use to get so much done: American!
Which brings me to this week’s history lesson: During the First Opium War, China ceded the island of Hong Kong to the British with the signing of the Chuenpi Convention, an agreement seeking an end to the first Anglo-Chinese conflict.
In 1839, Britain invaded China to crush opposition to its interference in the country’s economic and political affairs. One of Britain’s first acts of the war was to occupy Hong Kong, a sparsely inhabited island off the coast of southeast China. In 1841, China ceded the island to the British, and in 1842 the Treaty of Nanking was signed, formally ending the First Opium War.
Hopefully I cleared that up a tad.
Now, onto former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin being quoted in Aug. 10 Daily News “Only in an Orwellian Obama world full of sprinkly fairy dust blown from atop his unicorn as he’s peeking through a real pretty pink kaleidoscope would he see victory or safety for America or Israel in this treaty.” Or as it was headlined “Palin blasts ‘Pink-O Bam.’ ”
Well that’s a colorful statement compared to the Donald’s humble “I would succeed so much as president that you would get bored of winning.” All I can say to that is, “From your mouth to God’s ears,” a much used common Jewish wish.
The Donald also said “Never, ever, ever in my life have I seen any transaction so incompetenly negotiated as our deal with Iran!” Of course, shy Donald also prefaced that by saying he had been making wonderful deals for years. Like the way he got out of serving in the military. Very spurious.
Start spreading the news: My free ballroom and tango classes will start Wednesday, Oct. 7, at the FIAO Beacon Community Center at Seth LOW IS 96, 99 Avenue P between W. 11th and W. 12th streets. This will be my 18th year teaching ballroom dancing — and my first since turning 80 — for the Federation of Italian American Organizations of Brooklyn. Registration can be done at the front desk and only those registered can participate in the classes. For more information call Vanessa at (718) 232–2266 or the federation at (718) 259–2828.
Screech at you next week!