El Pendejo by Mather Schneider

Had an American guy in my cab the other day, maybe 60 years old. As I was transporting him my wife, who is Mexican, called me on the phone.

“Hola guapa,” I said.

We talked for a minute.

When I hung up the guy said, “You call your wife ‘guapa’?”


“Well,” he said, “I speak Spanish fluently and that is not a very nice thing to say to your wife.”

“’Guapa’ means pretty,” I said.

“‘Bonita’ means pretty,” he said. “‘Guapa’ means slutty, like something you’d say to a street whore. Your wife should be insulted.”

“It’s strange,” I said. “She’s not.”

“Well she should be.”

“What do you call your wife?” I said.

“I’m divorced,” he said. “Haven’t talked to the bitch in 14 years.”

Mather Schneider is 46 years old. He has had hundreds of poems and stories published since 1993 in places like Rattle, Nerve Cowboy, Slipstream, Nimrod, River Styx and Smokelong. He has 3 full length books, DROUGHT RESISTANT STRAIN, HE TOOK A CAB and THE SMALL HEARTS OF ANTS, with another, PRICKLY, coming early in 2017. He divides his time between Tucson, Arizona and northern Mexico, where his wife is from. He earns his living by driving a cab.

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