Lost in Translation: A Facebook Play

Posted on
Jan 20, 2011

Recently, I posted something to Facebook. Despite appearances to the contrary, I really was thinking in general terms, and not a specific person. Here was my status:

Don't ask me why I insist on blacking out my name, when you all know everything about me.

Okay, fine, maybe, just maybe, I was referring to someone I know. Still, I regret nothing. I am resentful and vindictive. This should not come as a surprise. Anyhoodle, my friend Skye, who is talented and wise, quickly chimed in:

My logic seems to imply that a state of shared douchebaggery lowers the rate of divorce.

At this point, my dear little cousin Val jumped in. For the record, she is lovely. I’ve mentioned this before. Here she is:

Yeah, I know - she's annoyingly gorgeous.

And as a reminder, here I am:

It's okay. I'm good at other things.

The moral of this photographic story is that recessive genes are a total bitch. But I digress. Val and I are Facebook friends, and our posts to one another are very often in Italian. Despite the fact that her English is nearly flawless, my liberal use of slang is confusing to her. And so, when she saw my post about douchebags, she politely requested clarification:

Okay - the word "douchebag" interspersed with her Italian just kills me.

Since most of you probably don’t speak Italian, and don’t want to bother typing all of that into Google Translate, allow me to do it for you:

Val: Forgive my ignorance, but doesn’t “douchebag” mean vaginal douche? Precisely how can two douches mate?

And, well, she has a point. It inevitably led to this exchange …

Here’s the translated version:

Me: Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha. Val, you are right, but “douchebag” can also mean an asshole.

Val: Under what criteria can you equate a vaginal douche with an asshole???????? I am learning so much.

Me: Languages are complicated.

Val: No … People are complicated.

My mom: (non sequitor) Hi, pretty girls!

Aaaaaaaaand Scene!

Leave a Comment

  • Exchanges like that make me realize that it might be premature to do a Logan’s Run-type cleansing of my FB list (except over 45 instead of over 30). There’s just enough funny interspersed with the annoying. 🙂

  • Aw, but you’re pretty on the inside. No, wait …

    That exchange with your cousin fills me with glee.

    I heard John Oliver (on the Daily Show) refer to someone as a “douche nozzle” once, which I found even more insulting than calling someone a douche bag.

    • Everywhereist

      Philip – indeed. The specificity of the insult is what makes it.

      As for being pretty on the inside, we all know that’s a lie. I’m quasimodo on the inside. But inside of THAT … I am marginally tolerable.

      But my bro sent me a delightful tweet which reminded me of the time Bart tells Lisa “As your brother, this is the hardest thing I ever had to say … you’re not ugly.”

  • Kristy

    I’ve always been especially fond of “douche canoe”

  • Bhavya

    Can we have more of this? A Facebook play in a couple of acts, maybe?

  • Aw, I do love multilingual people. Not being one myself. I laughed out loud at this. Thanks.

  • Oh thank you so much, Geraldine, I got the biggest laugh out of this exchange!

More from The Blog

On Instagram @theeverywhereist

  • The final, finished copy of my book arrived at our house today. Rand is very excited about it. (Everyone else has to wait until May 2nd, but you can pre-order it now. Link in bio.) #AllOverThePlace #AOTPbook #everywhereist #happydance
  • 9 foods we ate in Japan that I'm missing now:
1) Sushi! 
2) Kaiseki (a multi-course meal with tons of delicious little plates)
3) Croissants (Japanese bakeries seem to have mastered them) 
4) Okonomiyaki (multi-layered pancakes with noodles and all sorts of stuff)
5) Takoyaki (octopus balls) 
6) Ramen (so many styles, all so good) 
7) Yakiniku (grill your own meats!)
8) Tempura (so light and crispy) 
9) Onigiri (Geraldine was crazy for these - the best ones came from 7-11 of all places) 
#foodsofjapan #randtookthis #latergram #tastebudsforeverspoiled
  • Geraldine bought this frickin' adorable tea cup in Tokyo and I'm kinda jealous (even though everyone knows cups that hold hot liquids need handles!). #studioghibli #totorotea #randtookthis
  • Sayonara Japan. We loved you so much, we're already planning ways to come back. Thanks to @nicelleh & @wescarr for insisting we go, and for being our tour guides. #randtookthis #randaldineselfie #selfiesonaplane
  • It's not often you get to meet up with friends at Tokyo Station on the way to Narita, but we lucked out. Thanks @benhuh @emilyphuh for the great lunch and amazing company. #randtookthis #lastdayofvacation #selfiesatthetrain
  • That's no way to describe how stunning the ryokan & onsen is here. Maybe these 7 photos will help. It's definitely modern, but the landscape, the food, the lobby, the architecture, the service... everything is just spot on. And we even get to wear yukatas! #randtookthis #hoshiniya #karuizawa #beautifulhotels
  • Karuizawa has its own creamery, and they make both matcha and black sesame gelato. It's frickin' tasty. Who cares if we have to wear coats to eat it. #icecreamtime #lastdayofvacation #nagaifarm
  • Waiting for the bus. With a friend. 
#randtookthis #totorotime
  • This stone church in Karuizawa was designed by an American architect, Kendrick Kellogg, and serves as a popular wedding facility. Fascinatingly, it has no right angles in the design (though Geraldine spent most of our visit trying to claim that angles on exit signs or edges of photos inside technically violated this rule). #randtookthis #stonebuildings #curvyarchitecture
  • We have been incredibly lucky to stay at many beautiful hotels around the world (mostly thanks to generous conference organizers). But, #hoshiniya in Karuizawa almost certainly belongs in the top 3. Every detail is stunning here. It's almost sad to walk out of the resort! #randtookthis #randaldineselfie

All Over The Place

Pre-order my book now and I promise I'll never ask you for anything again.

Pre-Order Now!