Someone should make a list of hilarious dirty words, and “bukkake” should be on it. So should “porno." “Porno” is tragically funny, just like "Bono" is tragically semi-sexual and "Carrot Top" sounds like an STD. “Porno” is nowhere near as funny as “bukkake,” but it’s one of the funniest things we have in our everyday vernacular. The word “pornography” is extremely scientific, even austere, but “porno” sounds like an Italian delicacy—and, as luck would have it, sometimes that is the case. However, even in ultra-sexed 2007, dirty words are taboo, so blurting out “bukkake” or “gooch” or “taint” is in definitively poor taste.
Language’s largesse, though, lies in its regional specificity. So, while I may not be able to tell an American cab driver to take me to the corner of Vaginal Revenue and Anal Ring Toss, that does not hold true in a foreign country. I discovered this in November, when I hailed a cab from the Montreal airport to a friend’s apartment (you may recall this northward jaunt, as it gave rise to two blogs: “Montreal City” and “Kudos to Willie the Barber”). My cab driver was more than affable, and even gave me a reasonable fare-but he didn’t speak a word of English. It took me five minutes to realize he wanted to know where I was going, another five to try to tell him, and then another 30 seconds to write out the address and show it to him.
Now, if this guy were a weathered, savvy New York cab driver, he would have noted the language barrier and abandoned conversation. But, being the convivial Frenchman that he was, the driver asked me about all sorts of stuff…I think. All I know is that his French sentences ended with a question-type intonation, and I felt obligated to answer. The first few times he finished a question and expectantly peered in the rear-view mirror, anticipating my response, I offered him very loud, very confident platitudes, like, “I KNOW. YOU WIN SOME YOU LOSE SOME!” or, “YEAH, DUDE. LIFE IS LIKE THAT SOMETIMES!”
I realized, obviously, that he didn't understand a single word that came out of my mouth. So, for the last 10 minutes of the ride, I answered every question by screaming, “PINEAPPLE FONDLE DILDO!” Then I’d nod, meet his gaze in the in rear-view mirror, and repeat: "PINEAPPLE FONDLE DILDO!” He loved it; every time I announced “PINEAPPLE FONDLE DILDO!” his eyes got a little wider, his face made a victorious, indescribably entertained smile, and he clapped his hands as if I’d thawed the entire Province of Quebec. A series of words that would have gotten me flogged to death in New York won me a deep rapport in Montreal. The driver even cut me a break on the fare, which was pretty magnanimous, considering it was 11:30 at night and the worst kind of cold I’ve ever felt. Which means that, outside of my business, he was probably having a pretty slow shift.
And who says the French are all bad?
Stay Subzero, Montreal