Friday, April 04, 2008

Name calling in Latvia

It isn’t often that an important politician visits our corner of the Congo. I make haste to the safari guesthouse on learning that the interior minister of Latvia has arrived. For those of you who’ve been neglecting affairs in the Baltics, Mr Mareks Seglins has been ordered by his president to tour the world on a “cultural sensitivity” sabbatical. This is to atone for his racist outburst at the behaviour of British tourists in Riga, who urinated on a hallowed monument of his nation.

“Those English pigs!” he fulminated. “They are a dirty, hoggish people!”

I find Mr Seglins sitting by himself at the far end of the bar, sipping his drink as inconspicuously as one can. He looks surprised when I greet him by name, his eyes darting suspiciously around the room.

“How you know my name, Gorilla?” he asks.

“I have been following events in your country, Sir. As one who has been pissed on by monkeys from great heights, let me assure you that I understand your anger.”

“You call the monkeys ‘pigs’?” he inquires.

“No indeed, Sir, calling them monkeys is insult enough. Perhaps the next time a British tourist passes water on one of your landmarks you should call him a dog rather than a pig. For it is actually dogs who are most inclined to relieve themselves on objets d’art. Furthermore, this epithet is much less offensive to the British, who are a nation of dog lovers.”

“Next time I call him ‘bastid son of dog’!” he says with a wicked grin.

I accept his compromise and wish him a pleasant stay.

I’m pleased to say that the British tourists I’ve observed on safari have generally behaved impeccably. The manager’s theory is that the cost of these tours keeps out the riff-raff, but I tut-tut such snobbish conjectures. My hunch is that their laudable conduct arises from being placed in small, mixed-nationality groups. This makes them keen to avoid incidents that would cause foreigners to snigger at them behind their backs. In addition, the only grand monuments outside the safari camp are elephants, who are difficult creatures to pee on and apt to hold grudges against those who attempt to do so.

The root cause of the Latvian incident appears to have been over-consumption of alcohol, once described by a Presbyterian minister as “poison from the udders of the cloven-hoofed beast”. Perhaps British tourists should be asked to tick a box, on arrival at their destination, indicating whether wanton intoxication is an objective of their visit. If so, they might be offered accommodation in a gated resort packed with night clubs selling cut-price booze, and restaurants serving wholesome dishes such as egg-and-chips, curry-and-chips, and possibly beaver-and-chips for the more adventurous. Needless to say, the public spaces would be peppered with fountains and sculptures that could serve as open-air urinals.

Should tourists be viewed as ambassadors for their country, as the Latvian minister appears to believe? If one compares humans with crocodiles, it is obvious that the reptiles are far better at representing their species, as they are uniform in their habits and rarely behave out of character. The human population, on the other hand, is subdivided into many strains, including a sizeable contingent of buttheads who rejoice in advertising their coarser traits. Life would be so much simpler if these people were given a country of their own, in the broad open heartlands of Greenland or Siberia. Until such time, the hapless Latvians will have to get used to holding their tongues and washing their public monuments with a powerful detergent.

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As the owner of a dog, you are exactly right with the advice. I made the mistake of leaving my shoes outside yesterday and my son came in to tell me that the dog had peed into them. More than detergent was needed.

Why like dogs do men feel the need to pee against things?
"In addition, the only grand monuments outside the safari camp are elephants, who are difficult creatures to pee on and apt to hold grudges against those who attempt to do so."

Sometimes, Mr Bananas, you teach even me things! I don't think anyone who reads this blog could have been aware of the general temprement of elephants towards urinating on until now. You've saved hundreds of people from having to find out the hard way.
I believe the condition which causes British gentlemen to urinate all over foreign monuments is called 'travelling in continents'.
If the United States of America had as diplomatic but firm representative on the world stage, I believe we wouldn't be in the dire straits we are ... but a Butthead is in charge :(
Life would be so much simpler if these people were given a country of their own, in the broad open heartlands of Greenland or Siberia.

Isn't that what was once called a "gulag"? And didn't they determine those to be "cruel"? Well...maybe just in Siberia...but I don't imagine Greenlanders will be keen on sharing their small amount of livable space with public pissers. Call it a hunch.
Wow, a special little area just for drinking tourists? A place for cheap booze? A place where I can urinate wherever I want? I'd be there every weekend.

