reede, mai 04, 2012

joo, joo, joo

Terviseks!
Ma tean miks välismaa mehed meeldivad eesti naistele. Nad ei joo. "I know why Estonian women prefer foreign men. They don't drink." So professed an older woman to me yesterday morning. I wondered, was it really true? Those who have known me know that there are two Giustinos, one who is sober 99 percent of the time, and the other who is trashed 1 percent of the time. But that 1 percent is bad news, it's self perpetuating, it's a real Mr. Hyde kind of situation, once I get going ...

Then when it's all over I swear never to drink again, which is why the bottle of Bailey's my sister-in-law brought me for Christmas is still sitting on the kitchen shelf. I may imbibe some limoncello from time to time, but for the most part, I put most of my wine in the tomato sauce. "I don't drink because I don't have time," I told the older woman. "Well, see," she said. "You foreign men don't have time to drink."

I don't think she's right. I know plenty of relatively sober, responsible local males. But it's true, I don't drink that much. This is probably because, as I have aged, I have witnessed the deleterious effects of alcohol on fellow human beings. Some have real health problems, others just balloon up. Either way, it's pretty obvious that it shortens one's lifespan. Public authorities alert us to this all the time, but we tend to ignore it, look right past those signs that say, "Drinking is bad for your health." But it is! Those signs are actually correct!

I am not going to start any temperance campaigns here in Estonia. I have already pissed off enough people. But that impulse is there. Driving my niece home one morning, I passed a group of men sitting outside a supermarket drinking beers. "Oh look, the drunks are already out ..." I said. "What makes you think they are drunks?" she asked. "They are men drinking beer outside a store at 10:30 on a Sunday morning," I said. "That means that a) they couldn't wait until they got home to drink and b) they couldn't even make it until lunch without a beer. What else do you call such people? They are drunks."

This reminds me of a conversation I had with my brother's middle-aged bachelor friend about the film Smokey and the Bandit. He has a TV in his car so that he can watch Burt Reynolds (the bandit) escape Jackie Gleason (the sheriff) while he drives around town. In the film, the very cute runaway bride Sally Field hops a ride with Reynolds. "She's so cute!" I told my brother's friend."She's a slut," he answered. "No she's not!" I protested. "She's Sally Field. She's the flying nun. The flying nun is no slut." "Let's get this straight," my brother's friend said. "She's a woman who ran away from her husband-to-be and is now riding around with Burt Reynolds, who is a criminal," he said. They he nodded to himself and repeated the verdict, "She's a slut."

Crass? Sure. Misogynistic? Perhaps. But my brother's friend taught me something that day. Sometimes we have to just call things what they are. And even if they haven't descended to the lowest rung of drunkenness, those guys outside the store are not normal. I wouldn't catch one of the fathers of my daughters' friends hanging outside a store on a Sunday morning drinking. And could you imagine if it was me drinking out there? What would they call Giustino? You know exactly what they would say. He's a drunk!  

I told my niece that morning of my secret plan, to round up all of Estonia's alcoholics and deport them to Piirissaar, that tiny spot of land in the middle of Lake Peipsi. "I will be a bonding experience," I said. "They can all dry out together!" But she spotted the hole in my sinister plan immediately. "But Piirissaar is so small," she said. "I don't think they would all fit."

25 kommentaari:

Skeptigirl ütles ...

I find my language skills are rather stretched as I attempt to figure out what to click on for comment.
I had similar feelings working security at my church on Vappu night (May 1). It was during a three hour prayer meeting and before seven o'clock I was already chasing off men and women who were urinating on the church steps. I really wished I could have borrowed the maintnance man's pressure washer and fired at their private bits because it was constant and annoying and gross.

Temesta ütles ...

I have visited Estonia regularly the last four years and since March I'm really living here. Only then did I become aware of the staggering amount of drunks that walk around in Tartu. But maybe I am a bit biased because I live very close to Herne Pood.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Strange isn't it? Estonian men have been drinking heavily like that for generations by now, and somehow, on the average their daughters still manage to come out prettier than ... say ... of those dead sober Mormons in Utah, or Amish in Pennsylvania, or just regular WASP girls in New England and elsewhere. Everyone is so sober and ... so ... hmm ... ok, I'll be nice and so ... "below average."

I am just saying ...

Kristopher ütles ...

Early May in the tri-city area around my farm (Räpina, Põlva, Värska) seemed pretty grim. One in two adult males shit-faced, I'd say, but it might have been a bad time and bad day.

Kristopher ütles ...

In any case, Piirisaar - too close to the tri-city area. Almost the ol' backyard. I would be able to hear the clatter of the cattle cars rolling SE, especially when the trees aren't in leaf.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

I have a dream ...

I see Estonia where all drunks have turned from avid drinkers into avid golfers.

I see a land of cut grass and serene vistas with beautiful people having beatiful time. When not golfing, they'd be having boat parties at the yacht clubs at the numberous marinas dotting the shorelines of lake Peipus and along the entire western seacoast including the islands.

I see Estonia, where Marko Martin has taken up polo and his fans have followed him. This has casued the traffic on the roads to no longer resemble a time trial.

I see Estonia where people smile a lot, look at you in the eyes and speak in full sentences without "noh", "pohh", "nii" and "davai".

I have a dream ...

Skeptigirl ütles ...

