Thursday, December 22, 2005

It's all Greek to me

Imagine going to the library and saying, "Give me a book. Which book? I don't know. Your best one."

I'm in a situation like that. But rather than get directly to the point, let me first tell you about my old housemate George. I do mean old—he was at least fifty or so. Yet, it was as though he had never lived with other people before, because he was incredibly annoying.

As just one example, he'd take over the entire kitchen when he ate, blasting his Greek language lesson tapes, covering the entire counter and table with his food, and sticking his gangly legs out into the middle of the room as he sat. He'd take off his shirt to eat too. One time I poured out a bunch of hot bacon grease into a can and was carrying it to the door to throw it out into the street (this was the best disposal solution I had at the time for some reason) and accidentally dropped it all over his discarded shirt, which he'd left on the floor.

"Gee, I'm sorry, George," I said. "I spilled grease on your shirt."

"AAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUGGHHHH!" George roared, grabbing the shirt and tearing up the stairs. "FUUUUUUUUUUUUCK! SON OF A FUCKING BITCH!"

"ONE MORE THING," I heard over the sound of running water. "ONE MORE FUCKING THING AND I'M GONNA FUCKING LOSE IT!"

George came back down the stairs. "I know you're sorry," he said in a perfectly even, calm voice. "But that's my favorite shirt. I got it in Paris. If you have anything that might help me clean it up, I sure would appreciate it."

As you can see, George was not only annoying, but also potentially insane. Aside from the fits of rage, why leave your favorite shirt on the floor? He eventually moved to Dubai, where with luck he'll get kidnapped and beheaded. My only regret is that he appeared to have a prosthetic finger that I was hoping to accidentally pull off when shaking hands goodbye, but he slipped out without ever giving me the chance.

At least, that was my only regret. He would come in handy now. As I mentioned, he constantly listened to Greek language lesson tapes, because he was a major Hellenophile. He seemingly really, really wanted to be Greek, to the extent of moving to Greektown and learning the language, the recipes, the everything. He was all about the playing of the souvlaki and the eating of the bouzouki.

I personally have little interest in this. But I've been assigned to get my sister's Greek fiancé a CD of Greek pop music for Christmas, and while I can find the Greek music store easily enough, I'll have no idea what to get when I'm in there, which brings us back to the library analogy. I stand a very real danger of walking out with the Greek version of Hall and Oates. Brain-Damaged Toula is no help, since she listens to the American version of Hall and Oates. But George might be some help here.

Then again, maybe not. He'd occasionally come home and say, "I got a Greek movie. Want to watch it with me?" To him, "Greek" and "good" were pretty much the same word. Anything drenched in olive oil was automatically delicious (even though he didn't have the sense to get extra-virgin instead of just plain virgin), and that went for pretty much every aspect of the culture. Greek is good, to misquote that lizard guy from Wall Street.* But then again again, I hear that a lot of actual Greek people think this way too. So maybe he really would be of some help.

I have no clue. Do any of you know anything about Greek music?

*I swear he's a lizard. First, Michael Douglas is seriously reptilian. And second, the guy's name was Gordon Gecko or some such thing.


Anonymous Sheep said...

Whatever you do, don't buy Nana Mouskouri or Yanni. They suck balls.

12/22/2005 05:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you can get in touch with Chris Chelios. He may have had some great music to pump him up when practicing to be on the Greek bobsled team.


12/22/2005 05:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never understood that expression. I find sucking balls to be quite enjoyable.

Just sayin'.

- Gloria

12/22/2005 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Lynn said...

Gloria, we really must meet one of these days.

That reminds me of a conversation I had with one of the call centre girls at work today. I was making fun of her fur-lined boots for being too furry.

"Well, it's fake,' she said. "I wouldn't wear real fur. I only wear leather because I eat cow."

"I wear fur," I said, "Because I eat beaver."


"Every chance I get."

"You don't seem the type."


"You don't seem like the sort of person who would eat unusual meats," she said.

You don't seem like the sort of person who would understand innuendo, I thought.

12/22/2005 07:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

I don't know anything about Greek music, but I did sort of learn koine Greek this semester, if that helps.

Kurios means "Lord."

12/22/2005 09:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to wonder: How does a person "come off" as someone who enjoys eating unusual meats? If you're constantly expounding on the merits of horse or ostrich or alligator, this technically really isn't "coming off" as liking unusual meats, since you're explicitly informing people what you like. So ... how?

- Gloria

12/23/2005 07:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read that conversation again and realize the words "come off" never appear.

Cheese it.

- Gloria

12/23/2005 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Lynn said...

You've obviously still got come on the brain. The discussion about the word, I mean. I didn't mean to put some sort of zombie bukkake picture in your head.

Anyway, we did have buffalo burgers in the cafeteria yesterday. I suppose she might have observed me deliberately passing one up in favour of a normal burger.

I do like buffalo, though. It's very lean and good for you. I ate an elk burger once too. It was okay.

12/23/2005 09:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, "come on the brain" just evokes all sorts of odd imagery, although technically the way you wrote it, it would've been "cum on the brain."

- Gloria

12/23/2005 04:22:00 PM  

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