Category Archives: Denglish

Quotes from my wife featuring the accidental combination of German and English words.

Sleeping Tips: How Threats of Domestic Violence Can Help You Get a Good Night’s Rest

funny married couple fighting rolling pin

“C’mere honey. It’s time for bed.” — Image Credit: frankieleon (https://www.flickr.com/photos/armydre2008/) — Subject to CC 2.0 License.

I work from home as a freelance graphic designer, so I can get my sleep whenever the hell I feel like it. My wife, however, is not so lucky: She works her sweet German ass off every single day of the week, and her sleep schedule sucks donkey balls.

She gets up at 5am, goes to the Gymnasium school where she teaches, gets home at 6pm, and then faces a pile of tests and lesson plans before she can do it all over again the next day. Inexplicably, she pulls this off with an average of 5 hours of sleep per night. However, I know this schedule is hard on her — because she’s basically a sobbing zombie come Friday — so I do my best to get her to bed at a reasonable hour. I always shoot for 9pm so she can score a solid 8 hours, but she resists me; resists me like a spoiled child with a diaper full of stink pudding.

Pretty much every single night, I have to drag her Teutonic tits off the couch and basically push her upstairs into bed. I don’t know why she fights my clearly superior (if overzealous and blindly confident) American common sense, but she does. She always wants “just a few more minutes” on the couch, yet I know if she falls asleep there, she’ll lose even more rest when it’s time to go to bed for real. This effectively makes me the Sleep Police of our household, and it is a thankless job.

So the other night, when I announced the time was 9:00 pm and we had to go to bed, my wife pulled the blanket over her head and rolled over on the couch, mumbling something about an 5 extra minutes. To this, I replied — word-for-word — “God dammit, woman! Stop fighting me! I do this for your own good!” So when she only smiled and snuggled a little deeper into the cushions, I calmly stated, “Mein Schatz, if you continue to resist our 9 o’clock bedtime, I will slap you right in the pussy.”

At this, she sat bolt upright, pointed her little German finger at me and said:

“I will kickboxing your ball sacks!”


 

Marijuana in Germany: Know the Vernacular Before You (Accidentally) Start Growing the Reefer

Marijuana Cannabis Leaf Germany Law Drugs

“Hey… hey guys, how do you say, ‘I’m so high right now I’m afraid I’ll never come down’ in German?” — Image Credit: DonkeyHotey (https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/) — Subject to CC 2.0 License.

Remember that post not too long ago in which I described the frustrations my German wife and I experienced trying to grow rhododendrons in our back yard? That was an example of the kind of quotes which make my wife so unintentionally hilarious. This post, however, is an example of Denglish at it’s finest… and potentially most illegal.

What we’re talking about here is marijuana. Cannabis. Pot. Weed. Reefer buds. The Green Meany. Matanuska Thunderfuck. Whatever you want to call it, marijuana is still illegal in Germany. Oh sure, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte, AKA: BfArM) has granted medical licenses for about 400 people with terminal cancer to grow it, but in a country with a populace of 80 million, that’s like 0.0005% of the population — and all of them are fucked.

It’s definitely illegal to walk around with weed on you, but if you’re arrested for it in Germany and you happen to have just a little bit, the cops and lawyers won’t do anything but laugh at you. NOTE: A “little” bit varies from state to state: In smelly, hipster places like Berlin, you might not even get a fine for anything less than 15 grams. But in states run by uptight nerds who sit down to pee, you’re only safe with about 5 grams. (I’m looking at you, Bavaria.)

Anyway, my wife and I did a lot of gardening last summer. We planted all sorts of things in our raised beds — all of them perfectly legal, NSA, BND or whoever else might be reading this — and I suggested it might be fun to start some potted plants, like blueberries or tomatoes, so we could bring them inside during winter if we wanted to. My wife nodded, stroking her chin sagely and gazing out over our garden as the sun began to set, saying:

“Yes, we should grow some pot plants.”*

*From the German word, “Topfpflanzen,” (literally, “pot-plants”) which refers to plants grown in pots. (We Americans typically call them “potted plants,” but my wife’s version is way more awesome.)