Really Liivimaa parim ratsutaja? Utah's Mormon women are widely reputed to be hawt but crazy. I lived there and it is largely true, as much as any stereotype can be when based purely on personal opinion and biased observation. Interesting fact: Unlike Amish, Mormon women wear make up. They are drastically different. On the otherhand I fail to see what paternal drinking has to do with the looks of their offspring, strange genetic concept.

I am just saying...

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

That is what I am saying - strange. One would expect to see more negative effect.

Or are you saying, it does not matter, keep on drinking folks? It is all good for ya.

Christine ütles ...

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja:
I rarly comment here but I couldn't help myself. I was stunned to read your simplistic comments about Mormon, Amish and New England woman here in America. According to you whats important is that decades of drunken Estonian men continue to produce "pretty Estonian women".
The "drunk culture " in Estonia impacts even me. When my 8 year old granddaughter asks me, if a group of boys standing outside the Gelato store here at 2 in the afternoon are drinking beer. I can't help but think that pretty women or not this is not a place that I want my very pretty Italian/ Irish/ German/ English/Estonian granddaughter to grow up in.

Kristopher ütles ...

Indeed. There's even a Soviet poster from the 1940s aimed at veterans, reading roughly: "It feels like fire, but it's good for the motherland, and it will make your unborn daughters more beautiful." It's better in the original.

The Soviets were wrong about many things, but made the crucial discovery: introduce alcohol into a man's body and the "bad" sperm -- the "fighters", the ones with various pieces missing -- will all suck up the ethanol greedily and be out of commission. That allows the good seed to proceed to the target with a lot less competition and damage.

Skeptigirl ütles ...

Kristopher, WTF.

Christine ütles ...

Kristopher WTF
Agreed !

The only thing that Alcohol produces is children with fetal alcohol syndrome...

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

You see. Kristopher, some jokes just fall flat and what are you gonna do? That is why stand up comedy is so challenging. You can say the funniest thing and point out the tuest truth, but you still get booed off the stage.

Oy, vey.

Some people you just cannot reach... The worst thing is when you have to explain your jokes. Better let it go and roll with the punches. Aim lower next time or something.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Christine. I know it can be annoying and I should know it better by now, but I still lapse back to the old world habit of talking backwards. Making my points by saying diametrically opposite things to what I mean. For example, In the new world, when somebody calls you smart, the actually mean it, in Europe, it is an insult.

Christine ütles ...

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles...
"Some people you just cannot reach... The worst thing is when you have to explain your jokes. Better let it go and roll with the punches. Aim lower next time or something"
6:40 AM
*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
Perhaps you should consider aiming higher...
Or perhaps it is that there wasn't anything very funny about the topic.

Rainer ütles ...

Let's face it - LPR's special brand of cynical, nihilist humour is an acquired taste.

Kristopher ütles ...

Stand-up probably takes about 10 times more time and effort than typing. No one remembers bad stand-up, but all of my bad jokes are not-so-lovingly preserved forever in cyberspace going back to 2007.

But the Soviet campaign to encourage fathers (NB: not mothers) to drink is real, of course. At least I think it is. It's unclear. I once typed a blog entry about Estonians being taken hostage and guess what happened a couple weeks later? Giustino wrote about the Russians invading Georgia and a couple weeks later what happened?

Kristopher ütles ...

God only knows what LPR has wrought with his humor and comments here. Probably entire galaxies have collapsed at the far edge of the universe, an advanced civilization of warlike Amazonians is heading to invade earth at this moment...

Skeptigirl ütles ...

I don't think that this humoristic misunderstanding is about culture but text. Had you made your joke in person I am reasonably sure most of us would have known it was a joke. Wether we would have found it funny is another issue and would probably be culturally tied. Us knowing you were joking was probably more an internet vs. IRL thing not culture thing.

Kristopher ütles ...

Somehow I don't think any of us are going to meet LPR IRL.

Spawnie ütles ...

Kristopher ütles...
Somehow I don't think any of us are going to meet LPR IRL.

But we're at least allowed to still dream of it, aren't we?


And it's funny. I had the exact same argument with an acquaintance of mine. I claim that sarcasm is easily detectable online, too, he claims the opposite. We never reached an agreement on the topic.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

I've heard a saying, Irony is the Devil's handmaid.

Dancing with her is exciting, but dangerous.

Maybe because you'll be stepping on a whole lotta slower toes out there.

People don't get it.

I'd be angry too ...

Saying one thing, meaning the other ... WTF?

Right?

Often times my four year old looks as at me quizzically, going, "are you tricking me, Dad?"

And then I have to explain myself, of course which I don't mind. It reminds me to shoo away that proverbial handmaid, the Harlot of Confusion. After all I should be able to find strength and teach a child without taxing his mind and sense of humour too much. What's he gonna learn if I talk backwards?

I know, there will be a payback. One day he'll be talking backwards to me. Maybe he'll mock my flaming geezer fashion style ... Dad I like how you manage to pull your pants so high. A bit more and you'd be able to put your bowtie on your belt buckle ...

Even if my fraying mind will prevent me to fully comprehend his punch lines, I will know that he means well and that he loves me.

My own nihilism probably stems from my utter and fundamental love for the world and everything GOOD in it.

It's all for love.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

BTW, Kristopher. If we'd ever meet IRL (which I'd love to), I would vehemently deny of being associated with the LPR.

I am a troll. Being invisible is everything in this role.

ontheway ütles ...

If this would be a Facebook post, I would click Like.

aftab ütles ...

We doing that since 1997, We welcome to all of you, Best safe place try that
http://goo.gl/tQO3q