A Tres Amigos Inspired Debate for the Ages (7/40)
After the holiday season, we had some rough days trying to regulate both of my daughters. It wasn’t easy, and the days were really long. As I was putting food down for my youngest daughter, she looked at my shirt and, in a cartoonish Mexican accent, said, “Daddy, it’s a sweater!!!”
You might recognize this catchphrase from the movie, “Tres Amigos!” The villain, “El Guapo,” receives a Christmas gift from his crew of bandoleros, and when he opens it, he is visibly touched by what the gift contains. So, he pulls it out and screams excitedly, “It’s a sweater!!!”
My brother-in-law loves this movie, so my wife thought it would be a great gift if she could get him a sweater with El Guapo’s face holding a sweater and saying, “It’s a sweater!!!:
But those sweaters don’t exist, so she got a shirt, which sort of defeats the purpose of the idea. She also got the crafts to make the sweater herself, and when I say herself, I mean me. I made the sweater.
It wasn’t easy.
If you have ever tried to print a transferrable image and transfer it onto a shirt, let me tell you, you run the risk of ruining both your printer and your iron.
I tried to ruin Staples’ printer first, but they wouldn’t budge. So, I opted for a homegrown approach instead and tried to ruin my own.
I managed to do it. And on the 8th time printing it, I produced something acceptable enough to transfer.
The result was good, and we laughed as the sweater kept reminding us of the debate. My wife wrapped the sweater, and I kept the shirt.
As we spent several days going through this process, we kept pulling up a video of El Guapo opening his present. And our girls kept asking to see it.
This catchphrase is now the source of eternal debate in my household.
As a native Spanish and ESL speaker, I have an issue with the pronunciation.
I am not great at spelling and pronunciation, so bear with me.
While, officially, the pronunciation should be SW•EH•TER.
The truth is Americans pronounce it SW•EH•UHR.
But if you are Hispanic (especially one dedicating your life to crime in the Mexican village of Santo Poco), it would sound something like SW•EHT•TÉR!!!
I’m also not great with accents. If I was, I wouldn’t have one when I speak English. Or rather, I would speak English with the accent of a surfer bum balancing a board, a green juice, and an impossible burger.
But I’m not great with accents, so when I do any accent, I sound like I am doing a very offensive impression of a stereotypical South East Asian 711 worker.
Even if I’m trying to do an impression of a Colombian speaking English, which is WHO I AM!!!
But even though I’m not great with accents, I feel strongly about this. The actor playing the villain should know better. The dude IS Mexican. All this time, I thought he was Mexican American and his native language was English.
My daughters are siding with their mom just because they are imitating the actor who says the line, but I know I am right.
That’s why if you were a fly in the wall of my kitchen and someone said, “It’s a SW•EH•UHR!!!”, you would see my family debating the proper way to say this phrase with my wife and my daughters shouting at me, “It’s a SW•EH•UHR!!!”, and I shouting back, “It’s a SW•EHT•TÉR!!!