Knife is labana, stone-that-cuts
Roof is teilatu, top-of-the-cave
I find that fascinating. Who wouldn't find that fascinating?
My friend Yuri, the gay Russian weather man, didn't.
Ok, how about this: the penises of Basque men are among the biggest in the world, topping the already-impressive 13.5 cm average of the rest of Spain.
The Basque word for man is gizon, which is similar to the phrase big penis (giz lun) in ancient Sumerian. Coincidence?
Yuri was very interested in that! Last year he competed with me over Jaan the Estonian Mountain Climber solely because of his enormous proportions.
So in the summer of 1999, when I was in Paris, he came to visit, and insisted that we take a side trip to Basque Country.
Um...the Basque Country is 8 hours from Paris by train! Couldn't we go to Amsterdam instead? It's only 5 hours by train, and there's the Horsemen's Club, with a strict size requirement. Or we could pop over to England and see the naked, aroused Rude Man of Cerne Abbas.
Ok, we'll go there, too, but first, Basque penises!
Any reasonable person would check to see if the ancient Sumerians were correct at a gay sauna, like Ego in Bilbao or Venconmen ("Come with men") in San Sebastian, but Yuri was a sports nut, and wanted to go to a bike race.
Basque Country is very rugged, with mountains and the seacoast, perfect for bicycling. There are so many amateur races every year, it's almost the national sport. We went to see the Euskaldun Tournament in Vittoria-Gasteiz.
I found it quite boring. The cyclists all start with a flourish, and then you wait around for two hours for them to get back.
He actually looked to be among the smaller of the team, but Yuri fell in love anyway, and said "I'm going to touch it!"
"How are you going to do that?" I asked. "Sneak up on him in the locker room? There are reporters and fans everywhere." The crowd was enormous.
"Russians are smart! How do you say 'Writer for a sports magazine' in Spanish?"
I told him. Wielding his camera, he began piecing his way through the crowd. "Escritor para Sports Seminal!" he yelled, alternating with the Russian "Pisatel dl'ya Sportivnogo Zhurnale!
He made his way up toward Rubin. Eventually I couldn't see him anymore. After awhile he came back, beaming.
"Basque men are the best in the world!" Yuri exclaimed.
He grinned. "I told Ruben I'm a writer, and I wanted to ask him some questions about the race. He was surprised -- no Russian sports journals talked to him before. So he reached out to shake hands. And I fell....I show you."
He mimicked the motion of reaching out, tripping, and "instinctively" steadying himself by grabbing at -- my crotch.
"Did he get mad? Did he yell?"
"No, he laughed. I said I'm sorry. But boy, I'm not sorry!" He put his arm around me "Ok, so tomorrow we go to the gay sauna."
I think Yuri got the idea of the trip-and-grab from an episode of Seinfeld.
Later we went to San Sebastian, where I played Third Wheel to a Muscle God
See also: The Biggest and Smallest Penises in the World; and 12 Public Penises of Spain