"What are the different words for 'testicles' in German"?
It's about five minutes before the close of this week's book club session when this question drops. Reproductive body parts did not feature this afternoon, neither in the book we've been reading, nor in any of the tangents the group discussion has gone off on. There are always tangents. But nobody does tangents quite like Horacio.
After a year and a half of weekly meetings - and Horacio never fails to show - I'm still trying to get used to his non sequiturs. "Hoden," I tell him, "and the most common colloquial term is 'Eier', just like in Spanish: 'huevos' (eggs)".
He can't help it, you see. On the bell curve of neurotypical, he takes about the same position as Pluto does in our solar system: Way, waaaaaay out there. There's no guile in him (at least that's what I like to think), but he sure keeps me on my toes.
"Premature ejaculation," he blurts out in a session not too long ago while the rest of us are engaged in philosophical musings on the meaning of freedom,"How do you say that in German?" All eyes are on me, the only native German speaker present. My group mates try their hardest not to crack up. There's relief on their bemused faces - at least it's not them having to satisfy Horatio's thirst for knowledge.
On another occasion, Horatio desperately needs to know whether "[insert a term that can only have found its way into his vocab courtesy of frauleindoesfrankfurt.com]" was a common way of saying "to ejaculate" in German.
Curiously, when we are actually working up a sweat on our way through a racy passage and I'm in a BRING-IT-ON! frame of mind, ready to Bavarian-dialect-coach the entire cast of Ready Steady Fucktoberfest, Horatio chooses to keep shtum like a fish. I count my blessings, but deep down I know he's just waiting for the next time when we'll be comparing German vs. Spanish cemetery etiquette or examining the Teutonic penchant for separating trash into umpteen different categories. He's all for delayed gratification, our Horacio.