Category Archives: Funny Stories

Adventures having very little to do with Germany.

Twitching Eyelid: American Expat in Germany Suffers Two Months of Ocular Mortification

eye scared close up Twitching-Eyelid-Spasm-Eye-Funny-Pictures

“For the love of all that is good and holy, please HOLD STILL.”

For over two months, my upper right eyelid twitched all day, every day, and made me look like a man on the verge of an explosive emotional breakdown. Now, I’m not talking about the harmless little ticks and occasional spasms of the eyelid we all experience from time to time — the ones no one else can really see — I’m talking about violent contractions of the muscles above my eye, obvious enough to cause my wife to laugh at me and my German language classmates to recoil from my very presence in fear and confusion.

According to every masochistic Google health search I performed, the main causes of twitching eyelids are:

  1. Stress
  2. Eye Strain
  3. Tiredness
  4. Caffeine
  5. Alcohol
  6. Allergies
  7. Dry Eyes
  8. Debris Beneath the Eyelid
  9. Nutritional Imbalances

So that pretty much covers everything! I mean, as a freelance graphic designer, I am always stressed about where my next paycheck is coming from, and I spend all day straining my eyes in front of my computer monitor. I get up early and hit the gym every day, so I’m often very tired. I drink a fat mug of instant coffee every morning — at least two scoops — so my heart runs double-time. I drink heroic amounts of German beer on the weekends because German beer is awesome. I have powerful pollen allergies, which cause dry, itchy eyes and no-doubt pack all kinds of filthy shit beneath my eyelids. And as for nutritional imbalances? Well, I do eat a lot of disgusting German meat products.

zungenwurst-tongue-sausage-german-food-deli

“Taste the horror.”

When my wife and I visited the United States for Spring Break, we went to a huge party filled with doctors and medical professionals of all kinds. (It was an older crowd, but we still partied our asses off.) Anyway, I ran into my optometrist — a man I’d known my entire life — and showed him my freakish eye problem. Here’s how our conversation went, word for word:

ME: *Beer in hand* “See?! Did you see that?!”

DOCTOR: “Yes. That’s called ‘myokymia.’ It’s harmless.”

ME: “But it’s been going on for months now. Oh God, it’s a brain tumor, isn’t it.

DOCTOR: *Laughing* “No, no — it’s very common. Persistent twitching like that can last hours, days, months… sometimes even years.”

ME: “Years?! Holy Christ. But you’re absolutely sure it’s not a brain tumor, right?”

DOCTOR: “Right. It’s not a tumor.”

ME: *Eyeing him suspiciously and taking another swig of beer* “You’re sure?”

DOCTOR: “Yes. I’m sure”

headache funny kid with sword through head

“Oh good. I feel much better now.” — Image courtesy of Wapster (http://www.flickr.com/photos/wapster/) – Subject to CC 2.0 Generic Copyright

A week later, we returned to our home in Hannover, Germany, and my twitching eyelid continued to embarrass me like a dog licking his butt hole at a cocktail party. At a loss for any real solutions or cures, I began keeping track of my problem and its progress. Here are the complete, unabridged entries from my journal:

  • March 6th: Upper right eyelid began twitching very hard, off and on, throughout the day. Especially from mid-morning through early evening.
  • March 20th: Still twitching.
  • April 15th: Still twitching.
  • April 27th: Still twitching, but the twitches are weaker. I have been using allergy eye drops every day the last few weeks. Could be the answer!
  • May 5th: Nope. Eyelid is still twitching hard as fuck.
  • May 6th: Twitching has been going on for exactly 2 months now.
  • May 14th: Still twitching. Out of desperation, I have stopped drinking instant coffee and switched to black tea.
  • May 21st: Oh holy Christ on rice, my eyelid hasn’t twitched at all for a week!
  • May 31st: Apparently cutting out the absurdly strong instant coffee was the answer. I am a complete and total moron.
Folgers-Instant-Coffee-Jars-Cans

“Wait, is this too much?” — Image Credit: Mike Mozart (https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/) — Subject to CC 2.0 Generic Copyright

Wow. So just cutting back on caffeine was the answer? Clearly I am the smartest man alive. So, overall, I have to rate my experience with eyelid twitching — and my own complete disregard for its most obvious solution — with 1 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds:

