I spent six weeks in Greece last spring, and as I was walking along the street between the row of shops and the sea, I suddenly had to pee worse than I ever had before. I stepped off the street and into one of a dozen tourist shops that all sold the same thing—olive wood masks, and olive wood cock bottle openers. I don’t know what it is about the Greeks but they have an affinity for penises like I’ve never seen before. Everywhere you go there’s a guy trying to sell you a cock shaped something, or a mural of a naked man painted on to the side of a building. There were no naked men in the store I stepped into and the cocks ended with the bottle openers, there was just one old Greek sitting behind a counter with a little electric fan that tossed the collar of his open shirt.
“Yasu.” I said
“Hello my friend” the Greek replied in heavy broken English
“Do you have a bathroom?”
“Eh? What you mean?”
“A water closest. Do you have a water closet I can use?”
“Oh, oh!” The Greek began to laugh and he slapped the table hard with his hand. “You’ve come to see my snake!” I thought he misunderstood what I had said and I tried to explain more, but he pointed me to a white door in the corner of the room with a blue sign that read “WC”.
“Thank you.” I said. I walked across the shop and opened the door to go in, but when I went to step a pure sense of shock shot up through my entire body starting at my feet and fizzling out the tips of my hair. “What the hell is that?” I yelled. There was a shiny black ball of tar oozing out from between the toilet and the sink like it had been wadded up and stuffed back there.
“This is Malinda!” said the Greek who had appeared behind me.
“What is it?” I said. The black mass suddenly grew a head the size of an avocado and began flicking a little black thread from its mouth.
“She is a py thon!” The head began to creep forward and stretched part of the mass out into a body as thick as a birch tree. “Please go, go! She is very nice, step right over her. Go!”
Malinda stared at me with her black marble eyes and whipped her tongue in and out as if she were daring me to step in and whip out mine. I stepped back, “You know, Malinda took away me need to go.” I turned and began to make my way out of the shop.
The Greek began to laugh again, “Whatever you say my friend, you come back tomorrow and we drink wine. I have best wine in whole village!”
“Sure.” I said as I walked out past the wooden penises.
When I stepped out of the shop the sun had just nearly finished disappearing into the Mediterranean, and I still had to pee—worse than before actually. So I walked out into the water on a little stone walk while the last bits of sunlight faded away and pissed into the sea once it was dark.