The number three is a very illustrious number. A set of three is called a "ternion", "triad", trio, or "ternary", In ancient times the the lower division of the seven liberal arts was comprised of grammar, rhetoric, and logic and it was called a "trivium". A ruling group of three leaders is called a "triumvirate. A set of three horses driven abreast is called a "troika". A set of three animals such as dogs or cats is called a "leash". The Holy Trinity, of course, is the most prominent threesome and the most iconic set of three is no doubt the three crosses on Calvary. There were three Magi who visited the Christ Child...Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar (Gaspar, Melchor, Baltasar en Español) and they brought three gifts, Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh (Oro, Incienso, y Mirra). Then you have the three ships of Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Colón), la Niña, La Pinta, y La Santa María. Next come Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, the Three Musketeers. After that we have Chico, Harpo, and Groucho, the main Marx brothers, and then the Gabor sisters, Magda, Zsa Zsa, and Eva, and then come Manny, Moe, and Jack, the three "Pep Boys", and before I really get carried away I'll just stop and let you think of some more.
In Mexico there is a special set of three called "Las Tres Crudas" and it is very important that you avoid them at all costs, especially during the coming holiday season. The Spanish word "cruda" (ending in the letter "a") in Mexico means "hangover" in English. If you are a male and you want to say "I have a hangover" in Spanish you would say, "Tengo crudo" (ending in "o") but if you are a woman you would say "Tengo cruda". An alcoholic hangover is not the only type of cruda, however. There are two more types of "hangover" and along with the alcoholic hangover they form "las tres crudas". The second cruda is the "cruda de realidad" or the "reality hangover". For example, a person can be very troubled about a number of problems including money problems and to get away from the problems they go on vacation to a resort and pretend that everything is okay and spend a lot of money on credit cards when they really can't afford it. They have a good time but when they come back from vacation they wake up to the fact that the their troubles haven't gone away and now they are even deeper in debt. The cruda de realidad is a hard one to shake.
The third cruda is the "cruda moral" or "hangover of conscience". This is where one person has been very hard on another person or has lied to them, or has cheated someone, or physically hurt someone, or has damaged the reputation of another, and after the fact is being tormented by regret, and suffering the consequences. The first cruda that I mentioned, the alcoholic cruda, is the easiest to cure. You can cure that by taking aspirin, drinking lots of water, and sleeping it off. The other two are more serious though and can take a lot of time to deal with. If you happen to have all three crudas at the same time you are in really bad shape and only Heaven can help you. That's when the best cure is to get down on your knees and ask for Our Lord's help and forgiveness. I hope and pray that none of you who read this have trouble with crudas of any kind. Enjoy the holiday season but be careful...even at Christmas time it's a jungle out there!
It's a jungle out there,
Disorder and confusion everywhere.
No one seems to care,
Well I do.
Hey, who's in charge here?
It's a jungle out there,
Poison in the very air we breathe.
Do you know what's in the water that you drink?
Well I do, and it's amazing.
People think I'm crazy, 'cause I worry all the time,
If you paid attention, you'd be worried too.
You better pay attention,
Or this world we love so much,
I could be wrong now, but I don't think so!
'Cause there's a jungle out there.
It's a jungle out there.
(song by Randy Newman)
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