Mating Ritual

I get on the tram and it’s brutally hot. After tricking an old woman out of her seat with promises of duck liver, I sit down and take slow breaths in hopes of lulling my body into a false sense of temperate comfort. It doesn’t work. This is mainly because of the six Italian tourists who decide to keep me company by standing inside of my rectum.

Summer-time in Prague is a constant battle between my extreme hatred of the heat and my love of the minimizing effect it has on Czech women’s clothing. This lack of clothing is an enjoyable part of the Prague spring mating ritual.

Women dress to attract the opposite sex with their bare, life-sustaining breasts, tanned legs and displayed contraceptive patches. The men strut around with cocksure attitudes, biceps brandishing faded, hepatotoxic tattoos and dreaded mullets puffed out like peacock tails. I take part in the ritual, wearing glasses and holding a book, conveying: I am intelligent; allow me to fertilize your eggs!

My mating call is being thwarted by my profuse sweating and the fact that women seldom rank melting high on their list of desirable traits in a mate. So instead of spraying my mating scent, I strive for invisibility.

As I try to cool down by imagining nuns swimming in giant lakes of glacier water, I see a gaggle of scantily clad beauties and promise the on-call deity anything for a tickle fight to break out. A second glance reveals that one of them is a student of mine. Trying to avoid eye contact, I stuff my face in the book and go back to my deranged fantasy about frigid theocrats. However, bad karma being a constant life companion of mine, she sees me and comes over to chat.

“Hello, Professor,” she says.

Everything about her is perfect. The girl, P, is sweet and beautiful and blue-eyed and blonde and built and knows she’s built and dresses like she knows she’s built and is for some reason under the impression that I am a professor. I am not, but the insinuation of academic respect, however fleeting and nonexistent, is enough to exacerbate the sweat.

These impromptu student teacher conferences on trams are uncomfortable. I have a classroom demeanor that is different from my normal demeanor. That is to say that in class, I am cool. I know the answers and I know where the lessons are going. Outside the classroom I am somewhat more socially reserved.
First of all, there is always the chance that someone wants to test out my Czech, which is okay at best. This means I can order drinks, tell someone my inseam and sing the first three verses of Andulko Šafářova. But with the speed, slang and pronunciation of real life Czech, I am screwed.

Secondly, I exist in my own little world outside of the classroom and prefer blending in like a brick.

My sweat betrays this interest in anonymity. It is coming down now in sheets from my personal Well of Despair.

The Well of Despair is located directly under the crown of my head. In a cruel trick of physiology it is overactive whenever I’m in conversations with beautiful women or when the words “We need to talk,” are said by any superior at work or any woman I have slept with in the last nine months.

She continues talking and she is staring at my forehead, which is undoubtedly reflective at this point. I am pulling a handkerchief around my skull in surreptitious movements trying to quell the liquid. I am muttering to myself, “Quell, quell!”

The sweat doesn’t respond to this request and she is no doubt offering the on-call deity anything to be out of range of this human lawn sprinkler. We chat for a short while more and then she eyes up a young guy whose attachment to his mobile phone and the volume with which he is speaking into it screams: I am important, I can provide!

Unable to resist this biological imperative, she says goodbye, sets her cleavage to attack and makes an approach.

I go back to my book and handkerchief, relieved to be sweating in peace, saddened that the human race has lost another beautiful specimen to a man who wears his mobile on a belt-clip.

I settle in for a long tram trip with the Italian tourists. They are making linguini and duck tonight. Maybe I’ll invite the old woman.

  1. #1 by greg on June 30, 2011 - 6:06 pm

    being the one responsible for your sweat gland gene i can only say that the dew does not fall far from the tree.

  2. #2 by angela galeone on July 1, 2011 - 2:41 am

    really funny Dame!!!!

  3. #3 by Jared on July 1, 2011 - 3:05 pm

    funny stuff Damien. It is a sad existence that we share. I also suffer from a condition known in medical terms as “as soon as the temp goes over 70 degrees, I look like I have the mighty mississippi running down my forehead and back…itis”
    Thank you for making me feel socially advanced by comparison.

  4. #4 by Emma on July 1, 2011 - 4:07 pm

    please don’t fertilise people’s eggs on trams. you will get sent to pankrac. i can bake a cake, but i don’t know the czech word for “file”. although, if interested, i could possibly arrange for you to get an elaborate prison escape plan tattooed on your back.

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