The following interactive explanation has been brought to you by the lovely Kikita =D
First, click here (then come back):
"Abuela, de donde salio cucufate?"
"Cucufate es un santo."
I asked Señor Google. It's True.
Cucufate is the Spanish version of Saint Cucuphas. Who knew that Saints could be jokesters?
But wait! There's more!
So when my Abuela was young (I'm thinking sometime in the 30's or 40's) there was a Cuban radio show and on it there was a character named . . . you guessed it . . . Cucufate. This "Cucufate" character was hard of hearing and was always confusing things and messing them up.
For example, someone could ask, "Donde esta la linea?" and he would reply, "No, no era tan niña!"
I hope you are getting the picture . . . Anyway, when Abuela would mix something up or confuse something, my Abuelo would call her (and by default – the current confusion) "cucufate."
And the phrase stuck. And it has grown. At this point, it is an all encompassing word for all major and minor mix-ups, messes, and general confusion.
We use it all the time. My brother Adam wrote a song about the Cucufate Olympics and I made it into a music video.
So, now that you have a general idea of what it means and how we use it, I would like to share the story of "How I won a Gold Medal in the Cucufate Olympics."
Mami's cousin Miguel was visiting from Cuba. It was his first time in the states and he wanted to see as much as possible. Being that we live only a few hours from Vegas, we told him (via his travel agent) that he should fly into Vegas, we would pick him up at the airport, spend the night, and then we would make the drive home together and he'd stay with us for the rest of his trip.
The day we were leaving, a Friday morning, Mami had hurt her back, so she was on some heavy medications . . . I became the designated driver. My Abuela and Tia Helen were joining us. This already had the makings of a fun road trip. We made excellent time, checked into our hotel, and then all piled back into the car to go to the airport to wait for Miguel who was supposed to be arriving at 3pm. I had never met this cousin, in fact, I had no idea what he looked like and HE had no idea what I looked like, so we thought it would be fun if I was the one waiting by the gate with a sign with his name on it. To make it look more official.
We arrived at the airport too early and were killing time in the shops when we found the jester hat and decided it would add just the right flair to the occasion.
As the time approached for Miguel's arrival, Mami, Abuela and Helen went to hide (on some nearby benches out of site) while I walked around with my sign and looked expectantly at anyone who looked Cuban . . . for 2 hours . . .
Finally, we called Miguel's travel agent and asked where he was . . .
"What? He's not coming until SATURDAY? I thought you said FRIDAY?"
It seemed there was some confusion and we had the wrong day . . . TOTAL Cucufate.
24 hours later found me back at the airport . . . in my jester hat . . . holding my sign . . . waiting for Miguel . . . whose flight was late.
Like I said, I'm a Cucufate Olympics Gold Medalist. 😉