Tag Archives: Family

The Wise Guys 2013 Antidepressant Tour – As Experienced by An American Expat and His German Wife

The Wise Guys a cappella group Germany Good Vibrations Tour Gottingen Antidepressant Tour 2013

“If these guys are supposed to replace my antidepressant medication for the evening, their act better involve hurling bottles of single malt Scotch into the crowd.”

The Wise Guys are an a cappella group from the early 1990s, originally from Cologne, Germany. If you are an American, you might have heard their hit single, “Jetzt ist Sommer” (Now It’s Summer).

As a Christmas gift, my German brother-in-law bought us tickets to see the Wise Guys in Göttingen for their Antidepressivum Tour 2013. (Here’s the official promo video. It’s actually pretty cool):

It’s a cappella with iPhones! That’s just adorable.

So we went to Göttingen and saw the show, and now that I’ve been to a Wise Guys concert, I would like to make a few remarks about the experience:

  1. It took place in a seemingly abandoned warehouse. After arriving in Göttingen, we walked into the venue and found ourselves in what appeared to be the basement from Fight Club, only much, much bigger. There were exposed I-beams in the ceiling, a cement floor, and lots of industrial-looking chains hanging all over the place. (The only things missing were pools of dried blood and a greased-up Brad Pitt.) My brother-in-law explained the building used to be a factory for making automobile components which, in turn, explained why it was so goddamn cold in there.
  2. The smoke machines were working overtime. I can appreciate the dramatic effect smoke machines bring to a concert just as much as the next guy, but the Germans running this show took it to the next level. I could hardly see my wife walking in front of me through the haze of fog juice. I don’t know what they were pumping through those machines, but it smelled of mineral oil and felt like tepid cotton candy sifting through my lungs.
  3. Recording videos was ‘verboten.’ As the show began, we were informed picture taking was allowed, but recording video was not. Now, I am an American, which means I was born to break the rules. (You know those old “Piracy, it’s a crime.” videos they used to play before feature films to discourage downloading pirated films? My answer was always, “Actually, Sir, I would steal a handbag.”) Anyway, as I was filming my 10th video clip of the Wise Guys, a flashlight from behind suddenly lit up my iPhone like it was on fire. A security guard had caught me. He tapped me on the shoulder, gave me an adorably reproachful look and waved his finger as if to say, “You stop that now, you naughty little American schoolboy.” I nodded, flashing my pearly whites, and resigned myself to recording videos down low, between the seats, where the Fuzz couldn’t catch me no mo.’
  4. For Germans, a cappella music really is an antidepressant! The crowd went nuts for the Wise Guys! They were swaying from side to side, singing along and standing up and clapping. It was awesome. Everyone knew the lyrics (except for me) and they really seemed to be having a great time. Not one frown in the place, which is exceptionally rare for such a large gathering of German people. There was a palpable vibe of happiness in the air. I enjoyed being a part of it, despite the fact that I was inoculated at birth against the effects of cheesy a cappella bands.
The Wise Guys a cappella group Germany Good Vibrations Tour Gottingen Antidepressant Tour 2013 Live in Concert

“Don’t try and make me smile, you nerds. Ronald McDonald couldn’t pull it off and neither can you.”

After the show, The Wife and I walked to Bahnhof Göttingen and waited for the train to take us back to Hannover. I thought it would be a brilliant idea if we had beer for the ride home, so we went inside the nearest Burger King for a couple pints. (Oh yes, you can order beer just about anywhere in this beautiful country.) And as my wife was ordering from the woman behind the cash register, I reached over her shoulder in a sudden, stroke-like jerk of impulse, pointed to the big sign overhead and yelled, “–And that! We’ll take that giant bastard too.”

Burger King XXL Burger - Der Big King Deutschland Germany Gottingen

The result: Two beers and ‘Der Big King XXL.’

I don’t know what came over me. I hadn’t eaten fast food in over a year and a half, so I must have been overwhelmed by that gigantic golden burger looming above me like the glory of the Sun. And in that picture above, my wife is holding only the remaining half of the burger. It was bigger than her head, and so greasy and wonderful it absolutely destroyed our digestive tracts. We were both rippin’ ass the whole way home, and I’m not just talking about innocent little toots here and there; we were dropping bombs on that train. So noxious they burned our little pink balloon knots.

If you’d like to learn more about the Wise Guys, check out their website at www.wiseguys.de, and if you’d like to learn more about Der Big King XXL from Burger King, check out the website at www.burgerking.de/menu/big-king-xxl.

Would you like to experience another (fascinating) German event with us? Check out our video from the 2013 Hannover Oktoberfest.

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Denglish 82: My German Wife Ridicules My American Bathroom Habits

To be perfectly honest with you, this post isn’t really about Denglish. It doesn’t concern German or English, or the hilarious mistranslations and linguistic mash-ups which can occur between the two. No, this post is about my wife’s sense of humor, and how she wields it like a blind Viking at an axe-throwing competition.

Back when we were living in the States, The Wife and I went shopping every week. We kept a meticulous shopping list and updated it the moment we started to run out of something important. We were constantly adding items to the list — it was common practice in our household — so you can imagine my surprise when, out of nowhere, she hauled off and announced:

THE WIFE: “We are down to our last roll of toilet paper. We need to add it to the shopping list because YOU definitely won’t stop poopin’.”

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

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Denglish 81: German Woman Totally Destroys Yet Another Innocent Nickname

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you already know I come up with a lot of nicknames for my friends. And by nicknames, I mean random word combinations of an insulting or overtly distasteful nature. It’s a habit, and I couldn’t stop doing it if I wanted to; my brain pulls together a few unrelated words out of nowhere, then commands my mouth to spout them off at the people I love most.

