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Foreign Languages

The English do not speak English.

I don’t know what they speak, but it is not the English language. Here’s what it sounds like:

Bidda dida du, badaba daba di, badeeba fish ‘n chips.

I don’t like the way they talk because they seem so fucking cheery, but I know that they’re really probably saying Fuck you, you arrogant American asshole.

I may in fact be an arrogant American asshole, but I’d like to know when I’m being accused of it. As it stands, I don’t know what the hell these blokes are saying. I can only assume, so I assume the worst.

The trip over was good. Mulhausen was a wreck. I kept ordering alcohol, but Mulhausen, because of his religious convictions, would only order apple juice. He did, however, drop a couple of Ambien. But every time he started dosing off, I shook his seat to simulate turbulence. He awoke in a fit of paranoia. I had no desire to sleep because of the abundant selection of movies our business class status offered. And if I wasn’t going to sleep, neither was Mulhausen.

We were on the left side of the plane, and I kept telling him that I couldn’t hear the engines. He kept getting up and going to the right side of the cabin to see if he could hear the engines on the right side. He said he couldn’t hear the engines on the right side either. I told him that planes could glide for hours without engines. But ultimately, the plane would go down. I, of course, have no idea what planes can and cannot do without engines. Nor do I know what an engine sounds like.

Mulhausen was dead tired, but could not go to sleep for fear the plane would go down the moment he closed his eyes. Knowing Mulhausen is a big fan of the TV show “Lost”, I told him that I had won the lottery based on this sequence of numbers: 123423453456. I didn’t win the big pot, but it was enough to make the plane ride eerie. I also started identifying all the characters from Lost on our plane.

There was the hot woman sitting next to the guy who looked like a U.S. Marshall. Not sure why he would be extraditing a suspect to the U.K., but the casting was perfect. There was a good-looking guy who looked like he could be a doctor. He was probably a lawyer. And there was a guy who looked like a total asshole. I mean, I know I fit that description, but this guy really looked like the asshole in Lost.

At that point, Mulhausen decided that we were going to crash into a mysterious island in the South Pacific, even though we were flying over the Atlantic. So he started trying to figure out if we were located in the half of the plane that crashed on the island or the half that sunk at sea.

My plan started backfiring, since he kept interrupting my movies. I was watching No Country for Old Men, the Academy Award winner. I finally told Mulhausen he should go tell the Pilot. He was gone for a long time. Maybe the on-board Marshall arrested him for a while.

But while he was gone, I finished the movie. Holy shit, am I the only one who thinks this movie has the worst ending in the history of cinema? The first two thirds were probably the best cinema I’ve seen in a long time, but that last third… What the fuck? It’s like the screenwriters finished two thirds, and as an experiment, asked another screenwriter to finish the script based solely on the film’s title. So the writer wrote about two old guys talking about another old guy we know nothing about. And then the first old guy tells his wife, Well, I think I’ll take a nap. The End. Bravo! Give ‘em an Academy Award!

I don’t know when Mulhausen finally came back, because I was asleep at that point.

Later, when I woke up, I found Mulhausen snoring in the seat next to me. I decided it was time to give him the old Twilight Zone treatment. I kept waking him up telling him that there was a strange creature outside on the wing messing with the wires. And even though he didn’t see anything outside the window, he believed me completely. When I fell asleep again, he was staring out the window. I’m sure he sat there bug-eyed for hours. Poor sonofabitch didn’t get any sleep.

Anyway, back to my original point. The English don’t speak English. I don’t know what the fuck they speak, but I don’t understand their language. In another couple of days, I’m heading to Berlin. Hail Hitler! He’s still a revered icon in that country, right? I’m trying to be culturally sensitive.

Well, I hope all is well in the home land. Take care. I’ll write when I can…

Reader Comments (4)

Looks like you're not the only one "going global" these days. Just got put on a $4M Int'l project...first stop...Paris...then China! Think I'm doing London in 3 months. Can't wait...I've nailed cussing people out with an English accent and I can't let it go to waste=P

March 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTech Babe

I work at a cemetery. I never get to go anywhere.

Too funny re Mulhausen! I knew you'd jack him up good on the flight. That's hysterical!

The British... well, they do talk weird. The Brits I know say that they speak English and I speak American. Go figure. Even if you can't understand them, at least you can read the menus and signs there.

March 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWinter

They speak cockney. Check out Guy Ritchie's first movie "Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" which happens to be probably my favorite movie and it has a cockney rhyming dictionary in the DVD extras. It makes zero sense and you probably have no chance of being able to tell what they are actually saying. You can't exactly turn on the subtitles when talking to them.

September 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterM

M: Love that movie too. And Snatch. I mean, I just love snatch.

September 14, 2009 | Registered CommenterJason X

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