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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Recollect Yourself, I Pray...

...And Be Careful What You Say,
As the Ancient Romans said, Festina Lente."

Thus begins one of my bits of lyric from the G&S operetta "Iolanthe," in which I am appearing this weekend.

"Festina lente" is, indeed, a Romanesque phrase-- old Gilbert was a man who knew his classics, and knew them very well. In the context of the 19-minute-long Act I finale of "Iolanthe" it is an admonition sung sternly by the Lord Chancellor. Literally translated, it means "make haste slowly," which is good advice, for those who know how to take it.

Speaking as one who's never done anything slowly, including drive, think, eat, react, study, speak, judge, blog, walk, evaluate, or make haste; you might think that festina lente might be my New Year's Resolution this year, or at least something I might have my wife screen-print on a t-shirt for me. Maybe. I don't really wear t-shirts, though.

Some people, I think, respect me for saying what's on my mind. This propensity, though, is a double-edged sword, of course because, while I often speak the truth and speak it earnestly, a fair amount of bullshit also tends to spew forth from my oral cavity, clouding an otherwise unoffending conversation with ridiculum and/or patent idiocy.

If you've hung around this particular locker room for longer than a week, you know what I'm talking about.

On Tuesday night, my wife and I were out to dinner with an old friend visiting from out-of-state. We were giving him a place to crash while he was on a brief business trip, and he reciprocated by taking us out for Thai food. It was a delectable meal-- complete with precious corncake appetizers to start and mango sticky rice as the subtle, pleasing finale. Conversation was light and appropriate, considering that I was at the table, punctuated by only the occasional awkward silence, which most conversations in the world are at one point or another.

During the course of the meal, I excused myself to visit the restaurant's restroom. On the wall was a poster for Thailand, featuring some hot chick dancing in some outlandishly-hued costume. Underneath her, it said, "THAILAND: Asia's Most Exotic Country." I wondered briefly how exactly one quantified that-- how do you figure out a nation's exoticness quotient when compared with other nations. Sure, Thailand is most likely more exotic than, say, Poland or Bulgaria, depending on your definition of "exotic," but is it more exotic, necessarily, than Indonesia or Singapore? Surely there are hot women dancing around in brightly-colored outfits there, too. I know there are in Indonesia.

Anyway, while I was peeing in the bathroom of this Thai restaurant, an idea popped into my head and I started cracking up. There's nothing that makes you feel more like a mental patient than standing at a urinal, holding your dick and laughing. I've seen mental patients do just that, and they look pretty crazy while they're doing it, so I must have, too.

I'm sure this happens to you, too-- an incongruously funny thought will materialize in your head, often at an inopportune time, and it's just really funny and you have to exercise all your willpower and knowledge of decorum to avoid sharing it...

Well, I returned to the table, composed, and I casually informed my wife and our dinner guest that Thailand is, in fact, the most exotic country, and I told them that I learned this from a poster made by the Thailand Tourism Board. Actually, I said, "Taiwanese Tourism Board" because I am an idiot. But I managed to keep the funny thought to myself and we engaged in some more polite, adult conversation while consuming our mango sticky rice. However, after we left the restaurant, immediately, after the door closed behind us and we were out on the street walking back to the car, I blurted it out.

"So, when I was in the bathroom, this great idea for a sketch popped into my head. So, it's an asian restaurant, right? And there are couples and people eating quietly at the tables-- it's a nice place, you know, dignified and what have you. After a few moments, a middle-aged businessman, conservative type, gets up to use the restroom. Well, he opens the door and there's this super-sexy geisha-type in there, in a kimono and everything, and she's like, 'Oooh, herro, big boy.' And it's implied that they do whatever two consenting adults would do in a restaurant bathroom, and he comes back to the table, you know, like nothing happened. And this guy and that guy get up to use the restroom, you know, same thing happens. And then the camera cuts to a woman who gets up from her table to use the ladies' restroom. She goes to the door and opens it, and there's this enormous gorilla in there who screams, 'GRRWWWOOAAAAHHH!' and he attacks the shit out of her."




1 comment:

  1. That made me laugh into my tea, inhale a bit of hot liquid, and hack until I could stop laughing.


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