Gardening in Germany: When Your Rhododendrons Won’t Bloom for Lack of Testicular Fortitude

Planting-Growing-Baby-Rhododendrons-Germany

“Alright, which one of you is MAN enough to fart out a pretty little flower?”

My wife and I live in Hannover, Germany, and back in 2014, we moved from an awful apartment building in the city, to a lovely house on the outskirts of town. Having a house with a yard gave us enough space for a garden, which I’ve discussed a little bit in my earlier rant about growing tomatoes in order to overcome my murderous hatred of them.

This past summer, my wife and I did a lot of gardening and landscaping. We were out there pretty much every day, leveling a hill, building raised beds and planting all sorts of things — including 4 tiny rhododendrons. We pampered those rhododendrons like colicky babies; they got the very best soil, perfect access to sunlight and copious amounts of fresh well water to get them started. We gave them everything, and 3 out of 4 of them showed a little gratitude by growing and blooming. The 4th one, however, just sat there doing nothing — like that weirdo brat at the daycare center you just know will grow up to own a model train store.

Planting-Rhododendrons-in-Germany

“Why can’t you be more like your fabulous brothers?”

My wife and I devoted more attention to this ungrateful little bitch than any other plant, until eventually we just shook our heads in resignation. Maybe I didn’t use enough planting soil, I thought to myself. Maybe I should have dug the hole deeper or something. And then my wife finally broke the silence, saying:

“Maybe it is a numb-nuts.”

 


 

Fish Allergy Facts: Why I Can Eat Tuna Without Dying (According to My German Wife, Who Is Not a Doctor)

fish-allergy-tuna-school-sea

“Filthy, slimy, angels of the sea.” — Image Credit: TheAnimalDay.org (https://www.flickr.com/photos/theanimalday/) — Subject to CC 2.0 License.

I was born with a pretty wicked allergy to fish. My parents first discovered it at Disneyland when I was just a little kid; we were tossing chunks of fish to the dolphins and the juices ran down my hands and arms, causing redness and swelling, which earned me a hasty trip to the emergency room. “Oooh, look Mom! Flashing red lights and a siren! This is WAY better than Pirates of the Caribbean!”

Since then I’ve avoided fish as if my life depended on it, because… it kinda does. Salmon, halibut, cod, catfish, herring, anchovies, trout… all of them cause a rapid allergic reaction when they touch my skin — especially my lips or the inside of my mouth. And the sensation is truly unpleasant, like swelling, throbbing, burning, itching and aching all wrapped up into one perfect pain. Like it was designed specifically by God himself to punish me for being a naughty 8-year-old boy who should have known better than to burn all those tiny little ants with a magnifying glass.

swollen-fat-lip-allergic-reaction

“… so that you may know the anguish you have inflicted.” — Image Credit: Kate Brady (https://www.flickr.com/photos/cliche/) — Subject to CC 2.0 License

But the real danger would be if I ever ingested enough fish to cause my entire body to freak out and my windpipe to swell shut. That’s called anaphylaxis, and I don’t know about you, but I think it sounds like just a barrel of laughs. Luckily, I could never really consume enough to cause such a reaction unless I decided to chug a glass of fish juice or swallow a fistful of fish oil capsules. And that wouldn’t be an accident at all; that would be suicide.

Oh sure, I’ve flirted with fish a few times over the years. You know, just to see if I was still allergic. Like, at a friend’s house, I once touched half a fish stick to my lip only to spend the remainder of the evening looking like a 5th grader with the world’s most aggressive case of oral herpes. And then one time, during a work meeting in the mid-2000s, my entire office went out to lunch at a Japanese restaurant. We all ordered miso soup, and I’d never had a problem with it in the past, but this time it was made with real fish broth. It tasted so good I drank that shit right from the bowl, and about one minute later, my upper lip swelled up and stuck out so far I looked like a Simpsons character.

Planked Alaskan salmon and asparagus

“Planked Alaskan succubus with asparagus.” — Image Credit: Jessica Spengler (https://www.flickr.com/photos/wordridden/) — Subject to CC 2.0 License

To this day, I really don’t know what fish even tastes like — especially salmon. That stuff looks delicious, but it’s supposed to cause the most intense reaction of them all, so I leave that sexy bitch alone. The one kind of fish I can eat, however, is tuna.

