Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Foster's: Welsh for "hammered."

Today is the day I have my intern from a local Catholic high school that has a longstanding program to expose students to the business world. So against type, I committed to spending every Tuesday and one Monday a month mentoring a 15-year-old boy.

I did it because the people in my company who agreed to participate are less than organized, to put it mildly, and another woman and I were concerned that the two kids that needed mentors would be shuttled around. We decided that, by God, these kids were going to pick up some skills and learn something about how things work in an office.

I thought I'd find it burdensome. It is, in a way, but it's also pretty cool. Participants have gone to a summer Business Boot Camp: they learn how to behave in an office, on an elevator, and are required to dress professionally. So it is that my guys shows up wearing dress pants, a button-down shirt and tie every time, and is adorable. He's polite but very shy, but we're getting there. He's also very bright, which helps.

The responsibility has made me more organized, made me aspire to be a good role model, and it's also just plain helped me. I set aside things during the week that I know will be good projects, and it's nice to be able to unload minor, time-consuming tasks to someone else. Today he entered Admins birthdays into my calendar and learned how to autoformat in Outlook. I enjoy teaching. He's very quiet, so I'm not sure yet whether he enjoys being taught. I think he's enjoying himself.

It was into this environment that my phone rang. I picked it up and a drunk SP informed me that he and AN had been to the pub. He then began to explain in Welsh that he'd had three Foster's and was trashed (he kindly translated, but the gist was clear even without it).

At one point he seemed to get lost.

"AN, why did I call JC?" he asked.

AN's voice came from the background. "You wanted to call your best friend."

"Oh yes. I'm calling my best friend." Some more Welsh, and then I had to excuse myself from my drunk friend without letting the kid from the inner-city Catholic school know that he mentor was talking to a friend who was three sheets to the wind.

The thing is, how can you tell when a Welshman is drunk? Do they become intelligible?


SP said...

1. AN did not come to the pub. He was home working.
2. I had TWO pints, not three. I am not a lush.
3. I am not Welsh, but that's an easy mistake to make, because I got 396 points out of 400

JC said...

You definitely said that you and AN went, and you did say three pints. This explains two of the four missing points.

SP said...

I said "dwy beint". The treiglad meddal in "peint" should have given it way, even if you didn't catch the number. Had I said three, there would have been an aspirate mutation, turning P to PH.

So there. I'll take those points back now.

JC said...

What's Welsh for "pedant"?

SP said...


I really should get a Masters in this.

JC said...

You really should, because the best thing about Welsh is how many people over the world will instantly bond with you when they discover that you, too, speak Welsh.