Greetings From Ho-Land, Part Eight

Hello, faithful Culturebot readers. In case you’ve 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: It’s from Kitsch Kitchen. That’s 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, I’m going to edit this later, because I am NOT going to come off as just some bitchy fag.

Rachel: You’re 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?

Rachel: Okay.

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”. That’s a direct quote.

Bj: It’s 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. Let’s try a little word association.

Bj: Okay.

Rachel: I say a word, you say what it makes you think of.
Bj: Penis!

Rachel: Bj.

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. You’ve 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 don’t 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: There’s a hole in the dike! I just think that’s really funny, okay? Like, to hear someone’s 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 Ciska’s personhood. Ciska is our friend Arjen’s mom, and a viable person in her own right. She’s amazing.

Bj: You know Rachel, a thought just occurred to me. Maybe we should say something about our ‘friends’. You know, those people who don’t have the human decency to return a fucking e-mail. I’m not going to name names or anything.

Rachel: If she were sleeping with you, she’d write you back.

Bj: Somehow, I’d rather be on the lonely end of a communiqué than on the friendly end of her wiles.

Rachel: I can’t believe that you just wrote that I said that! Bj!

Bj: You did say that, and I’m putting it in here. It’s like my boss at the ACLU used to say, “We really have to change the office culture.” Like the culture where our friends think it’s ‘okay’ not to write back, because we’re ‘friends.’ Or the culture where it’s not okay to say what you mean, because it’s not ‘nice’ or ‘polite.’

Rachel: You’re using my column to conduct a personal vendetta. I won’t have it.

Bj: Honey, you’re the one typing.

Rachel: I’m letting you have the upper-hand in this conversation. I’m letting you. That’s 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. I’m suffering here, and you’re exploiting me. It’s not my fault that I’m AFFILICTED! First, I’m whining about my GI Tract too much, and now you’re brazenly disabusing my name in print by claiming that I farted. Which I didn’t. That was you, and you know it little Ms. Lactose Intolerance. There’s no way you’re gonna tell me that doesn’t reek of undigested milk sugars.

(Rachel emits three rapid farts.)

Rachel: Okay. I may have just farted, but you totally farted first. Don’t be so bourgeois.

Bj: That’s my line!

Rachel: Not today it isn’t, little Miss Cooing-Over-Swans-And-Succulent-Plants. Bj, you’re the one who taught us to be unashamed to fart. Be proud to pass gas. You’ve taught us all. It’s part of your legacy, your gift. You’ve given so much to so many of us who had never known gastrointestinal freedom until we met you. And isn’t 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.)


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