THE METEORITE

The other day I was leaning out of the window arguing with a neighbor when suddenly a meteorite hit my head. When I regained consciousness I was fluent in three languages. Before impact, I was fluent in four. For some mysterious reason, the meteorite erased the Catalan from my brain. This circumstance has meant a serious inconvenience to me. Suddenly, I don’t understand anything my friends tell me. As far as I’m concerned, they could be speaking Tibetan. This can get really very awkward, you know. Particularly if you can’t tell anyone the truth about what happened to you. (If the meteorite incident were known in Catalonia, it could generate a political conflict. Pro-independence campaigners would accuse the Spanish government of remote directing meteorites against the population with the purpose of exterminating Catalan language.) So, I thought about the best way to muddle through. Of course, if I opened my mouth to speak Catalan, I would give myself away. (When I mentioned Tibetan language before, I fell short. In fact, next to Catalan, the obscurest Tibetan dialect would seem to me if not an intelligible language, at least a somewhat familiar one.) “I’ll pretend to have suddenly gone mute sticking to just nodding my head yes or no.”, I told myself. But I quickly realized that being mute was not enough: you also had to be deaf. ‘Cause pretending that you know a language you don’t understand a single word of, is a sure way to get into an impressive mess. (In my specific case, I ended up smuggling exotic animals, one of which injected me with a poison that now prevents me from stop grinning.) It’s preferable to pretend that you have suddenly become an idiot. Only thus your assents or denials will not have the binding character of a vow.

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