The picture of "Urinating Man" looks like he had monkeys passing water on him (as well) for he is all wet.
Regarding tourists as "ambassadors for their country" is even more daft as having the Royal Family as ambassadors for their country!

Regretably, there appears to be more and more livable space for pissers in Greenland with every global warming report that one hears.

...travelling in continents... another good one, your lordship :-)
Sometimes, Mr Bananas, I suspect you're just taking the piss.
Misssy: Anyone can get caught short, including dogs, but only a few untermenchen like to make a public exhibition of it.

Mr Guru: Sharing knowledge is my prime objective. If I can save just one person from getting flattened by an elephant my life's work will be vindicated.

Lord Likely: That's a pun to empty any man's bladder!

Letty: Hah! I assume you'll be voting for the candidates of the Democratic Party this November.

Kara: A gulag is what you make of it, Missy. Piss is a good fertiliser, so they might get a few crops growing.

Secret Agent: I hope you'll resist the temptation to visit such places. Work hard and honour your parents, young man!

Gadjo: You tend to view the first people you encounter of a particular nation as archetypes. You are the second Romanian who has commented here - I am beginning to think you are a nation of intellectuals.

Kyknoord: Taking it, but not spraying it around!
Heh, you are right and then so very wrong - we are a nation of sheep-bothering larrikins with very silly hats!
Hats off to Lord Likely for that fine pun.

I'd love to see a separate nation for boorish fellows who behave like louts and pee indiscriminately, and Greenland gets my vote. Though having said that, my husband once, by complete accident, watered a Sudanese flagpole and almost got himself shot. I'd hate to think of him cooling his heels in Greenland along with all of those yobos.
I note the behavior came during so-called "stag weekends." Of course, this is similar to what transpires here in Las Vegas, although that Nevada city has turned it's reputation into an advertising slogan, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." I would suggest the Rigans do the same thing -- perhaps get a few Elvis impersonators and wedding chapels, etc. Once they're making a lot of money off of misbehavior, their tune will change, I'll wager.

We had Latvian's move into our block. The mum sent us a lovely home made Xmas card.

The lad in the picture looks like her boy. He plays loud music when his parents are out.

Hmm, calling them pigs sounds reasonable enough (although to different people, it might be taken as a compliment... my ex's pet name for the 'other girl' was 'pig', and she called him the same thing...)
If you can't wee on something, it's not worth building.
Gadjo: It seems you have much in common with the Welsh. No wonder you are friends with Mr Boyo.

Mary: It's a good thing he wasn't in a position to water the flag! I think you're allowed one accidental pee before getting sent to the polar regions.

Randall: Would you believe Madam Jahooni has just returned from Las Vegas quoting that very proverb? But I bet their visitors have cleverer ways of making whoopee than pissing on monuments.

Duke of Marby: Try complaining to his mother. If that doesn't work, pull his ears off.

Eve: Damn your ex for running off with a pig! I think he must like fat girls. Send them acorns for their wedding present!

Kieran: I'll remember you said that when you join the property-owning classes. Your weeing days will soon be over, boy.
Mr Bananas - I thought that British tourists already have a place where 'wanton intoxication' is indeed the objective of their visits - they call it 'the British holiday camp' do they not?? I've always assumed that is where it is chips and chips, cut price booze, and it's actually rude not to piss all over each other .....
or why else does anyone go there?
Heheheheh! :-) That works! :D
There is a place in Austria named 'Fucking'. Apparently drunken Britishers are always pinching various offical notices. The Mayor has been heard to utter "I wish the British would stop stealing our Fucking signs'.

It is an ambition of mine to visit one day - just to see the signs for myself. Though I shan't, of course, be stealing any.

Letty: Hah! I assume you'll be voting for the candidates of the Democratic Party this November.

You assume right, good sir! Yes, they're Republican Lite in many ways, but at least their candidates don't have issues with grammar, proper enunciation, and don't campaign against uppity women who don't want "Christian"-style Sharia laws imposed on them, women like yours truly ;D
The thought of beaver and chips made me laugh. I'm sure someone has tried that. And roadkill mixed grill.
Perhaps Latvia would do well to put some signs up - in English - that say, "Warning! Do not pee on me!" This would let British and other anglo travellers know that the object of their urinary desire is no mere fountain, but a monument.

