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Monday, December 14, 2009

Those Secret Asians

A few weeks ago, I did a post about how as a second generation immigrant, I wasn't always as "in touch" with pop culture and popular slang sayings that were never spoken in our house. This made things translate in a very odd way for me which I have revealed to you in all my vulnerability.

So be nice.

chump change = junk change
Is this all you are giving me? I can't buy anything with this junk change! It's junk, that's how small it is!

What am I supposed to by with this? Junk, for ants?

the jig is up = the gig is up
Oh man, they totally know that guy is scamming everybody. The gig is up. He will have to find a new gig, maybe working at a new company.

poetic license = poetic justice
Oh that Beyonce, her song lyrics don't need to make sense. She is so pretty that I am sure she is afforded some poetic justice.

It's downright embarrassing. I know it. You know it. My family doesn't because most of them usually nod along because it sounds right to them. Which in a way, makes it EVEN worse.

That is why I wrote the post on Moo Moments, which is when you THINK you are saying something but in fact, you sound like a moron and are way way off.

This happens a lot with songs. I got some great feedback when I did that post on what others had used for their own lyrics. (Oh and thanks for not leaving me hanging looking like an a$%#ole.)

Bon Jovi - Living on a Prayer

Janine mentioned that while the original lyrics are "Gina works the diner all day," she thought it was "Gina wants to die of old age." I told her that with all the hours Tommy was working the docks, this made a lot of sense.

Whitesnake - Here I Go Again

My really smart Sorority Sister - Lisa - informed me that she used to think that the infamous Whitesnake lyrics were "Here I Go Again on my own. Like a Twister I was born to walk alone." She seemed to think that was silly but two things:

1) Tawny Kitaen was kind of dancing around like she was in a twister or something crazy with all those splits.

2) I don't want to hang out with a twister. Would you? I don't think anyone except a crazy storm chaser who would want to hang with a twister. And those guys are freaky and probably piss off the twister too.

So yeah - they are probably very lonely.

Stevie Wonder - Part Time Lover

Another sorority sister of mine - Betsy (look, our sorority had the highest GPA at UVA so I don't know what's going on here), but she admitted that instead of "Part-Time Lover," her sister would sing "Apartheid Lover."

She was still probably caught up in all those "songs for a cause" movement and got confused. You know, Feed the World, Let your Apartheid Lover Know its Christmas time.

So yeah, these things happen. I am sure Bob Geldof ran into it all the time.

But I will leave you with one last one. One I was too embarrassed to tell you about.

For a long time, I always thought the song "Secret Agent Man" was really "Secret Asian Man" which really is very odd.

There was nothing racially motivated about it. Apparently I'm just dumb.

So. Secret Asian Man. And what would that mean, really? I have tried to justify it in my head knowing that it was only a few years ago that the correct lyrics dawned on me.

I have thought long and hard about this. I think I may have been thinking about our friend Garth.

Garth is awesome. Garth is great. He is a kick-ass soccer player. But if you heard a name like Garth, would you imagine that he was Japanese in ethnic origin?

Hmmmm. I think not.

It would almost be like . . . . a secret.

So here's Garth - he is my Secret Asian Man:

SHHHHH. Don't tell anybody.


Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...

O.M.G. I used to think it was Secret Asian Man, too! And the 80's song, Alive and Kicking, I thought was I love Rin Tin Tin. Yeah. I know, I know. I don't call myself blondie for nothing.

There's so many more I can't think of at the moment.

ruizmargari said...

Oh Kiran! I have so many of these "moo moments" I could write a book! When it comes to songs, I know my freshmen year in College suite-mates still laugh at this one... Mind you, it was my 1st semester in the US and I had never spoken English "full time" before. Anyway, my next door neighbor was a HUGE Rolling Stones fan. I guess her favorite song was "Wild Horses"... I had no idea what the lyrics were all about, but I quickly learned the chorus... "Whyyyy Jooose?" God, I can still hear them laughing! (I admit I did too!) Hey, do you have any idea how many guys named "Jose" I know back home? Made all the sense in the world to me!

Shiiish said...

you are so funny! haha

lacochran said...

Ha! Mum's the word. (There's another strange expression.)

I was at the DC Improv Sunday and Erin Jackson was talking about mishearing Living on a Prayer lyrics. She thought it was...

"We've got to hold on to what we've got
It doesn't make a difference if we're naked or not"


Nipun said...

Fun never ends and it won't ever..
First time here..
Cool work..


Lisa said...

Yes, Secret Asian Man! What you would never know by looking at me is that I was born in New Delhi, spent the first few years of my life there, then moved to Bangladesh for the next four. And so I learned Hindi (which, alas, has fallen by the wayside) at the same time as English. And when I learned songs like Ring Around the Rosy, it was Ringa ringa roji, pocka fulla poji... I don't know if it's this or if I'd have the same difficulties if I'd grown up in the US, but I always, always screw up song lyrics and expressions.

ModernMom said...

LOL this is truly adorable! Ha ha Secret Asian man! You are too cute!

When did I become my Mom said...

Ok roaaring with laughter! I keep hearing it playing over and over in my head!

I feel you on the American slang thing. Even tho I grew up speaking English, we were more in tune with the British scene.

I still feel awkward speaking socially purely with Americans at time.

Masala Chica said...

Guys thanks for all your comments and letting me know I'm not alone. Lisa - in a way - you are a secret asian too! That is so funny. Did you play games called Ka-badee? That is what I remember most going to india as a kid.

am stuck in training this week but I will be visiting you all this weekend. sorry to be so late in getting back!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Oh, my, so many songs I could never figure out what in the world the lyrics ahd to do with the theme of the song. "dressed up like a deuce" sounded like "dressed up like a douche" to me and not only did that not make exactly does one dress like a douche? Would that be dressing in extremely poor taste or would one actually try to find a costume that looked like a douche. All these thoughts rambling in my mind and nothing making sense until I confided to my husband and he told me I had the word wrong. Oh, well.

R3 said...

Oh how I can relate Kiran! I feel your confusion when growing up in an Indian household. But, I wouldn't trade our life for anything...we lived the best of all worlds. :)

Claudia said...

Well now I am completely confused- Lisa is not the only one who was mixed up on the Whitesnake lyrics, to this day that is how I sang the song!!! Wow, I'm an idiot!! So if it doesn't say 'like a twister I was born to walk alone'- what are they really saying??

Sarah said...

I used to think it was Secret Asian Man as well! I am married to an Asian Immigrant. Although he came here when he was seven and is very Americanized, I can really appreciate this post!

Masala Chica said...

Oh Kathy - here's the thing love. You still have it wrong. It's not "dressed" - it's revved. What the heck was wrong with that band?

R3 - hello fellow Peep. Yes - I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Claudia - et tu Claudia? (did you see that lisa scott? you're not the only one). The correct lyrics was "drifter" born to walk alone. I think you again may have been confused by the fact that Tawny Kitaen looked like she was good at Twister.

Sarah - yes - I know! I love that you have this great perspective on things - my husband would say that marrying me has opened his eyes to a whole different culture (and a lot of hormones).

Thanks for stopping by guys!

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