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"Barbecue is the traditional dish of my people," John explained to the ambassador, forking a slightly charred sausage onto the ambassador's plate.

"Most interesting," murmured the ambassador, eyeing the sausage dubiously. "On my world only the commonest people cook on an open flame. We have technology to manage such things."

"Oh, hey, we've got technology too," protested John. "Tons of it! I love technology, but cooking food on a grill's like…a manly ritual. Here, have some ketchup."

The ambassador paled. "You decorate your food with blood?"

"Oh crap," muttered John. He tapped his radio. "Teyla, this is Sheppard. Cultural emergency."

 

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"Colonel Sheppard!" Teyla's smile had a steely edge. John knew that meant she was battling the urge to get out her bantos and whack people indiscriminately. She thrust the offending plate of sausage into John's hands and steered the ambassador toward the desserts.

John took a disconsolate bite. They probably didn't need anything from that planet anyway.

"I hear you've destroyed our trade relations with microwave-world," said Rodney cheerfully, snagging the rest of the sausage and demolishing it with relish. "Had enough of being manly with pork products? Can we go check out your virility in greater comfort?"

John brightened.

 

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John steered Rodney through the crowd, edging around alien dignitaries and avoiding Elizabeth. He figured he was in the doghouse.

He'd almost reached the door when a musical voice behind Rodney said "Dr McKay!"

"Hello, ah…"

"Taramaine," the buxom blonde clarified. "You visited our world last summer."

Rodney looked hunted. "Ah…yes, of course. Um, you're famous for…"

"Weaving. You repaired our mechanical looms. They still work perfectly."

"Excellent, very good," Rodney congratulated her breasts.

John leaned in and grabbed his arm. "Excuse us, ma'am, we're off to play hide the sausage."

Her eyes widened. "Ooh, games! Can I join you?"

 

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"Oh god," whimpered Rodney. He turned to John, pleading.

"Don't even think about it, McKay," John warned. "A) Diplomatic incident. B) I don't share well."

Taramaine watched them curiously, head on one side. "Ah," she giggled, "those sort of games. So this 'sausage' you are 'hiding' is…."

John gestured at a marine wielding a tray of hot dogs. "Just a sausage, ma'am. Like these here."

Taramaine gasped, distraught. "We have been eating male organs? I had heard that the occupiers of the City were warlike, but not that you took such trophies."

John groaned and reached for his radio. "Teyla?"

 

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"And furthermore," said Elizabeth, "half the Pegasus Galaxy now thinks we castrate our enemies!"

"On the plus side," John tried, "that's gonna put a few of them off trying to kidnap McKay or take over the city."

Elizabeth glared. "And they think we're cannibals!" she snapped. "How's that going to improve trade relations?"

John elbowed Rodney. "Ow! It's not my fault. I voted for tormack cupcakes, but Colonel Carnivore and the Wookie overruled me!"

"You're both banned from any future diplomatic receptions. Get out!"

The door to Elizabeth's office hissed shut. John and Rodney grinned and high-fived each other: "Win!"

 

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