Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Oh, Meet Me For a Drink on Sh**ty Street

As part of my Community Liaison duties, I booked a group tour of the local beer factory for Saturday. To recruit participants, I sent out an email to the whole Embassy community asking them to sign up, and told them the bar was on "15 Sranjevacka Street."

Within seconds, my phone lit up like a Christmas tree (is there an equivalent in a Muslim country? "My phone lit up like a Ramadan cookie?" No?) It turns out the brewery isn't on Sranjevacka Street. It's on Franjevacka Street.

Moreover, "Sranjevacka" means "sh**ty" in Bosnian. Have you ever sent an email to more than 300 people asking them to meet you at the brewery on Sh**ty Street? I may be the only person in the world to ever do this.

I received countless emails and phone calls from the Bosnians on staff, ranging from the cheerfully helpful ("Do you know how to recall an email? You might want to do that!") to maniacal laughter, followed by a click and a dialtone. This was, without a doubt, the best day ever for the Bosnian employees. They had a field day. They laughed until they cried. I daresay a few fell out of their chairs and spilled coffee all over themselves.

Afterwards, oddly enough, some of the Bosnians on staff who had never talked to me before came by my office to say hello. Besides some good-natured ribbing, nobody really tried to make me feel bad about inviting everyone to the Brewery on Sh**ty Street. It's like in some way, a ridiculously embarassing typo has made me likable.

The worst part of all? I got the address from an old flyer, meaning my office has been sending people to the Brewery on Sh**ty Street for years.


Michael J. West said...

You accidentally became the best community liaison these people ever had!

I do agree that you're probably the first person to ever invite people out to Sh**ty Street. The closest I can come is a story my dad told me from when he worked at a newspaper in Lexington, Kentucky...it was a typographical error that turned "Tucker's Funeral Home" into...well, you can guess.

Michael J. West said...


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