The above is a short clip I found when I searched for Chiquitolina* on the Tube. It’s cute, so I wanted to share it here. I know the characters are from Venezuela because of the unmistakable accent, and because of the way she says chiquitico, a word that’s an intensive form of “little”, and usually spelled chiquitito, but in Venezuela, sometimes the last “t” of diminutive forms switches to a “c”, and I think the character Luis Enrique also says ratico instead of ratito (diminutive of rato, which means “a while”). So charming.

So, here’s what they say. I took a few liberties so as not to translate it literally, which I can’t do without losing more linguistic flavor than I already have. By the way, Negra in Latin America is a term of endearment for people that have a tanned, darker tone of skin (although a neighbor of mine was also called Negra and she was white as paper… her sisters called her Gorda as well even though she was skinny), and in no way it’s an insult, or a racist remark. Not in this context, anyway.

* * *

La Negra is driving somewhere, and suddenly there’s a little voice calling out to her.

“Psst! Negra! Negra!” A shrunken Luis Enrique stands on the dashboard and whistles to grab her attention.

“Down here,” he hops in place a couple of times. “Negrita!”

“Luis Enrique, what are you doing there so small?” she asks him, surprised.

“Ah, you see? What do you think? I came to talk to you for a little bit.”

“Hold on. I’m gonna be late, because I can’t talk to you when you are that small.”

La Negra parks the car and asks Luis Enrique, “What did you do to get so small?”

For some reason [genius script], he repeats, “Ah, you see? What do you think?” and then adds, “I took Chapulín’s Chiquitolina pills, and I left him trapped inside a matchbox! Hahahah!”

“This is annoying, Luis Enrique! I really can’t stand you this way. Chao!” And la Negra slaps poor little Luis Enrique as though he’s a mosquito as he cries out. Now a cartoonish pile on the dashboard, he says, “I don’t like you.”

* * *

After a Chiquitolina dosage.
After taking a Chiquitolina dosage.

*El Chapulín Colorado, a very old Mexican TV show about a super hero that always got in amusing sorts of trouble, which he always detected beforehand with his vinyl antennae (a nod to Spider-man, I suppose).

In the photo he’s doing his courageous, ready-for-anything stance, while saying, “¡No contaban con mi astucia!” which means, “They weren’t counting with my cunning!” a phrase he was likely to repeat at least three times during each show.

If he looks to you anything like that Bee Man from The Simpsons, that’s because he’s the inspiration behind it. I guessed as much the first time I ever saw the bee guy, since they made him look quite a bit like Chespirito.

Among his crime-fighting weapons was his stash of shrinking pills, called Chiquitolina. As you can see in the picture, he became very small, and the effect lasted for a few minutes after taking a dosage.

I will always remember the scenes during which a female character would give him a very close look, or hold him in the palm of her hand. Heck, even the ones with male interaction worked for me. When I was a child and watched the reruns, I had no idea why I loved those parts of the show so much. Now I do.

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