Tag: Bitca

Stumped by the bitca

On occasion, the Bitca will interrupt me at work (or more likely, interrupt my own self-imposed interruption of work) to ask me a stray question or make a unique observation or confide her hatred of a co-worker. The other day, she approached me with the earnestness of a Buddhist monk in training, looking like she sought answers to the big questions on life and existence.

“Hey,” she said. “Doesn’t ‘cucaracha’ mean cockroach?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Why would anyone sing about a cockroach? And isn’t it insulting to Mexicans to be associated with cockroaches?”

I had to admit that I had never given the subject much thought. Now that she mentioned it, why would Mexicans be happy that one of their most famous pop-culture contributions refers to a loathsome, disease-carrying insect? As I pondered this, the Bitca went on.

“I hope you know that I asked you that question, not because you’re Hispanic, but because you carry a lot of useless trivia in your head,” she said.

“Of course,” I said.

“I don’t want to be prosecuted for hate crimes.”

“Who does?”

The she punched me on the arm, announced that she had just committed assault after first provoking me with racial hate speech, and stated that the incident should be noted on my blog.

I didn’t want to give her the satisfaction, but she had piqued my curiosity. So I looked into the matter. Five minutes of internet research revealed that “La Cucaracha” has murky origins.

It could have originated as a drinking song, much like the melody for our national anthem (it’s true). The tune may have been a coded reference for drugs (“roach” is slang for marijuana even in the United States), which makes sense when you consider how many oh-so-witty musicians have written odes to that perennial dream girl, Mary Jane. Or the song may have been a political allegory, which is a much deeper genesis than I expected. My favorite theory of this annoying tune’s meaning is that it was a result of “the great Mexican cockroach scare of 1827,” which we can all agree would be an excellent title for a direct-to-DVD horror movie or punk-rock anthem.

In any case, the Bitca has gotten her way again, and we are all just the slightest bit wiser because of it. 


Introducing the BITCA

At my white-collar bastion of normalcy, the day job, one of my filing cabinets is off its hinges. It hangs askew but is otherwise functional. I believe that its aesthetic ugliness is not worth the hassle to get it fixed.

One of my co-workers, however, noticed the damage, provoking her to say, “What is it with you Hispanics? If it’s not cars on blocks on the lawn, it’s busted filing cabinets in the office.”

In light of this observation, I will henceforth refer to this woman as the Bitch In The Cubicle Adjacent, or the BITCA. It forms an acronym so descriptive that it’s almost redundant.

But allow me a moment of clarification and perhaps confession. I don’t really think she’s a bitch. In fact, BITCA is my best friend in the place. But when I told her I was starting a blog, she declared that she would soon insult me in the hopes of snagging a mention on the site. She even told me she wanted to be referred to as a bitch, and she seemed rather overjoyed at the possibility of internet notoriety.

I broke it to her that a plain insult wouldn’t do, because we do that to each other every day and, more important, it wouldn’t relate to the theme of this blog (i.e., Hispanicness, Latinotude, etc.). So she vowed to come up with something racial.

Bear in mind that this is a white woman raised in Montana. My contribution to her cultural awareness so far has been teaching her the phrase “Hola, vato!”

But she followed through on her vow. And she has succeeded in making me write about her, although her insult was strained from the start because I could tell she was just reaching for something inflammatory. It lacked sincerity and vituperation, but it got the job done.

In any case, I will write more about the BITCA in the future. But she can consider herself fully introduced.


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