Category Archives: English language posts

The breakdancing dog

It’s a tough contest but if I had to say which animal made me laugh the hardest, the honour would go to a dog I had when I was little, Fia the Doberman pinscher. It used to be quite common in Slovenia for parents to let their small children keep big animals. I suppose they hoped such a responsibility would instil some wisdom in either the kids or the pets, not to mention the added benefit of having would-be child molesters reconsider their life choices after losing a limb to a protective pet.

(Admittedly, keeping a dog wasn’t always the complicated affair it’s cranked up to be nowadays, as pooches used to have a set of clearly-defined duties – to chaperone the children, to protect the house, to abstain from mauling people without due cause and to refrain from passing gas indoors – which gave them a sense of purpose, and effectively prevented the likes of Cesar Milan from making a career trying to talk some sense into people who don’t know what a dog is for and what to do with it.)

In the rural areas where parents continue to expect their children to be smart enough to make it in the world without grown-ups constantly shielding them from all potential sources of harm, you can still see tots leading huge dogs, horses, cattle and whatnot, and when they’re not doing that they’re likely driving a tractor. From what I gather from my recent explorations of the Slovenian countryside, the age of eight is still considered ideal for country children to start operating heavy machinery. Anyway, my Fia was super clever about many things, a keen student of human nature and an astute exploiter of its soft spots, but like so many animals she tended to come up short when met with certain pitfalls of physics. Continue reading The breakdancing dog

The levitating guinea pig

It’s not just people who get blindsided by their lack of common sense on an entertainingly regular basis. Animals, especially pets, seem to exhibit the same trait to the extent it makes me worry they might have caught it from us. I can’t help but think that one of the reasons that humanity developed such a penchant for scoffing at the consequences of one’s foolhardiness was the instant smartening-up effect that open ridicule seems to have on imprudent creatures, be they human or not. Have you ever laughed hard at your pet after it’s done something dim-witted, just to be dumbfounded by the animal proceeding to deliver its best impression of indignation and resentment as if it knew it was being mocked? Well if you haven’t, you’ve either never had a pet or you’ve fallen behind in your ability to recognise a valid cue for laughter, which may be something you should be looking into if you wish to make the best of the time you were given.

I’m far from unique in the fact that I keep guinea pigs, but those of you who share my bliss of having them as pets, have you ever seen one of them levitate? Well I have and here’s how it happened… Continue reading The levitating guinea pig

Stuff that can happen only to me: Accidentally assaulting your own forehead

The second I let my guard down I become prone to having highly unusual stuff happen to me, ranging from outright embarrassing to downright pathetic. It’s not all that bad really as accomplished klutzes like me seem to have the power to draw quite a fan base, which leaves me with the hope that I’ll make a name for myself someday. My best shot at fame is probably the Darwin Awards website.

My special talents became evident quite early. When I was little but big enough to swing an axe – those were happier, relaxed times when kids wouldn’t dream of suing their own parents – I was sent out to chop some firewood. So there I was happily hacking away, Continue reading Stuff that can happen only to me: Accidentally assaulting your own forehead

Slovenia: Why is it so difficult to leave, Part I

A funny thing you can’t help but notice if you happen to wander into the country called Slovenia is that it’s almost impossible to leave. It’s not like anyone is manning the borders; the country is in the Schengen Area which basically means everyone and their sister is roaming around freely. The traffic connections are superb and, with Slovenia being so tiny, you can step on it and find yourself somewhere else in a matter of minutes. Our neighbours the Croatians – who lay claim to a somewhat larger country which is as pretty as they come but shaped like a pair of spaying tongs – will gladly tell you that Planica (where our rather famous ski flying hill is) will never get a permit for a higher hill as then the skiers would be landing on Croatian porches, wreaking all kinds of havoc in the process.

(If it weren’t for the Croatians, we Slovenians would need to come up with our own jokes about Slovenia’s size but luckily enough our southern neighbours have been maintaining a steady supply of those for as long as I can remember.) Continue reading Slovenia: Why is it so difficult to leave, Part I

Methinks: What’s your problem, it’s not like they ate YOUR cookies

Though I normally don’t indulge in anger I allowed myself the rare treat of getting worked up after first reading that calling someone fat has become more offensive than calling them worthless scum and then Wiki-walking myself to the Anti-fat Bias and The Thin Ideal articles. The relief I couldn’t help but feel for knowing I inhabited the safe section of the human form spectre and was therefore exempt from being harassed on the account of my weight only served to further my aggravation. I’m not much into enjoying the thanks-god-it’s-not-me sentiment as I find it all too similar to the toxic schadenfreude for my emotional comfort.

