Sponsoring Your Smile


A bus shelter at 17th and Bryant in San Francisco. The ad has been there for gee, at least six months. I like the image and the legend “Patrocinador de tu sonrisa.” Spanish-challenged as I am, I imagined that “patrocinador de tu sonrisa” had something to do with “sunrise.” Naturally, it doesn’t. It translates as, “Sponsor of your smile.”

And the text below?

¿Qué hace una rata en una esquina? Esperando un rato.

It’s a joke (Nesquik sponsors your smile), but one that relies on a pun, one that I can’t fathom, so can’t translate well:

What does a rat in a corner do? It waits a while.

(Spanish-speaking friends, please jump in here.)

2 Replies to “Sponsoring Your Smile”

  1. Following a hunch I looked up Esperando and it can also mean “hoping for”. My gut tells me this is a play on the fact that un rato looks like the masculine for una rata (even though it doesn’t normally translate that way). So it hopes for a male rat?? My best guess 🙂

  2. Eamon: That makes sense. I thought the pun turned on una rata and un rato … but I just couldn’t quite turn the corner on figuring it out.

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