the penguin whisperer

you know. i do try to keep my silliness down to a minimum when interacting with people i barely (or not at all) know. but for some reason there are those who almost instantly see right through me and do their uttermost to bring the madness out in the open.

this weekend i met quite a few of the sort.

picture this. dressed up to your teeth you sit down in the middle of two well-dressed gents. you’ve hardly told them your name before the mayhem begins. it all starts with the man on your left telling you he’s a surgeon and demonstrating this by throwing a knife [sic!] at you. you check your ear, count your fingers, and accept his apologies, even though they are a bit hard to understand due to all laughter. still a bit shaken you stretch out your right hand to grab your wine glass only to find you don’t have one. pretty sure you did see a waiter filling a glass you turn to the bloke on your right with the intention to ask if he knows anything. of course you see your glass in his hand and your wine going down his throat. when you sigh you obviously forgot to turn off the please fuck with me – sign on your forehead, the surgeon bursts out in such a laugh that he manages to throw a second knife at you*…

by now you hear yourself explaining to the wine-stealing burger-flipper on your right that the surgeon obviously has some problems with his fork on the table**. you realise the lid is opened and there’s no turning back. the bad jokes simply won’t stop.

i cannot remember the last time i’ve found a fancy dinner so short – i suspect it was all the talk of nuclear weapons and bad pick-up lines that made time fly at the speed of knives.

apart from a chat with harry potter, the evening was filled with witty discussions. there were memories of pierre the fighter pilot and the man with the humongous fungus and there were fierce plans of me doing some butt-kicking in the uk.

and speaking of, there was of course the odd scotsman. the first time i met him he told me i’d only need a few weeks on the island to learn how to take the proper piss on the french. this time he noted i’m a fast learner – by the end of the evening my insults had improved so much he reckoned with a smile that i was way on my way. ‘on my way where’, i asked with sincere curiosity, a bit baffled by him actually saying something nice to me. ‘to become a brit of course’, he stated and blew smoke in my face. i had no witty insult to reply with so i coughed. thank god for nasty cigarette smoke.

* before the starter was finished a third knife had flown through the air, but that one we blamed on the waiter.

** oh, you know how this should be pronounced…


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