Go fly a kite! / ¡Ve a volar una cometa!

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN THE worst thing you could say to someone when you were really angry was “Go fly a kite”? Was the phrase ever even used in the UK? I don’t think it’s used in Spain. (It’s like saying, “Go away and leave me alone!”)

I believe I was around 12 when certain words began to creep into my vocabulary. My father had already taught me a Yiddish expression, which I loved. It went: “Du zol vaksn a trolley car in deyn boykh un drek transfers,” which means “You should grow a trolley car in your belly and shit transfers.” I found it a lot more effective than the insult some of my friends had learned: “Gay kaken ofn yahm!” That meant: Go shit in the ocean! Big deal.

I know I was 13 when I called my 16-year-old sister Dale a bum and she slapped me across the face and snapped, “Don’t ever use that language with me!” Well, ‘damn,’ I thought, she used the word all the time. She even regularly told me to go to hell.

My language is much more colourful and much less creative now. Dale would not approve. Her language never progressed beyond damn, bum, and hell (as far as I know).

The only reason I mention any of this is because someone was flying a kite on the beach yesterday in the early evening and, at the time, Moose was driving me crazy because I refused to follow him into the kitchen to kneel down and pet him while he ate. Yes, I have been trained to do that. He had gotten so insistent that I turned to him and snapped, “Oh, go fly a kite!” To which he responded, even louder, “MA-ROW!!!” And, no, he did not win. Score one for me.

Before the pandemic hit, I had been trying to tame my language. In recent years, I’ve found I mutter to myself when someone does something annoying on the street. I had worried that, even if they couldn’t hear what I was saying, they could see my lips move — and my facial expression. Lately, I’ve been muttering (quietly) to my heart’s content behind my mask and sunglasses. I’m going to get in a lot of trouble when covid-19 is finally history.


¿RECUERDA CUANDO LO PEOR QUE le podía decir a alguien cuando estaba realmente enojado era “Ve a volar una cometa”? ¿Se usó la frase en el Reino Unido? No creo que se use en España. (Es como decir: “¡Vete y déjame en paz!”)

Creo que tenía alrededor de 12 años cuando ciertas palabras comenzaron a introducirse en mi vocabulario. Mi padre ya me había enseñado una expresión yiddish, que me encantaba. Decía: “Du zol vaksn a trolley car in deyn boykh un drek transfers”, que significa “Deberías hacer crecer un tranvía en tu barriga y caga trasferencias”. Lo encontré mucho más efectivo que el insulto que algunos de mis amigos habían aprendido: “¡Gay kaken ofn yahm!” Eso significaba: ¡Vete a la mierda en el océano! Vaya cosa.

Sé que tenía 13 años cuando llamé vagabunda [bum] a mi hermana Dale, de 16 años, y ella me abofeteó y espetó, “¡Nunca uses ese idioma conmigo!” Bueno, ‘maldita sea’ [damn], pensé. Ella usaba la palabra todo el tiempo. Incluso me decía con regularidad que me fuera al infierno.

Mi lenguaje es mucho más colorido y menos creativo ahora. Dale no lo aprobaría. Su lenguaje nunca progresó más allá de la maldición [damn], el vagabundo [bum], y el infierno [hell] (al menos que yo sepa).

La única razón por la que menciono esto es porque alguien estaba volando una cometa en la playa ayer temprano en la noche y, en ese momento, Moose me estaba volviendo loco porque me negué a seguirlo a la cocina para arrodillarme y acariciarlo mientras comió. Sí, me han entrenado para hacer eso. Se había vuelto tan insistente que me volví hacia él y le espeté: “¡Oh, ve a volar una cometa!” A lo que respondió, aún más fuerte, “¡¡¡MA-ROW!!!” Y no, no ganó. Anote uno para mí.

Antes de que ocurriera la pandemia, había estado tratando de dominar mi idioma. En los últimos años, me he dado cuenta de que murmuro para mí mismo cuando alguien hace algo molesto en la calle. Me había preocupado que, incluso si no pudieran escuchar lo que estaba diciendo, pudieran ver mis labios moverse y mi expresión facial. Últimamente, he estado murmurando (en voz baja) al contenido de mi corazón detrás de mi mascarilla y gafas de sol. Me voy a meter en muchos problemas cuando el covid-19 finalmente sea historia.

Thursday’s sunrise.
El amanecer del jueves.
Blocking my exit from the bedroom. “Pet me!”
Bloqueando mi salida del dormitorio. “¡Acariciarme!”

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

30 thoughts on “Go fly a kite! / ¡Ve a volar una cometa!”

  1. Haven’t heard that expression for years! Everyone used it when I was a kid. It was considered quite harsh to say this to someone.
    I like your new masks. We are desperately looking for ones that fit our BIG heads! We are building quite the collection of ones that don’t fit. Waiting for new ones to arrive any day from Ontario…..fingers crossed.
    Now I think I’ll go fly a kite…….