I was about 25 years old when I discovered tuna didn’t mess with me. It happened by accident: One day, I thought I was holding a chicken salad sandwich, but when I bit down, it turned out to be tuna fish, and oh… my… CHRIST was it delicious! That weirdo tuna meat all mixed up with relish and mayonnaise? I was in heaven! It was like discovering a whole new set of taste buds! Crazy taste buds — and they were having a freaky bondage sex party right inside my mouth! And later I discovered I can even eat raw tuna, like at a sushi restaurant! (But if it bumps up against my wife’s sashimi salmon, the party’s over and I’m headed straight back to Fucksville.)

tuna-fish-sandwich-photography

“You beautiful creature… where have you been all my life? Oh. Literally RIGHT in front of my eyes.” — Image Credit: thebittenword.com (https://www.flickr.com/photos/galant/) — Subject to CC 2.0 License

So I’ve been a pretty zealous tuna lover ever since. Wouldn’t you be, after avoiding a delicious type of food over two thirds of your life? Now, I make sure and buy at least three cans of tuna every time I go to the grocery store. It makes an awesome snack, especially if I’m in a hurry. That’s why, the other day when I sat down next to my German wife on the couch to start a movie, I confessed to her I’d just eaten an entire can in like 30 seconds. She laughed and said it’s weird that I can eat tuna but no other fish. Then she went on to speculate as to the reason, saying:

“Maybe tuna is not really a fish. Maybe it’s a water chicken.”

 


 

Funny German Expressions: Why You Should Always Carry a Little Money in Your Pockets

broke poor empty pockets

“But if you don’t have any money, some lint and a hairball will do just fine.” — Image Credit: Dan Moyle (https://www.flickr.com/photos/danmoyle/) — Subject to CC 2.0 License.

Remember that post I wrote a while back about visiting Konya, Turkey? This week’s denglish lesson — courtesy of my lovely German wife — took place during that trip, and it was a real doozy. In fact, it came so unexpectedly I was actually stunned into silence… right before I started laughing.

It was our first day in Konya, and I was wearing one of those hidden travel pouches to carry around our money and passports. You know the kind I’m talking about? They clip around your waist, beneath your regular belt, just north of your pink parts. Usually they fit in there nice and comfortable, but because I’m a total genius, I decided to carry my entire wallet around in there too, so it bulged out as if I were sporting the world’s most dangerously impacted colon.

So basically I was the designated bank for the remainder of our trip; whenever we needed to pay for something, I would casually turn away from everyone in the vicinity, reach into my pants, unzip the travel pouch and pull out some euros. WARNING: It is impossible to do this in Konya without looking like you’re about to piss on a mosque — an act which would be infinitely more dangerous than just raising a fistful of money to the sky and declaring, “Hello Muslims! I am a white man with retarded amounts of cash on my person and precious little common sense with which to protect it. Would any of you care to kick me straight in my American balls and take it?”

On a side note: I think I’m way more likely to be robbed back home in Portland, Oregon, than I would ever be in Konya, Turkey. In Konya, the scariest thing I encountered was a squat toilet. (And while they may be ergonomically correct, they are also ergonomically disgusting.)

037-turkish-bathroom-squat-toilet

“Nevermind. I’ll just hold it until I die.”

Anyway, toward the end of that first day, after I grew tired of pulling money out of my underwear, I tried to convince my wife it would be okay if she carried a little cash too. She didn’t want to at first, but she finally relented, holding out her hand in the middle of a busy Turkish market and saying:

“Ok, maybe you can give me a €50 so the dog doesn’t pee on me.”

*From the German expression, “Damit mich der Hund nicht anpinkelt,” which translates literally to, “So that the dog does not pee on me.” In all honesty, this expression doesn’t make much sense. At first I thought it was kind of like when a bird shits on your head — you know, just a random instance of bad luck — but my wife said it has more to do with, “not having empty pockets, so you don’t seem like a homeless person… because, I guess, a dog might pee on a homeless person.” (Then she explained it’s just a stupid expression which doesn’t mean anything and I should leave her alone so she could go get a snack from the fridge.)

