Useful Phrases…sort of

I don’t know how many folks out there read
McSweeneys, but you should. At least the online component of the literary
magazine. Started by Dave Eggers of
Heartbreaking Work
of blah blah blah fame, the magazine has endlessly funny bits, all presented in streamlined, excruciatingly simple
pages that make for easy reading.

I was just browsing it and came upon this funny
by Kevin Dolgin on “useful phrases” you should know when traveling. He classifies phrases as levels I, II and
III. The level III phrases are nonsensical ones that will be great conversation starters. For example, should you be in
Sweden, you might sidle up to a bar next to an attractive Swedish woman (of which, I understand, there are several) and
say, “Min igelkot e inte dum.” Or “My hedgehog isn’t stupid.” Yes, incredibly useful. Or perhaps you’re in
Germany for the famed Oktoberfest, and you can’t seem to get the beer madchen’s attention. You might just blurt out:
Es gibt ein Pinguin auf meinem Schrank.” Or “There is a penguin in my closet.”

Beer madchen will undoubtedly turn to you and immediately offer to provide beer, purely out of pity.


Trust me. Give it a try.