Monday, August 01, 2011

F**k the Cistern








We've had cause for a few sniggers and guffaws at words and signs that tickle our internal Benny Hill bones. Or, as Sapphire reminds me, I have.

Take douche, for instance. Not exactly a compliment in the English-speaking world, but it means a shower over here. Douche gel is everywhere and still makes me chuckle. Yes, I'm the kind of person who laughs 'til I fart at Australia's Funniest Home Videos.

Or consider our tube of toothpaste, invitingly named Candida. Why on earth shouldn't your oral hygiene regime not involve filling your mouth with something named after a vaginal infection?

Even something as innocent as pastry caused Love Chunks and I to double over when we were last in the chilled food aisle. I was supposed to grab a couple of rolls of pizza dough and found a new brand imported from Germany. "LC!" I gestured him over, "It has extra dick!" Considering that it was already 40cm long and on special it was a clear contender for our shopping cart....




















We saw the above bloke at Nyon Castle. "The French clearly invented the comb-over," LC said.

However, Nyon, as scenic and quaint as it is, has nothing on Geneva for nude sculptures. Any free space available has someone in the raw doing things as strange as putting bridles on rearing stallions, flying two kites at once, gazing longingly into a primary school pond (!) or advertising the side entry to an insurance company.

In their version of the mall (Rue de Mont Blanc), there are two Sphinx statues on plinths. The mysterious Egyptian connection was immediately left unanswered when we walked closer and discovered that both of them seem to have visited Beverly Hills recently and sought a date with Hugh Hefner:




















..... could those grapefruit be any faker? Or set further apart....?

I haven't the guts yet to take a photo of the stone carving that tops the Cornavin train station; the bustling heart and centre of the city. Not only are both my hands already busy firmly gripping my handbag in the area's busiest spot for pickpockets but I don't want to be seen taking a shot of a man with a donger that's roughly the width and length of a loaf of bread. "Maybe it's a self portrait of the artist," Sapphire said, with a dry maturity that both surprised and frightened me.

Not only that, but he has two busty (and completely nude, of course) female companions directly behind him, arms folded back in a strange double-jointed pose, gazing earnestly at whatever he, Mr Super Schlong - is looking at. Why this was considered a good image for the train station is anyone's guess. Here's mine. "No time to put your clothes back on girls, we've got two minutes to get to platform nine!"

LC bravely ventured into Swiss e-bay and bought himself an electronic piano. He knew he was successful because he was sent this message: "They delivered your price proposal? Now it is because of the salesman whether it accepts it. We press you the thumbs."

Further out of the city, towards the German-speaking population of the Switzerland are the Ausfart signs. These appear at every exit from the motorway said my friend K. "But we thought why not, we're Australian, we can always wind the windows down...." The pastry from her delicious home made spinach pie got stuck in my windpipe as I laughed too loudly and inhaled instead of swallowed - you find your jollies where you find 'em.

20 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

Sounds like some happiness is appearing. Yay. (Bet it came with the arrival of Millie).

Kay said...

LOL Kath, somehow you always make me laugh.....

Vanessa said...

I needed that early morning laugh this morning! I always wonder if some of our brands bring laughter to non english speaking cultures? How does Colgate or Arnotts translate?

Jayne said...

LMAO
I'm loving the word pictures and sculpture tours, you're giving us! :)

Hannah said...

I fear I may never brush my teeth in the same way again...

franzy said...

I speak German and I still have dozens of photos of myself next to Exit signs, casually lifting a hindleg.

River said...

Laughing at Ausfart. What exactly is the English translation?

Kath Lockett said...

EC, Milly has indeed helped things.

Thanks Kay - douche still has me grinning every morning when I'm in the douche - er, shower

Not sure Vanessa but I'm surprised at how few brands I recognise. I spend a great deal of time gazing at labels and puzzling over what's inside them. Thank goodness for pictures!

Thanks Jayne - for higher cultural tours, you'll clearly need to look elsewhere....

Hannah, rest assured that our teeth are surprisingly clean and yeast-free...

Franzy I vaguely recall you lifting a leg at one of the signs. How do you like your pastry - extra dick?

River, it means 'exit' which is nowhere near as funny.

sonjetta said...

I'd like to confess that upon my first arrival in Australia I immediately wanted to join Friends of the Zoo just because I absolutely had to have one of those 'FOTZ' stickers. In fact I wanted to have a whole packet of them to send to all my German friends with the instruction of using them as a bumper sticker. Alas, no-one dared to drive around with the C-word on their car.

And now I shall look up Geneva to find a nice picture of Mr Schlong...

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

I LOVE German - it is such a funny sounding language to non-speakers.

German for "He is travelling" is "Er fährt" which sound like something might be propelling him along.

I also love the fact that in German they string a whole bunch of words together in one word to describe something - like:

Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän

which apparently means "Danube steamship company captain".

Wonderful.

:0)

Cheers

PM

Baino said...

Hahaha yeh we got a giggle out of Ausfart, it's everywhere . . wish you'd taken a pic of the schlong (It's been a while). Never forget, you come from the land of "COON" cheese!

Ollie said...

I always enjoyed the 'Fact' ads. 'Fact' is a washing powder (pronounced 'f*cked). So the ad went along the lines of: "Stains on your washing? Then get fact!" Brilliant!

Kath Lockett said...

'Fotz', Sonjetta - I'll have to remember NOT to say that when we venture into the German-speaking part of the country....

PlasMan I suspect that I'll be struggling to keep a straight face most of the time. I love a good fart joke at the best of times. I'm not proud of it, mind....

Baino, that's true - 'coon' was very politically incorrect and I think my Mum used to avoid buying it for that reason!

Ollie that's hilarious! I wonder if I could get away by telling Love Chunksk to 'Get Fact!' when we're in the laundry aisle on Saturday?

Ann O'Dyne said...

oh we press you the thumbs too dear Kath.
wishing you many happy hours yodelling away with organ accompaniment.
X X X

Red Nomad OZ said...

Haha, hilarious!! But stop making us Aussies jealous - nowhere can I get pastry with extra dick ... I'd put the sculptures down to European esoterica - those that don't get Aussie humour also have to take their jollies where they get them!!!

Cat J B said...

Omg hehehe! And it's just as funny reading through the comments!

Pandora Behr said...

Lovely to see your sense of humour returning. Great post.

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks Ann - I'll admit to have a joke yodel the other night when Sapphire 'dared' me to sing 'The lonely goatherd.' Yes, a glass or two of wine had been imbibed....

Red Nomad Oz, you could be on to something there - carvings of Super Schlongs and Surgically-enhanced Sphinx statures as their way of finding their jollies!

Thanks Cat and Pand :)

Nicole said...

I have a similar sense of humour to you Kath and would also find all that stuff funny. We even find out poor son funny when he mispronounces stick and says 'look at my big dick mummy'. Bad parents I know...

LJP said...

Self portrait! Sounds like Saphhire has inherited your sense of humour...

p.s. my word verification is unglut. Does that mean someone who is on a diet?