Friday, June 21, 2024

But what does it meme? The humor you need this holiday season

If you’re on a quest to understand Mexican humor — or at least to find the best Mexican memes to share with your friends — we’ve got you covered! Here’s this week’s curated collection with a translation, background, any relevance to current events, and hopefully, a good chuckle.

Meme translation: “I’m sorry, but the rental agreement has a ‘no pets’ clause.” (picture sent) “Well, I’ll make an exception because he looks very polite.”

What does it meme? Every animal-loving renter (or would-be renter) has run into the “no pets” problem at least once. Perhaps the trick is just to find an extremely polite-looking pet!

Meme translation: “Take care of my ecosystem just like you take care of your bill.”

What does it meme? This one is more sweet than funny, a reminder to give value to things that need to have a value assigned to them. 

The axolotl, an adorable…amphibian, I think?…is having a moment. It even made it onto the new award-winning bank note in 2021! Many people, myself included, still treasure the first ones they received, mostly crisp and in perfect condition (we’ve got ours between the pages of a book). The little dude above reminds us that many things need to be taken care of, some even more than a 50-peso bank note.

Meme translation: “Let’s do something.” “Okay, what?” “If you can guess what animal this is, you can be my girlfriend.” “A DOG.” “Ta-da!”

What does it meme? Well, no one can say that Mexican men aren’t persistent! Add playful and charming to the list, and it’s easy to see how one might get entangled in romance around here. I’ve seen this meme make the round a few times, and it never fails to crack me up! 

Meme translation: Y’all know what? It did not occur to me until I was proofreading this thing that this one is actually in English. Something to not look forward to about being fully bilingual: not realizing what language something is in. Whoops!

What does it meme? If you’ve got many Spanish-speaking friends on social media, you might have noticed that they write “haha” as “jaja,” which is phonetically the same. I learned Spanish back in the days when one would have to go to an internet café to instant message people on MSN Messenger (as close to “texting” as we got back then), and pretty much immediately got used to laughing “in Spanish.” It didn’t make me feel like I had a giant brain, but it was a minor indicator that I was at least somewhat familiar with the language.

I got a little too used to it, though, and later my mom asked me in desperation, “Why do you keep saying ‘yes’ a bunch in German? What does that even mean?”

Meme translation: “Don’t let this beer be an inspiration to call your ex in a pathetic attempt to get back with them. Excellent grains and hops died to make this drink. Show some respect.”

What does it meme? Overall, we’re a passionate, romantic bunch down here. Unfortunately, when that passion gets paired with alcohol, exes can get dialed or texed, kisses can get planted on the wrong person and declarations of love can get shouted from the…bar stool tops. You get the idea. Kudos to this beer maker for trying to prevent a regrettable decision before it happens! 

Meme translation: “Why haven’t they put up the Christmas tree downtown yet?” “City workers untangling the lights.”

What does it meme? The tone in most countries lately seems to be a grouchy, “Oh, government! Can’t they do anything right?” This meme reminds us that behind every institution, public or private, there are real people – or mice – trying to untangle the Christmas lights from last year, just like the rest of us.

Meme translation: “I’m going to swallow my pride and talk to him…” “Excuse me, aren’t you going to give me a calendar? I buy things here all the time.”

What does it meme? There are always some small businesses – often stores or the gas delivery company – that have simple, through-the-year one-page wall calendars made up with their name on it and some kind of holiday message (“Gas Express wishes you a very happy holiday!” or something) to give to their loyal customers.

I always appreciate the gesture, but it’s never occurred to me to look forward to them or count on their use. My partner, however, has already mentioned several times that he wants a calendar from the gas delivery people…so we’ll be ordering gas in a week or so when (hopefully) they’ll be handing them out!

Sarah DeVries is a writer and translator based in Xalapa, Veracruz. She can be reached through her website, sarahedevries.substack.com.

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