My friends love to give me unasked for romantic advice. Their recommendations run the gamut from the unappealing ‘eat less garlic,’ to the eminently sensible ‘Nazi memorabilia is a red flag.’
I really thought I’d heard everything, until a Catalan friend told me over pancakes that I could create a romantic mood for the object of my affections by ‘posant esperma per tot arreu.’
Spreading sperm everywhere?!
I almost choked on my Nutella at that one. For one terrible moment I thought that I’d spent my whole life in blissful ignorance at a basic, and probably very slimy, human courtship ritual. ‘Is this what everyone else is doing?,’ I thought in a panic…
To my great relief, it was my ineptitude in Catalan rather than my sexual inexperience that was to blame for the state of shock in which I found myself. It turns out the Catalan word for ‘candle,’ ‘l’espelma,’ sounds remarkably like the word for ‘sperm,’ ‘l’esperma,’ at least to my untrained ears.
The Japanese are clearly not alone in having difficulties in distinguishing between Ls and Rs.
Luckily the confusion was cleared up before I took any regrettable action. Crisis averted!