In the Dangerous Writing basement, coming up to the end of the night, and Charles and I were going to have to duke it out over the last spot to read. Tom said, okay, flip for it.
Somewhere in the middle of the lovely, crazy clutter that is the Dangerous Writing table was a tiny glass bowl with a couple euros in it. We didn't know what to use for heads and tails.
"No," I said, "let's call them... pips and..."
"Wankers," Kevin said.
I tried really hard to get them to let us flip pips and wankers, but I got overruled. I did wonder in the moment whether I was being disparaging to England. If the coin were from a country that didn't speak English, I'm sure it would have been in poor taste to say let's flip for [you fill in the blank].
But I just wanted to get to say wankers.
Alright, grow up. This is, after all, a serious place, this basement. One of the most important places on earth for me, in fact, for these past fourish, fiveish years. Charles had the euro, and he flipped it high. A tiny gold spin up past the hanging lights and then back down into his hand.
"Call it," Charles said.
Which I figured meant tails, right?, or kind of the opposite of tails, if you think about it long enough. At least it seemed to at the time. Then I thought about what that word means and, wait a minute, wanker means the person doing the action, not the object the action is being done to. In fact, I just went and wikipediaed it to make sure, and they actually have a photo illustration in there of that hand gesture people make where they
[ok. look it up yourself.]
"Tails," I said
Should have gone with pips.