JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Speak Fuckin’ English

Plopped down at the beach today. Was a family next to us. Guy was chubby, with a patch (for smoking) on his shoulder and a tattoo on his ankle. Three words, inked in red, white and blue:

SPEAK

FUCKIN’

ENGLISH

I wanted to give the guy a grammar quiz, just for kicks. Not that I’m so amazing at grammar, but I’ve never gotten the feeling that the SPEAK FUCKIN’ ENGLISH movement is led by particularly intelligent people. Truth is, those who should be requesting PLEASE SPEAK FUCKIN’ ENGLISH are America’s public school teachers, who surely run into learning barriers with those children whose parents don’t converse in English at home.

This guy was clearly no teacher. He was, I’m guessing, just another dolt looking for a reason to hate. Oddly, he wore an enromous cross from his neck—an oddball contradiction on a beach filled with them. This is just a guess from a New York Jew, but I’m thinking Jesus wouldn’t be wearing SPEAK FUCKIN’ ENGLISH ink on his leg.

But maybe I’m wrong.