    1. Jim:
      If I had any confidence mail would get to you from here, I’d pick up a couple of masks for you. They make them in several different sizes. I was even able to buy some for SG and your heads couldn’t be any bigger than his! (How could three such perfect people NOT have big heads?) I never used “Oh, go fly a kite” but I remember it. It was much too homespun for my family. Chuck loves to say “Oh, go jump in a lake!”

  2. I was one a call yesterday morning with a state AG, well I was on video – her system has locked out the webcams so she was on audio only. At one point she said something – and then followed with you don’t think that is a good idea – she was reading my face.

    1. David:
      Uh oh, dangerous. I’m constantly making faces. So glad we didn’t have video meetings when I was working. Conference calls were bad enough.

  3. david would like that sheep mask. I like the one with the bright-colored fabric. and you already KNOW what my favorite word is; it fits so many situations perfectly! moose, keep trying; daddy will pet you soon.

    1. anne marie:
      We have a friend in California who grew up in a sheep farming family in Tasmania. I wish I could send her one of these, but my postcards are taking three months (if ever) to get to my brother in New York.

    1. Frank:
      I figure since I wasn’t raised Christian, I’m NOT taking god’s name in vain. Actually, i really never gave it much thought. I started swearing in earnest when I got my drivers license! Oh, sweet baby cheeses!

  4. The great thing about the mask is you can’t see me mouth the words,’Fuck off.’ And I may, or may not, do that quite a bit, which means reeducating myself when, or if, masks are over.

    In a high school Spanish class I learned a good one:

    El burro sabe más que tú.

    I use that one a lot.

    1. Bob:
      It really is fun right now to say and express whatever I want (no hand movements, though). Here’s one you shouldn’t use in school: Que te folle un pez (sort of meaning, You should get fucked by a fish).

  5. Oh I love Moose!!!!!!!!!!! Bot a striking kite. Mine always seemed to get caught in a tree.

    All our vocabularies pale in comparison to that of Anne Marie’s colorful language I can tell you that.

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      Yes, I’ve seen some examples of Anne Marie’s rainbow! The best kite I ever saw was a flamingo in flight from the beach in Coney Island. I actually at first thought it was a flamingo.

  6. I can honestly say that I’ve never used the term “go fly a kite” ever. There was a lot of blue language in my house growing up, but we kids would get killed if we used it. We couldn’t even say butt without getting clobbered! I’ve made up for it it later years, but I’m not in Anne Marie’s league (who is?) and I didn’t use that kind of language until I started reading some of these blogs. I still don’t say them out loud because I pronounce them too properly and they lose their effectiveness 🙂
    I love Thursday’s sunrise, Scoot! Beautiful!

    1. Deedles:
      My mother said Sugar-Honey-Ice-Tea. My father was constantly biting off the worst of his language, but he regularly let fly, although with nothing really extreme. And, yes, pronouncing them correctly usually doesn’t work. I tend to go into a NYC street accent when I’m on a rant.

  7. “Go to Hell” as an insult makes sense because Hell is reputed to be a very unpleasant place, but “Go fly a kite”? Doesn’t seem at all unpleasant…unless you’re Charlie Brown.

    1. Kirk:
      I think “go fly a kite” is meant as a polite way of getting rid of someone… without sending them all the way to hell (although for SOME people, it wouldn’t be a very long trip).

  8. My language is getting much, much worse as I get older. Those Yiddish phrases made me laugh. Made me think of “shit a brick” and its amplified version “shit a BLUE brick.”

    1. Debra:
      You’ve heard “fuck a duck”? SG says “fuck a royal duck”! A blue brick sounds a lot more painful.

  9. Beautiful pictures. That sunrise! I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say “Go fly a kite,” thought I know the expression — probably from TV or books. In my neighborhood people just used to say “f*ck off!”

    1. Steve:
      Thanks to my brother, I still use all the Little Rascals insults and 1940s and ’50s expressions… although only with him. Go take a long walk off a short pier! “Bite me” is one I remember from my teen years, however. I still like it, although I don’t really get it.

  10. I do remember ‘go fly a kite’ and other charmers, such as moron, scag, dipwad, don’t give a rats ass, bummer. Etc. Etc.

    Now, gimme some skin and go catch some rays!

  11. I know I told you this before, but I’ve been told that I’m going to hell for my excessive use of the word “FUCK.” I’ve rented a bus if any of you fuckers need a ride.

  12. Wonderful photos – so much color! Well, except for Moose – but he wears black and white with panache. When we were kids we were not even allowed to tell each other to “shut up!”. We could only say “be quiet.” which doesn’t have the desired impact. To this day I find the words “shut up” to be extremely rude and never say them. I have no problem saying “fuckers”. . . .

    1. Wilma:
      My father used all those on us, but we at least grew up knowing how awful “shut up” was. SG’s family never permitted that. I remember joking with an uncle about something (I was in my teens and was not being disrespectful). Still, he got annoyed and said “Shut up you!!!” I was stunned. Didn’t think much of his level of intelligence or class before that time, but I could never forget that. Yeah, too, I love the word fuckers but shut up is just too rude.

  13. I did not grow up in a household with coarse language. It always feels like succumbing to the Dark Side of the Force, something that gentlemen do not stoop to do. It sucks.

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