The following is a completely true story.
“Ross-uh” said my co-worker quietly, tapping me on the shoulder. I spun around in my chair and tried to smile.
“Hi” I said. I’d given up trying to remember her name.
“Yeah, hi. Uhm, I is uh hab-uh a job por you” she said, smiling.
“Okay” I said. I pulled the head phones out of my iPhone and stopped Metallica screaming at her from their tiny little speakers.
“You know is, uh, these days is-uh, Smart-uh TB. Okay?”
“Good. Okay, okay. You need to uh, changey the system. We is uh write-uh the taboo words for Smart TB.”
I had no idea what she was talking about. But that was normal. I’ve been in Korea for long enough to know that trying to work out what people are trying to tell you in their mangled ‘Eng-uh-lish-ee’ will make you bleed from the ears. I’d gotten pretty good at smiling and nodding and not getting fired, so I just did it again.
“Okay good” she said, smiling. She handed me a piece of paper. There was a mixture of printed Korean and penciled Eng-uh-lish-ee on the page. I took it from her and tried to smile again.
That smile burst across my face as soon as I saw what was written on the page.
I quit teaching English here about a month ago. Since then I’ve been working for a company that writes the dialogue for a new form of Smart TV (Smart-uh TB in Korean). I’m told that this is the future. Within the next year the first remote control-less TVs will hit the market and will set the trend for the future. You will be able to order your TV to do things from sofa. But only if you’re American or Canadian. Scottish people are not allowed to talk to technology yet.
I got this job because I told them that I was a writer. And I suppose I am, to an extent. I write as a hobby and hope to make it a career one day. But I also got the job on the strength of my fake American accent, which is, if do say so myself, fucking good. I have fooled many Americans over the last few months and I seem to be getting closer and closer to becoming fluent. I think with an American accent now.
But in this job I must write commands and responses for both the human user and the robot TV. I do this for eight hours a day, writing the phrase “change the channel” in as many different ways as possible. It’s mind-numbing, pencils-up-your-nose-and-smash-your-face-off-the-fucking-desk boring. But I’m out of the classroom and I can go for a cigarette whenever I want, so it’s fine for now.
But after a week of writing this monotonous dialogue and thinking about quitting every minute, I was given a very special job. I was chosen from a pool of four foreigners as the person most qualified to write the ‘Taboo List’. This is the database of crass, sexual, violent and racist language that the TV isn’t allowed to process. If someone commands the TV to write or search for any of the phrases or words on the taboo list, they will not be processed. I don’t know why I was selected as being the perfect person for the job, but they clearly saw something in me. In me they must have seen a man of the world, who’s Scottish heritage (I tell the Koreans I’m half Scottish) and metrosexuality made him the ideal candidate for the job of listing every racist, sexual and violent phrase that has ever been uttered.
Finally, I had been given the job I was born to do.
I looked at the piece of paper in my hands. My eyes were immediately drawn to the word “pussy” written under the “Sexual Language” section. I looked back at her. She smiled again and pushed her hair behind her ears. She looked so naive, almost genderless.
“You understand?” she asked.
“I think so.”
“Maybe, you is uh, liting the sex-uh talk. Uh, like-uh..”
She stood and made little circles with her finger as she tried to force the words out. She wanted me to help her out. I just waited.
“Suck my pussy thing.”
My eyes exploded. I tried my hardest to keep the smile back, but I couldn’t stop the laughter in my eyes. My middle aged Korean boss had just said ‘suck my pussy’ to me in the middle of our office. I looked around. The other members of staff had stopped working and started leaning over the backs of their chairs to listen in.
“Maybe, kiss my pussy. You understand?” she asked.
I covered my face with my hand and laughed silently into my palm. I composed myself and looked back at her.
“I think so” I said.
“Good. Maybe the racist thing too. Okay?”
I looked back at the page. She had written the word “nigger” and underlined it twice. I looked back at her. She was smiling. I looked back at the word “nigger” again. It’s not a word I see written down very often. It seems more offensive when it’s written in pencil and underlined. Twice.
“You is uh, maybe, liting the racist hip-hop thing. And the sex-uh. And maybe some killing and fighting thing. Okay?”
I looked back at the word “nigger” again. I noticed the words “Jungle Fever” and “Dirty Jew” written next to it. The whole thing had lost it’s fun a little. I looked back to her. She was still smiling.
“Okay. I’ll do it now” I said.
She gave me a big thumbs up and walked out of the office. The other girls kept looking at me over the backs of their chairs. They were smiling from ear to ear. I didn’t really know how to feel.
I took a deep breath, and started typing.
I stopped and looked at the screen. Those words all looked really sinister. As I read over them I realized that I was such a spineless liberal that I had tried to be equally racist to everyone. I felt quite good about myself. I tried to keep this up for a few minutes before I my mind ran dry. I started trawling the internet for inspiration. I’m sorry to report that black people get it worse than anyone else. White people get off pretty easily.
There were seven sections in all, and I left the “Sex Section” until the end. I had been instructed to make sentences using some sexual terminology. I’m going to give you some of my choice sentences. There were 138 in total, but I feel that that is too many to post on here. I would like to post them all for the sake of emphasis, but I don’t want the funnier ones to get lost in the mess of bizzare sexual acts and definitions that exist on the Internet.
So, without further adieu, here are some of my favorites, with some explanations where considered necessary:
- Sorry sir, I’m not into fist fucking.
- Give me a foot job, love.
- Cock fingering sounds painful.
- Give me your poontang.
- She did a queef.
- I’m getting old, I need an Arab strap.
- Show me your Spam Purse.
- Do you want my love sausage?
- I produce a lot of sperm.
- I went to a bukkake party last night. I had no idea that’s what ‘bukkake’ meant.
- She wanted to give me a Cleveland Steamer, but that’s where I drew the line.
- I think that makes me gay for pay.
- Bitch snowballed me.
- I can’t come to the phone right now, I’m flicking my bean. Please leave a message after the tone.
As you can see, they started to get ridiculous towards the end. I couldn’t keep going in the sexual way that I had intended to. It didn’t matter in the end. I just needed to put the words into a sentence. In my head, I had no other option but to make them weird and funny.
I gave this list to my boss at the end of the day and she was shocked to find that it was 363 lines long. We haven’t looked one another in the eye since.
Glossary of Sexual Terminology
Snowball – the act of ejaculating in someone’s mouth and then kissing them afterwards.
Bukkake – where a group of men will all ejaculate on a girl’s face.
Spam purse – a gross terminology for a vagina.
Cleveland Steamer – when someone defecates on their partner’s chest.
Arab Strap – a penis ring that focuses the blood flow to the penis and helps a gentleman maintain an erection.
Queef – when a vagina breaks wind.