It’s always fascinating seeing Michael using German in public.
Last night, we happened to be dining at Pizza Hut (“The American Way of Pizza”, which is hilarious because we had two Italians with us) so every other sentence of his was peppered with stuff like “All You Can Eat!” and “Eat It Crust First!” He had a fine time trying to explain the concept of clear beverage to the waitress (“Es ist nicht so, what’s that word for transparent? Durchsichtig? Yeah, nicht so durchsichtig aber auch nicht so opaque”).
Eventually, the waitress, as any other would in the illuminating presence of Michael’s hybrid Deutsch-Englisch, quickly shifted gears to English, with great relief I’d imagine. The fact that the rest of us were laughing our asses off in that language (and believe me, there is a linguistic difference in butt-guffaws, subtle, but a difference nonetheless) helped to make up her mind.
Poor girl. I mean, it was mostly self-service last night, but she defintely got tips from us, if mostly out of sheer humane pity.
Anyway, the conversations and company were pretty good, so much so I didn’t really taste much of the pizzas, which was a good thing, in my opinion. I’ve been pretty off fast-food style pizzas since last September when I was treated to the daily spectacle of Manuel buying pizzas from the Mensa and then staring at them and deciding every time not to eat them. Pasta and pizza’s never the same again after spending quality time with an Italian or two.
A highlight was definitely Michael, possibly the most relentless, persistent, persuasive little bugger I know, trying to convince Hadi, possibly the one person in the world who can spit “No” like a bazooka (and that ain’t a simile either), to lend him his bike. I put my bets on Hadi (metaphorically speaking, cos I, as everybody knows, would indulge in every earthly sin but gambling). I won (metaphorically speaking, cos I, as everybody knows, would not put any money where my mouth is, stupid arse that I am).
Somewhere down the line I was crowned as the worst ambassador for my country (I like to think of myself as honest, and honesty’s the best kind of love, I think, and I do love Malaysia very much, like a father who bristles with pride at his son’s achievements, but wished he would start wearing clothes in public, something like that) and was applauded for selling porn at the ripe old age of eleven (I create erotic illustrations that I auction off for token sums of money. I insist there is a difference).
We left the Hut pretty much sated and serenaded. The two Mikes tried to get me to say “university”, not knowing I heard their devious plot, and ended up being led on a wild goose chase (or whatever you call something where I know what you know, but you don’t know that I know what you know, etc.) before I finally acquiesced. See, I pronounce it as “yuns-tee“, whereas they go “yu-ni-ver-si-tee”. They asked me how I would pronounce “universal”. I argued it’s the same case as medicine/medical. They retorted that’s the way the rest of the world said it. I replied that the rest of the world can follow my lead or go and play fuck-themselves (Not really, but I wished I did say that last bit).
Then Michael entertained us with his impression of “spawning”. You had to be there. Let’s just say he’s prolly the first person to mime bad puns and leave it at that.
Last thing before I sign off: An old running joke since Erich and Manuel started studying together is how Erich would enjoy making sweet love to Manuel. Last night was the first time Michael’s heard this and he’s like, “So you’re Erich’s bitch, huh?” (And trust me, Erich and his bitches is another story altogether, one that I will spare you for now)
Shy kid that he is (supposedly), Manuel surprised us by retaliating, “No (Italian no, which is, well, er, no), Erich’s my bitch.” (Wonder what Ele would say about that…) To which Michael quickly quips, “Well maybe Erich likes to surrender in the bedroom.”
Line of the night, ladies and gentlemen, line of the night.
N.B. Erich, if you ever get sober enough to get online and read this (and this ain’t so much catty as more out of concern, though cattiness is a significant part of it), don’t kill the messenger, delighted as he is in reporting it. That, and Marco and Hadi have first dips on my miserable little life. Remember, this is a professionally executed public service announcement, and not me taking potshots at my friends. Really.