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El cuento del gato

English translation: Wanna borrow a jack?

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Spanish term or phrase:El cuento del gato
English translation:Wanna borrow a jack?
Entered by: Maria-Teresa Zenteno
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02:02 Aug 28, 2013
Spanish to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
Spanish term or phrase: El cuento del gato
Is there an equivalent in English for the (I believe is a Cuban) “Cuento del gato”? The tale goes like this: There is this guy whose car breaks down on the highway so he starts walking towards the first house on the side of the road hoping to be able to borrow an hydraulic jack (this tool is called “gata” or “gato” in Spanish). As he walks towards the first available house, his negative thoughts begin to convince him that the owner of the house will not lend him the jack and that s/he will give a thousand reasons not to do it, etc.,...such are his negative thoughts that by the time he arrives at the house and the homeowner opens the door, instead of asking him if he can borrow the jack, he jumps ahead and says “you know what, never mind, F..k. your jack”.... The story obviously is a moral against jumping to conclusions.... Is there any story like this one in English? and if there is....how do you call this story (or fable)?
Maria-Teresa Zenteno
Canada
Local time: 14:01
Wanna borrow a jack?
Explanation:
The same story is to be found in English here and there on the Internet and it's usually labelled like this.

Here are some examples:

http://tms.stparchive.com/Archive/TMS/TMS09302010p05.php (scroll down a little; the article headlined "Wanna Borrow a Jack?")

http://www.jokeawhenever.com/inspirational/123-wanna-borrow-...

"Belleview's Chuck Honts recently asked if anyone knew the story behind "Wanna borrow a jack?" Turns out there's quite a few references to that phrase on the Internet. Some say it's a joke, others say that it's a story with a moral - one that teaches you not to let your anxieties get the upper hand in your dealings with others."
http://www.ocala.com/article/20060923/NEWS/209230356

"When I was a teenager, someone in church told the story of a man who, in the middle of nowhere and the night, found that his car suddenly had only three functional tires. [...]"
"Rebecca on February 21, 2008 9:12 pm
I recall that story! My Dad use to say “Wanna borrow a jack” to me all the time because I play stuff out in my head and get all worked up for no reason. Well, sometimes for a reason, but I would stress too much about things, and he’d say that to remind me. I loved that story!"
http://fishiefishies.com/?p=34

You could perhaps call it the "wanna borrow a jack" story or the "borrowing a jack" story.

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Note added at 2 days7 hrs (2013-08-30 09:51:53 GMT) Post-grading
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It's a pleasure! I quite agree; this kind of thing is really interesting. I learned something myself, so thanks to you!
Selected response from:

Charles Davis
Spain
Local time: 20:01
Grading comment
Thank you so much Charles! I find that looking for the equivalent of this type of tales, stories, or parables, is biggest fun of being a translator. It is particularly interesting when we learn how they are called in each country. Sometimes countries that speak the same language may have a different name for it. Thanks again, your help was invaluable! Thanks to all for the feedback offered.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +4Wanna borrow a jack?
Charles Davis


  

Answers


30 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
Wanna borrow a jack?


Explanation:
The same story is to be found in English here and there on the Internet and it's usually labelled like this.

Here are some examples:

http://tms.stparchive.com/Archive/TMS/TMS09302010p05.php (scroll down a little; the article headlined "Wanna Borrow a Jack?")

http://www.jokeawhenever.com/inspirational/123-wanna-borrow-...

"Belleview's Chuck Honts recently asked if anyone knew the story behind "Wanna borrow a jack?" Turns out there's quite a few references to that phrase on the Internet. Some say it's a joke, others say that it's a story with a moral - one that teaches you not to let your anxieties get the upper hand in your dealings with others."
http://www.ocala.com/article/20060923/NEWS/209230356

"When I was a teenager, someone in church told the story of a man who, in the middle of nowhere and the night, found that his car suddenly had only three functional tires. [...]"
"Rebecca on February 21, 2008 9:12 pm
I recall that story! My Dad use to say “Wanna borrow a jack” to me all the time because I play stuff out in my head and get all worked up for no reason. Well, sometimes for a reason, but I would stress too much about things, and he’d say that to remind me. I loved that story!"
http://fishiefishies.com/?p=34

You could perhaps call it the "wanna borrow a jack" story or the "borrowing a jack" story.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 days7 hrs (2013-08-30 09:51:53 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

It's a pleasure! I quite agree; this kind of thing is really interesting. I learned something myself, so thanks to you!

Charles Davis
Spain
Local time: 20:01
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 188
Grading comment
Thank you so much Charles! I find that looking for the equivalent of this type of tales, stories, or parables, is biggest fun of being a translator. It is particularly interesting when we learn how they are called in each country. Sometimes countries that speak the same language may have a different name for it. Thanks again, your help was invaluable! Thanks to all for the feedback offered.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  lorenab23: Very nice!
1 hr
  -> Thanks very much, amiga :)

agree  Vidomar: We have the very same story in Brazil, where a jack is called "macaco" btw.
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, Vidomar :) That's very interesting. I wonder where it originated. Someone should research it (maybe someone has).

agree  Gordon Byron: I'd classify this type of tale as a "parable"
4 hrs
  -> I think that would be very apt, particularly since it quite often seems to be used in religious contexts. Thanks, Gordon :)

agree  Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
5 hrs
  -> Many thanks, Bea :)
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