The Day of the Idiom

Symbol of AmericaOh, how I love a good idiom. Whenever I get my hands on an idiom in Czech I jot them down in some notebook and look for a time when I can pull them out and surprise all those around me.

In Czech, in order to convey that something is all Greek to you, you say that it’s a Spanish Village (to je Španělská vesnice). You warn friends not to live in the past by telling them that you can’t step into the same river twice (Dvakrát nevstoupíš do stejné řeky). And you show your preferences for girls with booty by saying that a girl without an ass is like a week without a Sunday (holka bez prdela je jako týden bez neděle).

So today, as I root through an old bookshelf and come across an American – Czech Vulgarism Dictionary I leap for joy. It was a gift some years ago from some students and it goes straight into my most sacred reading room (aka: bathroom).

Moments later, as I sit on the throne for my inaugural perusal, I find that I have never heard half of these idioms. I need to use them and force them into my lexical toolbox. I spend the day teaching high schoolers about American history and English, and the whole time these idioms are pestering me in the back of my head.

By the time Collin calls and asks if I want a beer, I am tired and grumpy. I haven’t slept well in a deuce of nods on a backseat, but I go anyway. I haven’t seen Collin in a deuce of haircuts and since today is the day that the eagle shits I have some disposable cash.

I meet him at a beer garden in Žižkov.

The beer garden is tucked away off a main road and is crawling with the characters you see at beer gardens. There are professionals playing hooky, a few junkies, and even a few earth muffins kicking around a hacky sack. The beer garden is hosting a Kid’s Day, so there are a zillion kids running around. Collin comments that if any other country on Earth allowed a beer garden to host a kid’s day it would make parents go bitch cakes.

We sit for a while, drinking and hiding from the sun. We watch the women, some of whom are finer than frog hair and a couple who have phenomenal get away sticks. And of course I began thinking of how’s your father.

My amorous thoughts end as I realize that I need to do the backdoor trot. Immediately. Perhaps my system was too shocked earlier from the onslaught of new idioms to completely revolve the beavers. So, I go looking for a bathroom.

This beer garden, unfortunately, is not suited to my immediate needs and slight panic overtakes me. I head out onto the street in order to find a pub, because if I do not find a bathroom within a deuce of two ticks, I am in serious trouble. I do find one in a short while and head inside. The barman is wearing a half-shirt.

‘Do you have a bathroom?’ I ask.

He looks at me with a face that suggests he is going to tell me to go climb up my thumb. Fortunately, I ask him my second question before he can do so.

‘Do you have Becherovka?’

The man says nods and expresses approval for the fact that I am following social protocol by purchasing goods in an establishment before destroying its bathroom. I take the shot and then retire to the bathroom where unspeakable happiness overtakes me and, as I read the news on my phone, I regain the joys of spring.

I leave the bathroom – lighter, happier, ready for more beer. It occurs to me that this is a bar one for jobby jabbers as there are no women and three of the six men are wearing half-shirts. They eye me as though I am finer than frog hair and even glance at my get away sticks. They notice that I am clearly a week with a Sunday. I have another Becherovka (one for the second leg!) and escape as two other men monkey fuck their cigarettes.

There is no real moral to this anecdote. But if there is, I suppose it’s that you should do your business with John before having a few bowls of loudmouth chowder.

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