Monthly Archives: October 2011

Germans Like Scratchy Towels

Now, I’m not saying all Germans like scratchy bath towels, but my wife sure as hell does.

I first noticed this scratchy towel phenomenon in the bathroom of a student apartment building in Marburg, Germany. After emerging from a token-operated shower with exactly 10 minutes of hot water, I reached for the towel my wife had given me. It was thin, worn and so extraordinarily coarse it felt like sandpaper upon my American man-teets. I winced as I dried myself, feeling for all the world like Richard Pryor having his third degree burns hilariously scrubbed clean.

All of the towels I encountered in Germany were scratchy. Even my German teacher at Portland Community College warned me to bring my own towels for my trip; a little piece of advice I likely missed because I was picking my nose at the time. My wife claims these towels are good for my skin — all exfoliating and what not — but she also enjoys scouring herself raw with the Marquis de Sade’s shower luffa. I suppose I could claim my skin feels good after using German towels, but this would be like thanking a hot iron because it was all done burning me.

To be fair, however, American towels aren’t perfect; they’re oversized, overly soft and they leave lint in your overly abundant chest hair. Seriously, after using a new towel from Bed, Bath and Beyond, I look like Burt Reynolds lost a tickle fight with the Cookie Monster.

At present, my wife is converting all of my fluffy bachelor towels into face-scouring hurtcloths. She does this by leaving them out to dry for several days after washing; a process which somehow kills them and strips their souls away, leaving nothing but husks of coarse fiber and German cruelty. Even now I can hear their tortured banshee wails.

And this, my friends, is why The Wife and I can rest easy; confident that bump we hear every night isn’t an intruder at all. It’s just our haunted bathroom.

Click here to read about some other things those wacky Germans are into.

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Denglish 34: Some German Names for Boys Are Just Awful

Back in 2010, The Wife and I stayed in a hostel in Brooklyn. We rented a private room, which was furnished with 2 rickety bunk beds, a tiny refrigerator and a sickly little houseplant too pathetic to live.

ME: “Our hostel plant needs a name. What should it be?”

THE WIFE: “… Horst.”

(In Germany, apparently, ‘Horst’ is kind of insulting; like naming your child Igby or Gomez.)

Click here to learn more about the term “Denglish.”

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Denglish 33: The Joy of Shipping German Textbooks to America

Faced with having to order German textbooks while working on her doctorate in the United States, my wife was disappointed by the expensive prices and overseas shipping fees involved.

THE WIFE: “I don’t want to buy the book, I just want to rent this motherfucker.”

Click here to learn more about the term “Denglish.”

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Denglish 32: My German Wife Is Not A Vegetarian

When we were first getting to know each other, The Wife and I talked a lot about food and eating habits specific to Germany. Germany has over six million vegetarians, so I felt there was a decent chance she might be one of them. I was, apparently, quite mistaken.

ME: “Do you eat meat?”

THE WIFE: “I eat everything! Horses… Guinea pigs…”

Click here to learn more about the term “Denglish.”

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The Camping Chronicles: Timothy Lake, Part III

After falling into Timothy Lake and returning to camp, I flailed about in our tent like a shivering man-child while The Wife forced me into dry clothes.

Dinghy McBrokenboat had set his crawdad trap earlier that day, so by the time we rejoined the group at the campfire he’d caught 4 of the disgusting little freaks.

“Look honey!” I said, holding one up for her to see. It waved its claws around, miming precious little death threats at her.

“Ooo!” she replied. “It’s a Crapdaddy.” Obviously I could not bring myself to correct her. Instead, I laughed and pulled out my iPhone, adding her quote to our ongoing list of Denglish hilarity.

We cooked the crawfish and ate them; each one offering just enough meat to evoke in my mind the shellfish genocide it would require to form a proper meal. It was then I noticed movement on the ground around the campfire. All around, as far as my flashlight could reveal, the forest floor was crawling with spiders. I’d never seen anything like it in my life. It was like something out of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets… or the night terrors I’ve been having ever since.

Because my normal clothes were soaked, I was wearing only socks on my feet, which left me feeling all the more vulnerable to spider attacks. I held my feet up as long as I could, like a pregnant woman in stirrups, before exhausting myself and retiring for the night.

The next morning, we awoke to the dreaded patter of rain hitting our tent. My coat was hanging under a tree somewhere outside, so The Wife found a white plastic bag and cut holes for my head and arms, fashioning a makeshift rain vest comprised of 10% German resourcefulness and 90% American shame. The rest of our group enjoyed the hell out of my predicament, while I choked down a little of the hair of the dog that bit me. I was cold, I was wet, and I was still angry about those other campers molesting our otherwise virginal ambiance…

But by God, we were camping… and we were camping hard.

Click here to read our very first camping adventure — The Camping Chronicles: Burning the German, Part I

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Denglish 31: My Wife Humors Her German Parents

My wife comes from a fairly conservative German family, and at its head is her mother; a sweet, energetic, Christian woman who fusses about things the way so many mothers do. My wife regards her with what I consider to be an impressive amount of patience:

THE WIFE: “My Mom, she is cute. We don’t listen to her.”

Click here to learn more about the term “Denglish.”

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Denglish 30: German Nerds Are, Apparently, No Different From American Nerds

My wife is an academic nerd who spent half a decade in college surrounded by other academic nerds, which is why she is allowed to say things like…

THE WIFE: “I see that phenomenon every day. Many smart people look just awful. At least in Germany. :)”

Click here to learn more about the term “Denglish.”

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