Awkward Abroad: the Period Joke from Down Under

You can only say “She perioded on me” if you’re Jonah Hill or a New Zealander

[Disclaimer: I was not actually the cause of the awkwardness of what I’m about to tell you. SURPRISE SURPRISE. But I acted so awkward about what happened that I can’t not include it.]

Though I’ve met New Zealanders in France and Ireland, the only time I hung out with New Zealanders was at Oktoberfest, and even then it wasn’t really “hanging out” but rather “sitting at the same picnic table even though there are two Germans separating us.” I didn’t even know they were New Zealanders because it was so loud and they were so far away and I didn’t even end up talking to them until hours into Oktoberfest.

I did, however, notice them as soon as we got in, because 1.) they were both very cute and 2.) one of them had a lip ring and a tattoo sleeve and neither of those are very common in Europe and 3.) they were seated at the edge of the picnic table where the waitress would stand to drop off the beer and take orders so I kind of had to notice them.

I should say that I didn’t make official contact with them until after my friends and I started talking to the Germans. It was towards the end of our Oktoberfest, because I remember this was when I was trying to explain to the German guy why we couldn’t stay there all day and night and then go to a club with them at midnight (he wasn’t accepting my excuse that we didn’t have strong German bladders and livers like they did). We were friendly with the Germans and were working our way down the table, I guess.

My friend Lily was sitting opposite of me on the other side of the table—the side that the lip ring and sleeve tattoos guy was on—and she was standing up because she was ready to go. This guy was standing up too, and I couldn’t see it until Lily pointed out, but it’s kind of hard not to look over when someone says “Hey, why do you have blood on your shirt?”

At this point, the German guy and I both stopped talking and turned to look at the New Zealander because, well, duh. And everyone else at the table did the same because, well, DUH.

The guy swiveled to show us his white shirt, which did have noticeable dried bloodstains on his torso, like where the bottom of his ribcage was.

“Oh, yeah, that. Some girl perioded on me, like in Superbad,” he said, ever so nonchalantly, not even pausing or stuttering or laughing to screw up the joke.

It took me a second to connect the dots and get the reference (can’t believe I’m writing this … a girl has her period and …. crap, I can’t do this … just watch the video in the link). I just couldn’t believe that he just pulled that out, and even as I’m writing this I’m still a little shocked.

First off, the guy quotes Superbad, which doesn’t really happen when you first meet someone. And secondly, he’s quoting that scene in Superbad.

Bold move, sir. Bold move indeed.

I remember I looked over at Lily and just like me, her mouth was open in shock too. She didn’t say anything—maybe like me, she wasn’t ready to say anything just yet—but I could tell we were thinking the same thing: Did that guy just say what I thought he said?

The German guys didn’t really have much of a reaction—either they weren’t prudes like us or maybe they just don’t watch a lot of movies (see: Talking about Inglorious Bastards with some Germans). Lily and I just glanced at each other again before we started doing that incredulous snort-laugh you do when something happens and you can’t believe that it did.

It was Lily who was finally able to respond—I was still trying to figure out whether that guy really did mean to make a period joke to two girls he just met.

“No way, man, she’d have to be an Amazonian or something to do that to your stomach,” Lily pointed out, calling bullshit—another reason why I love her.

He smiled self-deprecatingly and laughed before responding. Turns out a girl cut her finger and wiped it on his shirt. Or so he said.

What girl? Which finger? What did she do to get a cut? Why did she wipe it on his shirt? Is she okay? What happened to her? Does she have AIDS? Do YOU have AIDS?

I was too scared to ask. And alas, now I’ll never know. But that’s probably a good thing.

Lily managed to bark out a laugh at that. I was still quiet. Even when the focus went away from the guy and everyone when back to their conversations, I was still quiet.

And the German guy next to me noticed. “Your face, it’s very red,” he told me.

Red like the bloodstains, I couldn’t help but sourly think. Before I started to utter something commonplace like “Oh” or “Yeah,” I happened to glance over at the guy who started all of this.

He had been watching me. And when I made eye contact with him, he winked at me.

Needless to say, my face got even redder after that.


One response to “Awkward Abroad: the Period Joke from Down Under

  1. period jokes are not funny so I see where you’re coming from…
    men can be such annoying pigs sometimes! lucky for me my dad understands and will confront my brothers if they make jokes about it.
    [they havn’t yet….] [[i wont ressist the urge to kick them VERY HARD if they do]]

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