And if you’d like to read more about Konya, Turkey, check out these two posts:
Discovering Konya, Turkey: The Top 10 Preconceived Notions Dislodged from My American Brain
— and —
Visiting Konya: Pictures and Videos from Our Trip to Turkey

 


 

Funny German Expressions: How to Say Something “Makes a Lot of Sense”

learning-german-confused-man-with-puzzle-pieces-fit-together

“Wait… German doesn’t make any sense at all!” — Image Credit: David Goehring (https://www.flickr.com/photos/carbonnyc/) — Subject to CC 2.0 License

My wife is a very busy woman. She’s a Gymnasium teacher here in Hannover, Germany, and she works long hours both at school and at home. She puts in some serious overtime grading tests and organizing her lesson plans each night — in part because she’s German, and obsessive attention to detail seems to have a stranglehold on her DNA — but also because she’s just really passionate about her subject. (She teaches philosophy, and she has a major she-boner for Plato.)

This is all great and wonderful. I’m very proud of her. But with so much dedication to work, sometimes the little tasks in life are put on hold — like writing thank you cards after the holidays. Personally, I like to get this over with as soon as humanly possible. We’re talking January 15th here, at the latest. My wife, on the other hand, approaches thank you cards with an attitude closer to, Fuck it, either my awesome American husband will do it for me, or they’ll just write themselves.

So after the holidays last year, when the thank you cards had been sitting on her desk for like 2 months even though I’d already written them and all she had to do was sign them, god dammit, she finally got around to it. She’d taken the time to write some really meaningful, thoughtful words of gratitude, and signed them all with a flourish. Then, when she handed them back to me, she declared:

“Sometimes I take forever to write something, but when I do, it has arms and legs.”

*From the German expression, “Es hat Hand und Fuß,” which translates figuratively to “It makes a lot of sense,” or “It is worthwhile,” but translates literally to “It has hand and foot.”

 


 

Sexy Plato: My German Wife on Teaching Philosophy to 10th Graders

Plato-Ancient-Greek-Philosopher-Statue-Bust-Sculpture

Meet Plato: Socrates’ little sex kitten. — Photo Credit: aaron wolpert (https://www.flickr.com/photos/aaron_wolpert/) — Subject to CC 2.0 License

My wife is German, and she is a great big nerd. Good-looking, but a nerd nonetheless. Specifically, she is a philosophy nerd; you know, the ones who are super smart but somehow fail to notice the gaping void where their post-college job opportunities should be? Luckily, my wife saw that disaster coming and rolled her love of philosophy into a second master’s degree, which allowed her to land an awesome job teaching philosophy to Gymnasium students here in Hannover, Germany. (To be fair, I’m a nerd too, but I’m more the Computer/Sci-Fi/Fantasy type. Also, I wear hoodies 24/7 because they’re the next best thing to a cloak of invisibility.)

As it turns out, my wife is not only freakishly passionate about philosophy, but she’s passionate about teaching it too. She spends countless hours after work preparing lessons and materials for her students, even though I keep telling her teenagers are nothing but a bunch of filthy, stinking ingrates who don’t deserve her extra efforts and we should totally be re-watching episodes of Firefly instead goddammit.

So one evening, after she’d spent over 2 hours making extra materials for her 10th graders, my wife said she would be teaching them about the subjects of death and dying. Personally, I would have loved to sit in on that class, but she wasn’t terribly excited about it. You see, her favorite topics come from the Classical Greek philosophers — Plato, in particular. She could talk about that fruity Grecian forever. (And she does — which is why I no longer ask anything about him unless I want to wipe my schedule clean for the rest of the day.)

Anyway, she went on to explain how the curriculum required her to discuss the larger, more general themes with her students first — like mortality — rather than diving straight into the specific works of the ancient philosophers. And she clarified this point in surprisingly graphic fashion:

“I would rather teach them about Plato, but you know how when you want to have sexy time, you don’t just stick it in — you need to have some foreplay first.”