If the signs catch on, the "don't pee on me" slogan could be sold on merchandise and really help tourism in general. "What a great shirt, I would like to visit such a hip country." Because honestly, how many people go to Latvia normally? Most people barely make it into Lithuania before turning around.
I've never actually met The Estimable Boyo, my Gorilla friend, but I'll be mates with anyone who puts up with me! Yes, Transylvania is like Wales - but much less sinister.

I think the only solution is to keep a steady current of about 2000 volts flowing these monuments from 10pm-4am.
Mzungu chick: You mean like Butlins? Do such places still exist? Pissing on foreign soil seems to be the modern fashion.

Kitty: I did hear about that. Obviously they should make extra road signs and sell them to English tourists.

Letty: I would break the bones of any man who tried to put a burka on you, Miss. I assume you prefer ass-hugging jeans?

Joanne: I'm glad you picked up on that because it made me laugh too. What vegetables would go with roadkill mixed grill I wonder?

Chrisv82: "Don't pee on me" would be a great title for a holiday song like "Viva Espana!" People would think it was about water sports rather than it's more innocent subject matter. Is there a lyricist here?

Gadjo: Perhaps he'll visit you soon. He seems to favour the former Soviet Empire for his travels.
If tourists are ambassadors for their country, what do you make of Australians?
I would suggest Brussels, where the most famous monument is a little boy peeing in the street. Although it would mean I would have to move to Antwerp.
In Ottawa at the War Memorial- we had several nut jobs pee on the memorial of the Fallen Solider. They made the mistake of taping the offense and were surprised they got arrested.
Daph's right. These perennially peeing little boy statues are a peculiar phenomenon. But hell, that Brussels one's asking for a good peeing on if he's just standing there bold as brass letting it all out.

I think some sort of electrified statue protection might work. Pee being an excellent conductor of electricity, the circuit could be closed teaching the public pee-er a singed lesson he won't soon forget. A short sharp shock, if you will.
My home town has just installed ugly grey plastic pissoirs for the use of passing football hooligans.

If they can't hold it in themselves between the pub and the stadium they've no right to be drinking in the first place. I'd rather my tax pound was being spent on supergluing clothes pegs to their end pieces rather than on plastic pissoirs.
Rosanna: Australians? They're a sober self-effacing bunch!

Lady Daphne: A clever preemptive defence mechanism. Who would want to piss on a monument that pisses back?

Tarf: The easiest criminals to catch are the ones who are proud of their crime.

Sam: It would teach him a lesson, but might also leave him incontinent.

Kevin: Their bladders might burst if you do that. I'd rather make them wear nappies.
"Life would be so much simpler if these people were given a country of their own..." It would be a country made up of men only.
Clea has obviously never met Miss Jungly Jane !
Mr Bananas one can be forgiven for relieving oneself behind the local landmarks rather than subject oneself to the horrors of continental plumbing
Are all British men evil?
Just wondering.
British men just like marking their territory - wherever they may be. It's as simple as that.
Clea: I wish it were true, but the new ladette aims to match all aspects of male depravity.

Beast: Peeing outdoors is no sin if you choose a secluded woodland. Otherwise, it's nappy time.

Sigourney: Indeed not, Miss, Dr Whipsnade is British! You have to learn to identify the gentlemen!

Mrs Cake: Like dogs, as I said.
It seems the reputation of the British abroad remains undimmed. I wonder whether there is some kind of post-empiric fervour that drives the souls of these people to upset foreigners on their own soil.
actually this raises an interesting point...why is it okay for dogs to pee everywhere and not humans? I would argue that dog piss smells worse.

I think you can tell I am not much of a dog lover
I don't blame the dude for calling them that at all!!! Humans should really learn to behave..intoxicated or not.