But seriously, why is it suddenly so wrong to be chubby? Not so long ago, some meat on your bones was considered a plus; a woman with ample curves was seen as appealing while a man with a nicely-rounded belly was perceived to be well-off and a guy to be reckoned with. At least where I live, there hardly seems to be any shortage of sayings to this effect. An entertainingly inebriated chap once told me he preferred a heavily-set lady to a lean one any day. (Why? Because, according to this wise fellow, the skinny one is liable to be concentrating on sucking her tummy in even under the sheets.) Continue reading Methinks: What’s your problem, it’s not like they ate YOUR cookies

Methinks: Politicians, Part II

I never know with the Americans; do they even realise how wonderfully cynical they are? The current USA ambassador to Slovenia, His Excellency Joseph Adamo Mussomeli, who has earned quite a reputation for frequently voicing his opinion of our bickerings, recently said something like ”In the USA, politicians pretend to hate each other, but your politicians hate each other for real”.

(You gotta love this guy. He’s outspoken to the point of being brave, brilliant, with a great sense of humour. He succeeded in ticking off more people than all other ambassadors to Slovenia present and past combined. One of the few things about him that sort of fits what I’d expect from a diplomat is his undeniable charm and his skill at wooing the press – though he assures us that the media are always going for his throat.) Continue reading Methinks: Politicians, Part II

Guess the Machine

The machine converts various plant materials into semi-dry pellets. It’s self-propelled, runs on eco fuel exclusively and it is easy to activate by placing raw material anywhere within its reach and wait for the impressive array of sensors to point it the right way. The input material is taken up at the front end, broken down into smaller bits and finely ground. The machine then proceeds to process the resulting pulp by extracting fluids and compressing the remaining material into pellets which are ejected from its rear end.

The pellets are of two types: the hard pellet that is considered the final product and as such ignored by the machine, and the soft pellet that is picked up by the machine almost instantly and dutifully recycled. The previously-extracted fluid is excreted at the rear too, usually at the lowest point of the plane accessible to the machine, and if it happens to be a soft surface you’re either standing or sitting upon, the fluid will be deposited right where your foot or your butt, respectively, is parked. Continue reading Guess the Machine

Regardless of what your mother said, you most definitely are Slovenian if

Your whole attitude to life could be summed up by ‘You can do whatever you want with me but you’d better not interfere with my driving!’ – that having been said, here are some sure giveaways as to your Slovenian roots:

– Your car is worth as much as your house or more; if you’re renting, your monthly car payment exceeds your rent.

– If you see an expensive car following the traffic rules, you consider it a waste of a fine vehicle and start fantasizing about all the rubber you’d be burning if you could afford a car like that.

– If you see an expensive car breaking the traffic rules you consider it proof that all rich people are inconsiderate thieving bastards who think they can get away with anything and could sure use a good whipping. Continue reading Regardless of what your mother said, you most definitely are Slovenian if

Tell-tale signs you might be Slovenian, Part II

– You would never consider moving in order to land a better job.

– You will, however, backpack, hitchhike, climb, crawl and paddle your way from the Arctic to Antarctica and back just for fun.

– When abroad, you can never avoid running into your fellow nationals no matter how secluded your destination may be because they’re everywhere.

– Each time you encounter your fellow countrymen anywhere outside of your national borders you pretend to be glad to see them but in reality you consider your trip a failure and swear to seek out an even remoter place next time.

– You go to the Croatian coast each summer despite knowing it has one of the highest numbers of your fellow nationals per square foot on record and then complain under your breath about everybody around you speaking your language and feel like somebody robbed you of your holiday experience.

– You don’t necessarily go out of your way to make people from other former Yugoslav republics feel particularly welcome in your country but if you happen upon them abroad you couldn’t be happier and you’ll get drunk together and reminisce about the good old Yugoslavia until you jointly pass out under the table. Continue reading Tell-tale signs you might be Slovenian, Part II