Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures


Vehicular Identity Crisis

This is a bit sillier than my usual fare but my sixth sense picked up a bumper sticker proclaiming Catalan allegiance… as well as a whole lot of other stuff.

Sybil's car?

Sybil‘s car?

Let’s take a look at what we have here:

  • The Catalan symbol, above the VW logo, is of an ass (no comment).
  • A sash with the colors of the Italian flag and “Italia” written across it.
  • A Grateful Dead sticker.
  • A newt (?).
  • A prancing bull.
  • An American flag above an Italian one, indicating some kind of unity/coalition.
  • An Airborne sticker, possibly referring to a “multi-cultural contemporary jazz group” in Connecticut.

Learn something

The prancing bull may be an allusion to Spain, though no one would claim to be both Catalan and Spanish.

Many people believe the bull, specifically the bull pictured below, to be the official symbol of Spain but it’s not. This macho bóvido was originally a billboard for a Spanish alcohol company called Osborne which is pronounced Ohz-BOAR-neh because Spanish people are ridiculous.

"Macho" is the Spanish word for "male" and came to have its meaning in English because... well look at the size of his machismo.

“Macho” is the Spanish word for “male” and came to have its meaning in English because, well, just look.