Me and my friend are really drunk, and we’re playing a game we’ve just made up. It’s called “I’m not being racist, but…” The challenge is, you start off by saying “I’m not being racist but…” but then you say something so silly and ridiculous – and also slightly unexpected and kind of original – that it genuinely isn’t that offensive. So, you know, you wouldn’t be allowed to say anything about Poles all being thieves or black men having big penises or Romanians and Bulgarians burning mattresses on the pavement. I am actually totally winning, but that might just be because my mate is drunker than I am, and hence harder to offend. It’s a great game. Well, it’s more fun than Charades.
“I’m not being racist, but…” I say.
“Go on,” he says.
“Eastern Europeans are really bad at Hangman. They never go for vowels. Now, Germans are pretty bad at Hangman, anyway – I feel that Germans don’t have a very efficient vowel-based Hangman strategy – but Eastern Europeans are totally fucking useless.”
“Well, you probably know this better than me,” he says, “as a TEFL teacher.”
“I had a guy apologize once, after a lesson,” I say. “It was a Polish guy, but an Aussiedler, yeah. He came up to me, after the lesson, and he said: ‘I’m so sorry about what just happened, that I was so bad at that game. I am sorry.’ I said to him: ‘No, it’s fine, I don’t care about the game, it’s just a tool we use to practise the alphabet.’ But he was really fucking bad at it. I can understand them asking for ‘Z’s and stuff, but he had one letter left at one point and it was blatantly a vowel and he asked for an ‘X’.”
“Well, I’m not being racist but,” says my friend.
“Go on,” I say.
“Black girls in England are better-looking than black girls in Germany.”
I wince. “That is actually racist,” I say.
“Is it?” He says.
“I think so,” I say. “Anyway, isn’t it just about, like, fashion and style and that? Black women in Britain have got loads of style and stuff, black people in Britain are essentially black and British, yeah. Whereas a lot of black people in Germany are kind of, you know, poor Ausländer who work in an Internet cafe. I feel a bit guilty saying that though. Anyway, what about black East Germans? Have you ever met an unattractive black East German? I don’t think there are any unattractive black East Germans. And I’m not being racist, but…”
“Go on,” says my friend.
“White people in Germany are better-looking than white people in England.”
“Oh, that’s true,” says my friend, slightly chuckling.
Try it out at home. It’s such a fun game. It’s more fun than Taboo, Telestrations, The Settlers of Catan and Mensch Ärgere Dich Nicht (great name for a game, German people, by the way) COMBINED. Remember: silly, ridiculous, unexpected, fairly original, not actually that offensive. And: you’d better leave the Romanians and Bulgarians out of it completely, to be honest. There’s nothing original left to say about them whatsofuckingever.