Merkel-Diamonds-1-of-5

If you liked this post, there’s a solid chance you’ll dig this one too: My German Wife Attempts to Reheat A Soft Boiled Egg in the Microwave

 


 

The Perfect Latte Macchiato: My German Wife’s Top 10 Attempts to Make This Elusive Coffee Beverage

The term latte macchiato translates disturbingly to stained milk. It is a coffee beverage prepared by adding espresso to foamed milk, and true coffee nerds like to pour the espresso in gently, so it floats between the liquid milk below and the frothed milk above. When done correctly, the layers stay separate, like an adorable little metaphor for racial segregation. You can buy these cups of Apartheid for $5.00+ at Starbucks, or you can just make them yourself at home. (Or you can be like me, and not drink them at all because you don’t give one piece of flying monkey shit about coffee anyway.)

My wife takes great pride in preparing her own latte macchiatos. (And then telling me how much money she’s saving every… single… time.) She uses this little reverse espresso thingie, which sits directly on the stove and bubbles the water up through the grounds. Check it out:

italian-espresso-maker

But the problem has always been how to properly froth the milk. My wife started out using an absolute piece of garbage milk foamer, which looked like this:

handheld-milk-foamer-device

…but the foaming process took so long our breakfast would get cold and then I’d get all hungry and pissed off, like a little bitch. So thankfully, my wife graduated to a real milk foamer, which looks like this:

tchibo-milk-foamer-milchschaumer

Aww yeah! This thing can foam the shit out of some milk. It’s from a chain of German coffee retailers called Tchibo, which, inexplicably, sells completely unrelated products as well. One week you can roll into Tchibo for some coffee and a complete set of running gear, and the next you’ll get your coffee while enjoying a sale on electronic gadgets. Makes no sense to me. All I know is the logo — which is supposed to be a steaming coffee bean — looks more like a smoking vagina after a particularly exhausting porno shoot.

 

So anyway, my wife has been making these stupid coffee drinks for herself every weekend since we moved into our new house. She’s the only one who drinks them; I just take pictures of her efforts so I can mock them. What follows is a list of my German wife’s top 10 attempts to make the perfect latte macchiato:

#10

Perfect-Latte-Macchiato-10

Oh come on, honey! That looks like a glass full of toilet water! There’s hardly even any foam on top, and that gradient from milk to espresso… for shame. I cannot award this attempt with anything higher than 1 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds:

Merkel-Diamonds-1-of-5

#9

Perfect-Latte-Macchiato-9

Dear God, this one’s about to spill over! And I bet I’ll be the one to clean it up! What is that coming out of the top anyway? A stool sample from the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? 1 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds for you!

Merkel Diamond from Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Germany

#8

Perfect-Latte-Macchiato-8

Alright, now this one is lookin’ better. I don’t see any spillage, and the foam has a nice, non-fecal shape. But dude, there’s more espresso in there than milk! The ideal proportions should be 1:1, or so say the rules I just totally made up. This one scores 2 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds.

Merkel Diamond from Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Germany

#7

Perfect-Latte-Macchiato-7

Now we’re gettin’ somewhere. Nice rounded foam top. Visible gradient lines between milk and espresso. The ratio is still off, however, and I know you’re better than that. Again, 2 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds.

Merkel Diamond from Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Germany

#6

Perfect-Latte-Macchiato-6

Wow! Excellent foam, better ratio. Your technique has really improved, my dear. But what is that brown streak running down the side? Looks like a skid mark. Filthy, but much improved. You’ve earned 3 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds with this one.

Merkel Diamond from Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Germany

#5

Perfect-Latte-Macchiato-5

Solid foam top, distinct layering and a decent milk-to-espresso ratio — although a bit heavy on the espresso. But my main concern is THAT GIANT FESTERING TUMOR ON THE SIDE. Are you really gonna drink that, honey? Better lance it first and then cauterize the wound. Jesus Christ. 3 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds.

Merkel Diamond from Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Germany

#4

Perfect-Latte-Macchiato-4

I like where your head is at: good ratios, graceful foam formation and no malignant tumors. But what’s with the turbo skid mark? Looks like my undies after an hour on the stationary bike. “Honey, I sure hope today is laundry day!”

This one kicks it up a notch to 4 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds.

