So right after graduating from high school I was an exchange student in Sweden for a year. It was a very mixed bag and a very good experience. I knew no one. Being in another country all by yourself at 18 builds a lot of confidence. At the end of a year, though, I was very glad to come home. I missed my mom and round door knobs and velveeta and driving and seeing black people.
In Sweden, I went to high school. Their high school system runs about a year longer than ours does and at the end you come out with more like an Associates Degree. All my high school friends in the mean time though had gone to college. We had a fantastic summer catching up. One girl had joined a sororiety, someone else had traveled the country in her car, another joined the military. And we came together for a summer of crazy adventures and reaquainting ourselves.
One weekend we went out of town together for a weekend to a girlfriend's college town. We somehow managed to get into a bar and were quickly surrounded by men panting over us like steaks. And of course, they were wasted. We probably were too but I was worldly and I talk a pretty mean game when I'm wasted so off we went to the races.
I hadn't spoken yet, (I often hold back in crowds and watch for some time before contributing anything- this creeps some people out but fuck 'em, I gotta size things up.) So all of a sudden my girlfriend starts telling the guys at the table that I don't speak English. This explains my bug-eyed watching and they're immediately intrigued. (swedish bikini team is clearly swimming through their drunken minds.)
My friend pretends to translate as I say what dipshits they are in Swedish and make other nonsensical conversation.
"My aren't the skies purple? I bet it means you don't shave your chest."
"She said she likes Illinois."
"This guy's prolly got a wang like a fruit fly."
Suddenly, as though my friend has begun understanding a few words in Swedish she says, "She says she's never seen an uncircumsized penis."
We've been playing this game for a while now so I try to supress my shocked look and continue to pretend not to speak English. Keep in mind the whole premis of me not speaking English is stupid because EVERYONE in Sweden speaks English. They start learning it in nursery school.
"Really?" He says.
She continues goading him. "No she says she's never seen an uncircumsized penis and she wants to. She asked if you're circumsized."
"I'M JEWISH!" The guy says, thrilled at his good fortune.
She whispers her translation in my ear.
By now, all my girlfriends are leaning in to see what'll happen.
My friend continues, "She's asking if this means you're circumsized."
He laughs, "Yeah, all Jewish guys are circumsized."
She whispers in my ear again. She's now gone from just making little pshhhhpsst pssss noises to saying "don't laugh, just keep playing along."
"She says she wants to see it."
"She wants me to show her, my circumsized penis? right here? In the bar?"
She whispers in my ear a little more and I nod, attempting to will my face into not blushing deeply.
There's some discussion back and forth about whether the guy'll get kicked out and who could see. My friends, eager to "help," crowd around him, promising to shield him from anyone seeing but us.
The bar is too crowded anyway, they croon.
And. He. Pulls. It. Out.
And it is the grossest, most discolored, unsexy, wrinkly thing I've ever seen!
We all hoop and holler and yell and he quickly replaces his pants.
After this everyone needs and gets a shot or in my case more like three. We party some more, chat up more attractive boys and then get ready to leave. By now, 3 shots deep, I go up to the guy, tap him on the shoulder, and say good bye and good luck to him in Swedish.
"HUH?" He says repeatedly until I finally turn around and say "HAVE A GOOD ONE!" I see the shocked as I walk out looking behind me and follow up with "YEAH, I SPEAK ENGLISH."