Lingvo Ancestri

   Since Hungarians have the highest suicide rate in the world, I assume that their language will finally reach extinction when the last Hungarian jumps off of the last bridge. It should happen some time next year.

This is the thin premise for my submission to The 3rd Page.

   My paternal grandparents were Hungarian immigrants. This is why my last name is such a train wreck. My grandparents were some of the most horrible people I ever met. They were bitter, angry people who spent all their time loading their house with useless trash and screaming at each other in their thick, Eastern European accents. My parents - in their infinite wisdom - used to leave my brother and me with our grandparents from time to time.

I have a few vivid memories from that period in my life .

I remember that at the age of three I was so terrified of my bombastic, violent grandfather that I hid behind his couch, hoping that I could avoid him until my parents could come back to retrieve me at the end of the weekend. When my grandfather found me, he dragged me into the living room by my hair and called my grandmother into the room so they could scream at me together.

Life with my grandparents was a lot like being confined to a forced labor camp. They used to make my brother and me tear up the crab grass in the yard with our bare hands and haul heavy loads from one place to another. Despite all of this labor, the house always looked like a giant trash heap. I have never been to Hungary but I always assumed that it was stuffed to the rafters with broken radios, rolls of twine, and greasy car parts.

My grandparents used to take us to church on Sundays. They would have vicious fights all the way there, screaming at each other in Hungarian at the top of their voices. For some reason,
they would always swear in English during these altercations.

The result sounded like this:

Grandmother: Ugnik hvelka ovni hammda goddamn bastavik!!!!
Grandfather: Ahhh! Abna dasla vashni son-of-a-bitch havandala!!!!
Grandmother: Havandala?!!! Abasa besnow!!!!
Grandfather: Jesus Christ!!! Castala vando abne vastoh!!!!

Fortunately, this is a nearly extinct language. Both of my grandparents have long since died and gone to Hell. I imagine they are busy filling every nook and cranny of the netherworld with pie tins and worn out tires. No doubt, the air in hell is thick with Hungarian accents.

2002 - Zozo
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