Saturday, May 5, 2007

Architects Gone Wild: Lost in Translation

First Friday of each month is Snore Day. Snore is a local favorite breakfast spot near Design Associates' office in downtown Denver, and a group of us (most of whom work for Howie) gather there about 7am to drink mass quantities of excellent Honduran coffee and snarf omelettes, French toast, and (for me) vanilla granola-oatmeal brulee. This Friday, Guy and I joined Elliot (who organized these in the first place), Jimmy Ray, Derek, and Norman for Jimmy Ray's second-to-last Snore Day before moving back east.

Topics of conversation varied from the professional to the ridiculous to the sublime: designing universal patient rooms, dealing with IT folks while planning a hospital, blowing one's nose in public, when to buy a ski pass for next year, Derek's impending get the picture. In the course of one topic of conversation, someone wondered aloud about why any man would try to do a particular task that was generally unpleasant. Guy acknowledged, in his own way, that this person would do this task because it was located where there were lots of young, eligible women.

Note: This story is about to veer into the naughty. If you are easily offended, you might want to tune in later.

"Well," observed Guy, "the job is tough, but there's a lot of tang."
The table burst into laughter, except for Norman.

Norman: What's a tang?
[silence; exchanging looks]
Entire table: Baaahahaahaaa!!
Norman: What? Like the orange drink?
Guy: [slightly stunned] Dude, it's short for 'poontang.'
Norman: Which is...?
Entire table: BAAAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA!!!! [Pixie falls over on bench, almost under table]
Norman: What, is that a word you learned growing up in St. Louis or something?
Elliot: [wiping tears] Dude, I learned that word in Seattle. It's pretty universal.
Pixie: [from below table level] I learned it watching Vietnam movies!
Entire table: BAAAHAHAHAAAAA!!
Norman: So what's tang, Guy?
Guy: [barely able to speak] Let me put it this way, Norm; only one person at this table has a tang.
Norman: [looks confused]
Pixie: [raises her hand from below table, still shaking with laughter]
Jimmy Ray: Nice way to single out your woman, there, Guy.
Guy: Hey! No one's allowed to sexually harass my wife but me!
Entire table, including Norman: WAAA----HAHAAAAAAA!!!

Later at work, Norman was still in the dark about the definition of 'tang'. Elliot offered to come over to Norman's desk, which is right beside mine, to explain, and Norman accepted.
"I'm not listening to this; I'm putting on my headphones," I said as Elliot walked over. "Y'all are like my older brothers, and I cannot listen to you say the word."
I put on my headphones and cranked Staind for ten seconds. Then, I took off my headphones and turned around in time to see Elliot walking away from Norman's desk.
"Don't worry," Norman said. "He kept it clinical."


faded said...

Oh I have a story from college. This story needs a red warning before you read any further. If you are easily offended close the window.

When I was in collage one of my friends was a girl from Hawaii. She was sweet, beautiful, and absolutely innocent of the ways of the world. On the day of the story she was part of a group of five people who were riding in a car. I forget where we were going, but the radio was on and was playing a tune by Manfred Mann's dirt band. I think the tune was called The Runner or Runner in the Night. The song is about a guys' first sexual encounter with a girl. The song describes the guy's reaction as "... shook up like a douche, a runner in the night..." Well our Hawaiian friend is listening to the song and asks, "What's a douche?" Everybody went dead silent for 10 seconds and then conversation resumed like nothing had happened. Nobody had the courage to tell her what it meant, the slang definition or the actual definition.

Mile High Pixie said...

Iknow the song you're thinking of, Faded. It's "Blinded By the Light" by Manfred Mann, and the line is "revved up like a deuce/ another runner in the night" but it totally sounds like he's saying "douche."

"What's a douche?" Baahahahaaaaa!

Miss Kitty said...


[gasping for air]

I'll never look at a container of Tang the same way again. At least it's portable that way. :-P