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Growing Old is Mandatory
But Growing Up is Optional..
28 April 2020
Found this missive by Veit
The Russian dinner guests/ Гости из русского ужина (Gosti iz russkogo uzhina)
Alright. So you’ve had a good laugh at the German stereotype. You’ve heard the “Vee vill vash your vindows” etc.; and you’re familiar with the image of the beer quaffing, lederhosen clad, sausage munching imbecile, whose fascist credentials are palpably borne out by his inability to pronounce words that underwent the 2nd sound-shift. Yadayada. Let’s talk about the Russians for a change.
Rightly or wrongly, a Russian couple joined us for a dinner party quite some time ago. I would have told you the story sooner but it took me until now to digest and recover from it. They were perfectly civil from beginning to end. That’s not to say that they were pleasant guests to have.
It all started off civilly enough. He brought a bottle of Russian Vodka and a bunch of cut flowers whereas she brought a little cake she had baked herself, a bee sting she called “пчелиный торт” (pchelinyy tort).
After that things went as expected until about 10 PM. Guests melted away and those left behind shifted together around empty bottles, half-emptied dessert plates, corks, and crumpled napkins. By this time I had enough and it had indeed almost been the end of the party when our Russian guests got a second wind/ ветер (veter). Dimir all of a sudden remembered the bottle of vodka he had brought, and proceeded to pour himself and his wife generous helpings by filling their empty wine glasses to the brim. This brought a broad smile to her face – like a cactus blooms when the drought finally breaks. They hadn’t talked much all night but finally found their feet. And this is where the accent thing comes in. OK, so Russians don’t say “vee vill vash your vindow”, they do one worse. They say “chvee chvill chvash chyorr windov”. What is it with that guttural “ch” sound? It’s like they sabotage their own attempts to speak English right from the get go. And by the time they told us all about the Chinese triad that has ruined life for decent Moscovites (like themselves), the escalating rents in Vladivostok, and the unbearably perverted character of the Ukrainians, they had reached the bottom of the Vodka bottle. Never fear, because the host has more? Of course he does, he’s a Kraut! With my Boer wife having good subservient manners beaten into her since her earliest childhood, she promptly handed the Russians the key to the liquour cabinet (so to speak). As the rest of the guests left (in disbelief), the Russians systematically made their way through every single bottle there, only momentarily balking at the 1 liter 100% Cinnamon Schnapps. Finally, that too lost the battle to the Red Army at Stalingrad. With two full glasses of that fluorescent pink gunk in front of them, their conversation was now solely inward focused. Why they still spoke English I don’t know. Perhaps they were too “besoffen” (German for completely leg and motherless) to realize that they needn’t speak English; or perhaps they were too well mannered to forget our presence. He said “Darlink, ch’you think I ch’am ch’alco’cholic?” (This was a rhetorical question to which the answer was a foregone conclusion – especially seeing that it was addressed to his wife who herself would do exceedingly well in rehab). The predictable answer came back thick yet slow “No Darlink, ch’you not an ch’alco’cholic, I would never stay maaarried to ch’alco’cholic”. He smiled benevolently with his Russian mucho ego so sweetly soothed. They became amorous and she climbed on his lap, slipping him the tongue. And with that the clock struck 3 and I suggested that they should stay the night.
Thank heavens they did not take me up on the offer. Instead, I ordered them a taxi and sent them on their way. By then he was fully erect and she was completely ready, wet, willing, and wild. They had fallen silent as he was undoing her blouse and she was playfully and uncoordinatedly slapping his fingers aside, grunting with deep satisfaction. They barely managed to climb into the back seat of the taxi. I had to nudge his rear while my wife draped the Olga over the back seat. The Taxi driver asked whereto and nobody knew. So I slipped him $20 and whispered “Just take zem avay, anyvhere”. I was going to add “and if they vomit, don’t worry because, vee vill vash your Taxi” but I didn’t.
Stereotypes tend to reinforce themselves. Ja?