Greetings From Ho-Land, Part Eight
Hello, faithful Culturebot readers. In case youve been getting a little bored with my typical format of pretending to talk about theater and instead talking solely about myself and how I manage to embarrass myself in front of Dutch people, I have thoughtfully provided something a little different for you this week. My dear friend and colleague, Bj Lockhart, nee Billy John Lockhart of Ft. Worth, TX, has come to visit me in rainy Amsterdam. After an associate commented on the singular depth of our conversations here, I have decided to transcribe one of particular profundity for you thirsty and voyeuristic scholars.
Bj: Okay, but can we talk about how fabulous my new wallet is? Can we talk about that for a second?
Rachel: I think that should be your first line.
Bj: Its from Kitsch Kitchen. Thats on the Rozengracht. Or Rozenkrackkkkkgggghhgh or however you say it.
Rachel: Maybe we should talk about all the Dutch things we did today.
Bj: Okay. We did some fucking cool Dutch things today. But listen, Im going to edit this later, because I am NOT going to come off as just some bitchy fag.
Rachel: Youre not going to come off as just some bitchy fag.
Bj: Um, my first line had the word fabulous in it. Fabulous as a modifier for an accessory. Do you want a little kitten sticker on your computer?
Bj: Look how cute that is. I would say we did more than simply cool Dutch things today.
Rachel: You just said we did some fucking cool Dutch things today. Thats a direct quote.
Bj: Its important not to be overly simplistic in the media. So, to elaborate, I would like to say that we really got down to the heart of Dutch History, and Dutch Culture, delving into the evolutionary pressures which have shaped the people of North Holland into the hardy, practical, and fun loving northern Europeans that they are. Thus uncovering the roots of the Dutch Tourist Trade: wooden shoes, Gouda, windmills, and pot.
Rachel: Indeed. Indeed. Well put. Lets try a little word association.
Rachel: I say a word, you say what it makes you think of.
Bj: I was just practicing. Wait, Rachel! I did NOT say that! Stop trying to make me sound like a fag!!!
Rachel: Okay. Word association. Holland.
Bj: Wooden shoes.
Rachel: Anything else?
Bj: Gouda. Windmills. Pot.
Rachel: Very good. Youve just proved your own theory.
Bj: Precisely. That which we impose on others is what we see manifested in ourselves.
Rachel: Thank you, Dr. Freud. And so ends the psychoanalytical section of our column.
Bj: But you cannot forget the vital role that the young and noble Hans Brinker plays in the Dutch Psyche. As he is a source of Dutch and Not-so-Dutch creative artists alike, you must not deprive your readers of the knowledge of so worthy a subject, so near and dear to your heart.
Rachel: Ah. Brave little Brinker. Ah. Some say he is the little boy that valiantly saved his village from a devastating flood by inserting his finger in a leaky dijk (dike) and remaining there until the brawny men of the village could stem her mighty flow. Men! Manly men! Men together!
Bj: Men! Loving together. Laughing together. Living. Sharing. Men!
Rachel: Men! Hewing timber! Performing acts of masonry! Freeing their creations from great blocks of wood and stone!
Bj: Can we talk about my joke about the dike with one hole?
Rachel: Men! What joke?
Bj: Remember, in the car? I said, oh I dont remember. Like how all dykes have at least one hole.
Rachel: Well, they all have a lot more than one hole. I mean, they all have ears, and a mouth and a nose
Bj: Theres a hole in the dike! I just think thats really funny, okay? Like, to hear someones mom say that? Oh, I almost forgot. We need to give a shout out to Ciska.
Rachel: I affirm with some kind of positive comment about Ciskas personhood. Ciska is our friend Arjens mom, and a viable person in her own right. Shes amazing.
Bj: You know Rachel, a thought just occurred to me. Maybe we should say something about our friends. You know, those people who dont have the human decency to return a fucking e-mail. Im not going to name names or anything.
Rachel: If she were sleeping with you, shed write you back.
Bj: Somehow, Id rather be on the lonely end of a communiqué than on the friendly end of her wiles.
Rachel: I cant believe that you just wrote that I said that! Bj!
Bj: You did say that, and Im putting it in here. Its like my boss at the ACLU used to say, We really have to change the office culture. Like the culture where our friends think its okay not to write back, because were friends. Or the culture where its not okay to say what you mean, because its not nice or polite.
Rachel: Youre using my column to conduct a personal vendetta. I wont have it.
Bj: Honey, youre the one typing.
Rachel: Im letting you have the upper-hand in this conversation. Im letting you. Thats how generous I am.
(Bj emits a loud fart.)
Bj: (fluttering his hands to dissipate the smell) Oh, terrible. Terrible. Wait! Did you just write about my fart? How dare you this is really the last straw. Im suffering here, and youre exploiting me. Its not my fault that Im AFFILICTED! First, Im whining about my GI Tract too much, and now youre brazenly disabusing my name in print by claiming that I farted. Which I didnt. That was you, and you know it little Ms. Lactose Intolerance. Theres no way youre gonna tell me that doesnt reek of undigested milk sugars.
(Rachel emits three rapid farts.)
Rachel: Okay. I may have just farted, but you totally farted first. Dont be so bourgeois.
Bj: Thats my line!
Rachel: Not today it isnt, little Miss Cooing-Over-Swans-And-Succulent-Plants. Bj, youre the one who taught us to be unashamed to fart. Be proud to pass gas. Youve taught us all. Its part of your legacy, your gift. Youve given so much to so many of us who had never known gastrointestinal freedom until we met you. And isnt that the true meaning of Holland?
Bj: What is?
Rachel: Freedom, Bj. Those of us who are genetically unable to digest dairy enzymes can eat all the cheese we want and be unabashed by the consequences. We are free to be flatulent. Freedom, Bj, freedom. At last, we are free.
Bj: (blinking back tears) Freedom. Rachel, welcome home.
Rachel: Welcome home, Bj. Welcome home.
(They stare out at the windmills on the horizon as the breeze tousles their gorgeous flaxen hair.)