Merkel Diamond from Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Germany

#3

Perfect-Latte-Macchiato-3

Again, I’m not a big fan of the skid marks down the side, but I must applaud your attention to detail. The foam comes to a pleasing apex, and the espresso is clearly separate from the milk. (Though you’re still using enough milk to drown a dairy cow.) 4 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds.

Merkel Diamond from Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Germany

#2

Perfect-Latte-Macchiato-2

Oooo! Now that looks professional! I hate to see that little brown star on the side, and the milk could be in better balance with the espresso, but still, great work! The ratio is still too heavy on the milk, however, and the German I married would never settle for second best. That’s why you get 4 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds, mein Schatz.

Merkel Diamond from Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Germany

#1

Perfect-Latte-Macchiato-1

Ahhhh, perfection. Look at that generous heap of milk foam. It’s like a pile of baby dreams. And the milk-to-espresso ratio? Perfect. Why, you can even see two distinct layers in the coffee. It’s a two-tone work of art! Congratulations, my little German wife, you’ve finally achieved 5 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds.

Merkel Diamond from Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Germany

But what do you think, Dear Reader? Which of these 10 latte macchiatos is the best one? The comment section is open, and we’ve even got a survey in which to make your preference known!

 

If you liked this post, there’s a solid chance you’ll dig this one too: My German Wife Attempts to Reheat A Soft Boiled Egg in the Microwave

 


 

My German Wife Puts a Dead Cat in the Microwave

leschi-warming-pillow-warmekissen-black

*hissssss*

Okay, so I may have exaggerated a little with the title of this post, but check it out; this thing is flat as a pancake, jet black, and it never moves… just like a real dead cat!

What you’re seeing above is a Leschi Wärmekissen — or microwaveable warming pillow — which my wife received from her parents for her birthday. (Until this year, I had no idea you could warm yourself using bags of wheat shaped like roadkill. It’s just so grim and humorless. God I love this country.)

So my wife gets this thing and, because she’s a huge philosophy nerd, promptly names it “Minerva.” Minerva was the Roman version of the Greek goddess Athena, and Athena was the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, strategic warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and… you know what? They should have just named her “Miscellaneous.”

My wife took Minerva into the kitchen, put her in the microwave and zapped her ass for exactly one and a half minutes. She then shook the bejeezus out of the poor thing — mixing all the wheat kernels inside — and gave her another minute and a half. When Minerva finally came out of the microwave, she was hot. Like, surprisingly hot, and growing hotter with every passing second. My wife wrapped the thing around my neck and exactly three thoughts sprang into my mind:

  1. I am impressed because it is burning me.
  2. The kernels inside are seeping moisture onto my neck.
  3. Are children allowed to use warming pillows? I mean, you just know there’s gonna be a lawsuit after a little kid gets a hold of one of these things and gleefully wraps molten grain around his jugular…

So we placed Minerva in a dish rag and that helped with the moisture. It also helped keep her from blistering the skin over my vertebrae. I really was impressed though: the warming pillow kept its heat for almost an hour. Here is the sequence of events:

leschi-warming-pillow-wrapped-in-towel

“Wait! Stop! I am not a burrito!”

leschi-warming-pillow-in-microwave-with-towel

“This is a joke, right? Ha ha, guys. Very funny.”

leschi-warming-pillow-in-microwave

“Oh God, it burns! You sons of bitches, it burrrrns!”

Once Minerva began to cool, I went back into the kitchen and attempted to reheat her myself. And since I am American, I figured, hell, more is better, right? Wouldn’t the heat last even longer if I were to leave her in the microwave for, say, two and a half minutes at a time? And that’s how I managed to turn Minerva into “Popcorn Minerva.”

Ever since that day, she has smelled exactly like scorched popcorn, which is how she became more my birthday present than my wife’s. I’m the only one who uses the foul-smelling thing. I keep Popcorn Minerva stuffed into the back of my hood, which is pulled up over my head all day long as I work. The smell permeates my hoodie and seeps into every pore of my skull, so when my wife comes home at the end of the day, she pulls my hood back, sniffs my forehead and tells me I smell, “like an old man.”

This one is totally my fault. I can only award myself 1 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds for the manner in which I destroyed my wife’s birthday present this year:

Merkel-Diamonds-1-of-5

(I get one diamond for effort. If the cat had burst into flames, I would have earned at least 3 for style.)

 

Would you like to read another post about life in Germany? You might dig this one: Culture Shock: Even More Things That Suck About Living in Germany