I’m not talking about some sort of overly-specific sexual euphemism here, my meaning is quite literal in fact. Although come to think of it, I wouldn’t mind speaking a little Russian in the old sauna right now if you know what I mean (penis-wise.)

And please don’t mistake this as some sort of anti-Russian bias either. In a lot of ways I suppose I’m what you might call a Russophile. They’re an often brilliant people with poetic souls and heroically rotted livers. I never miss a chance to let someone know about all the Russian novels I’ve read so they’ll think that I’m smart; I could look at this website all day; and I’m a big fan of some of the contributions they’ve made in the world of sports and, uh, other arts. In other words, scary Russian dudes, please don’t kill me and/or smash my stupid face in. Thanks in advance.

But after exerting myself at the gym just about the last sound I want to hear is two steaming man-bears jabbering in that violently guttural language. (No offense to, uh, violence and guttural people.) I’d rather hear the hiss of my own flesh on the sauna rocks or the soundtrack to my family getting eaten by a dinosaur on the radio.

Jesus fucking christ dudes, can you slow it down with that competitive talking for five seconds. I’m trying to work up a solid thigh sweat in peace. You guys just shooting the shit over there or making a drop off for the top secret launch codes? You sound like a couple Tsarist wizards summoning a Slavic goat demon. WHY ARE YOU YELLING? This is a 6×8 foot wooden box. Wait a second… I think I heard you drop the word pizza in there somewhere. Why are you so angry about pizza? What did pizza ever do to you? I mean besides give you that glistening paunch you’re pointing at my face right now.

Ok, so maybe the problem here isn’t the Russian so much, just the mere presence of any sound in the sauna whatsoever. It’s really a very tense time after all. Here I am, tired, worn out, sweating onto a wooden plank with my eyes closed so I don’t have to survey the particular horrors of sweaty gray pubes situation going on. It’s all I can do to relax for a few moments and tune out the world. I know that in your country the steam room or whatever is like a big social tradition, but we’ve got a little tradition of our own here in America called shutting the fuck up. I’ll go first so you can see how it works.