El Oso means “the bear” in Spanish. It unfortunately carries no sophisticated metaphor whatsoever and is not a literary allusion. Nor is it descriptive: I am a small, approachable white boy – about as fierce as Woody Allen. The story goes like this:

My friend Jose and I were at work one day when in walked a group of three beautiful, confident, sexy Brazilian women. They were all in their mid-twenties and one of them was noticably more flirtatious than the other two. It was hard to tell if she was flirtatious by nature (yes, I am sure) or if she had a genuine interest in Jose and me (doubt it).

Pues, ni modo, after they walked outside with their espressos to sit in the patio and the four little eyes of Jose and I followed their rear ends intently with our mouths open, we looked at each other and knew we had to come up with a plan. I think I was dating someone at the time (o me faltaba huevos) and so I tried to convince him to go out their and ask the coquettish one for her phone number. He wouldn’t budge though. So, feeling inspired I quoted a scene from Swingers:

“You’re so, you’re so money, and you don’t even know it.”
“That’s what I keep tryin’ to tell him, you’re so money and you don’t even know it.”
“Could you not mess with me right now?”
“Baby, we’re not messin'”
“We’re not!”
“You know what you are, you’re like a big bear with, with, with claws, and with fangs, man-”
“Big fuckin’ teeth, man!”
“Yeah, big fuckin’ teeth on ya. She’s just like this little bunny, who’s just kinda cowering in the corner.”
“Yeah, man, just kinda- You know you got these claws, and you’re starin’ at these claws, man, and you’re thinkin’ to yourself, with these claws, you’re thinkin’, ‘Man, how am I supposed to kill this bunny, how am I supposed to kill this bunny?'”
“And you’re pokin’ at it man, you’re pokin’!”

It’s one of my favorite movie scenes (and if you haven’t seen Swingers, it probably sounds terrible). Our conversation was in Spanish. So here I was in Spanish trying to convince Jose that he’s this big giant oso and that he needs to kill that little conejita (bunny). Jose shyly shook his head though and said: Vete tu. Tu eres el oso, yo no soy oso. (Jose by the way is married and a fine gentleman of complete fidelity)

Finally, as the Brazilian girls were getting up to leave, I went outside trying to make just enough conversation so that Jose and Tony (another co-worker) would be impressed. They smiled, tilting their heads flirtatiously (like I’m sure they do to everyone) and then left. From that moment on, I was El Oso.

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