It is certainly becoming more apparent that animals are the more cultured species :p
why can't you already know when i'm about to be tooling around on the stupid internets, looking for amusement unable to sleep and post me a bedtime story? and it's even monday or whatever. nevermind, i can't be bothered to remember your posting schedule. i'm gonna go back to cable. just know that i'm disappointed.
Latvia, one of those Rorschach-blobby countries with a dodgy Nazi past. I visited once, and thought it a runtish Germany short on hills. Still, they deserve better than English bladder-grafitti on their sacra.

Gadjo is right about Transylvania being Wales with a human face. There's a marketing slogan for their tourism board straight away.
Mr R.Sherman, fantastic idea, yes, please let there be a Latvian Elvis!!!

NGB, marketing slogans for tourism boards:

Transylvania: Wales with a human face
Wales: England with face-ache
England: Transylvania, shit-faced
Mosha: I'm not convinced they have sufficient historical knowledge for such an attitude.

Emma: Dogs are treated like babies without nappies. I have next to no respect for them.

Sabrina: You have no mercy for men who spray their pee, do you? The president of Latvia condemned his remarks, which was very statesmanlike of him.

Kara: Such impatience! Next time I'll order you a cup of cocoa if you give me your address.

Mr Boyo: I thought Transylvania would be like Wales with an un-dead face.

Gadjo: My friend, you've got a next to impossible job on your hands to change the image of your part of the world. I wish you well.
what marvellous ambassadors these brits are when they go on the piss, literally, in the baltics. our latvian cousins must be delighted with the collapse of communism, the opening of their borders, and the ensuing emptying of bladders. and they call this progress....
Omg! Am I the only normal thinking homo sapiens here?
Do you really think that peeing on latvian symbol of liberty is normal??? We(baltic states) went for freedom for about 200 years, but in GB you don't know anything about communism, about the murders what soviet regime did, about banishments e.t.c. You have been free for hundreds/thousands of years and generations. For latvians the statue of liberty is a reminder about the past, which they see every single day of their lifetimes. For them it's a treasure, which they guard and which is holy thing for them.

And now, when i'm so angry and disappointed (and until now i tried to be polite) i have to say, that those british tourists who pee on the statue of libert in Riga are not normal. The are not "English pigs", "they are not a dirty, hoggish people", and not even "bastid sons of dogs", they are worst that every single intellectual living being of this planet.

P.S. Next I'll see some friend from latvia, i'll propose to pee next to the Bekingems palace! Would you thing that's norml??? But, no, we, baltians, are better than you are, and we would never go so far and we would never profane your holiness.
Mr Estonian, you have misunderstood this article and the comments. No one defended the tourists who urinated on the Latvian monument. The gorilla called them "buttheads" and said they should be sent to live in Greenland. His remarks about the Latvian minister were meant to be humorous.
Ok, I now it was mean to be humorous, bet it doesn't change the fact, that he really did pee on the statue or liberty, and that already about 10 more GB tourists have done the same.
Nah, regarding all that "we came to Liberty about 200 years and you know nothing about Soviet regime..." - please do not listen to this childish nonsence! THere is NO any Liberty in Latvia now. In Soviet time it was good developed republic, with education, medicine free of charge,people had granted work, cheep flats, and lived MUCH better than now! Masters from Brussellex totally ruined all the industry in Latvia, it has no more its own factories, supermarkets, agreeculture is completely destroyed. The monumebt of Liberty is like bad joke, standing in the centre of the capital of country, left by thousands of its inhabitants because of powerty, low salaries and stupid laws. All that Latvians have - the Dancing Holiday in time of deep economical crysis, the goverment builds the library called "Castle of Light" for millions of lats, in the meantime there is lack of schools, kindergardens in the country, financial crysis, criminal is activated. People suffers in powerty, but politicans do nothing but deal with propaganda of perverted history, they lie to their own children, writing in the school books that the Salaspils, camp of death, never existed as camp of death, but it was just a labour camp. Plenty of rubbish things they are doing, annoying Russia, which feeds them with her arms, and everything. The monument of Liberty...ha ha, have you ever seen the real Liberty in Latvia???
When the independence was proclamed, they were happy like children, but they did nothing to build a good strong Republic. They sold their liberty to EU by themselves, and now british yankee can come and urinate at the monument, showig their attetude to Latvia and its hollow things. Of course they behaving piggishly, and I wonder how English gentlemen can do like that, but the problem is much deeper than looks like.
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