By far, my wife bears the brunt of these nicknames, though in her case they tend to masquerade as adorable pet names. Over the course of an average day, I will call her between 10 and 15 different pet names, each one worse than the last. Here are just a few examples:

7:00 am, as I walk her to the door:
“Have a good day at work, my little donkey slap!”

10:00 am, in a text message:
“Hey fruit-jockey, where do we keep the regular size envelopes?”

12:00 pm, another text message:
“Yo yo thunder-bone, when you comin’ home tonight?”

5:00 pm, as I greet her at the door:
“How was your day, my little rotten apple core?”

7:00 pm, as I change into my pajamas:
“Hey broccoli brain, do these undies make my junk look good?”

10:00 pm, after I finish brushing my teeth:
“See you on the flip side, my little banana basket!” *swat on the ass*

11:00 pm, as I am turning out my reading light:
“Mother of God, your feet are so cold, you little refrigerator magnet!”

2:00 am, as I suffer from insomnia:
“I can’t sleep. Are you still awake, my little cotton ball?”

Being exposed to such a verbal barrage on a daily basis takes its toll upon my wife. Her scrambled German brain cannot help but adopt this pet naming habit of mine, so these days she fires them right back at me. Of course, some of them come out a tad warped from her internal translation process, making for quotes like this little gem:

THE WIFE: “How are you doing, my little peach-cock feather?”

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

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Denglish 80: My German Wife Hilariously Reinvents the Rocking Chair

During that same drive home in early November of 2012, after my wife belched so loudly my ears rang, we started talking about ways to improve our house. These improvements will never happen unless one of us wins the German lottery, or I finally launch my career as an internationally renowned foot model. (Seriously, for a dude, my feet are beautiful.) But home improvements are still fun to talk about, so we discussed the idea of adding a second story, building a privacy fence around our yard, or perhaps even adding a front porch.

ME: “I like front porches. You’re still on your own property, but you can see everything and just sit there and relax…”

THE WIFE: “And have a rocket chair!”

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

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Denglish 79: My German Wife Can Burp Harder Than Anyone. Ever.

Let me begin by saying my wife can burp. Hard. She can burp so loud it makes me want to throw up a little. I think she’s been practicing her burps since she was a little girl in Germany. (I like to picture her running through an apple orchard, one tiny fist wrapped around a stump of liverwurst, mouth open wide and belting out a burp so loud the earth is shaking… apples falling from the trees… little German rabbits huddled together, seeking comfort as they fear for their very lives…)

So, back in early November of 2012, while we were still living in Portland, Oregon, The Wife and I went to my parent’s house for dinner. It was a pleasant evening, rife with laughter, good food and embarrassing childhood photos in which my American weenie was proudly displayed for the amusement of all. After dinner, The Wife and I drove home on I-5 and talked about how our car had been sideswiped just a few weeks prior (a memory which never fails to piss her off, even to this very day). She was tired, and spoke with this kind of drowsy German accent, which made it abundantly clear she was at least half drunk:

THE WIFE: “If we get sideswiped right now… *BURRRRRP* …I’m pissed.”

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

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Denglish 78: My German Wife Asks Me Not to Strike Her Loins

Back in early 2012, The Wife and I were watching a movie in our living room. I can’t remember now, but it was probably a chick flick like Sex and the City 2 or Eat Pray Love — something my wife forced me to add to my Netflix queue, forever sullying its masculine streak of pure, testicle-powered entertainment. (Wait, that sounded like gay porn, didn’t it.)

So, sometime during the second half of the movie, I stood up to get a glass of water from the kitchen, swatted my wife’s thigh and asked, “Would you like anything while I’m up?”

She replied calmly, without turning her gaze from the TV screen.

THE WIFE: “Please don’t slap my fat meat.”

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

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Denglish 77: Maternal Bonding During Pregnancy, According to My German Wife

My wife and I are currently in our early thirties. This means we are at that stage in which all of our friends are procreating. Some of them are even on Colossal Life Mistake #2. (We aren’t ready for kids yet.)

Not only do we marvel at the very notion of having children in general, but we discuss the specifics of pregnancy, fetuses and gestation as well. We speak of these things as if they are unknowable ideations communicated to us from some distant galaxy; a galaxy inhabited by aliens so burdened by their own offspring they cannot stand the knowledge that here, on this planet we call Earth, sexy young couples are enjoying Friday and Saturday nights in perfect, uninterrupted tranquility.

So, back in early 2012, The Wife asked if I thought the bond between mothers and their babies formed automatically. She wondered if a new mother would feel an instant connection to her child, or if it happens over time. I told her growing a disgusting infant inside one’s body for the better part of a year probably forms some kind of bond. At least I hope so. (Imagine a sticky little goblin clawing its way toward the light without benefit of maternal bliss to herald its arrival. I shudder at the thought.)

Ignoring this scenario, my wife stroked her chin sagely and nodded in agreement.

THE WIFE: “Yes. They are connected for 9 months by the belly button wire.”

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

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Denglish 76: My German Wife Appreciates Complimentary Swag

Back in early 2012, one of my bosses took a trip to Disneyland with his family. When he returned, he gave each employee a giant coffee mug painted in the likeness of a Disney character. He had Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, the Chesire Cat from Alice in Wonderland and Goofy from every Disney cartoon requiring a functionally retarded dog to fall down and say “Ah-hyuck!”

I, however, received Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. I loved it! The giant eyeball was just my kind of creepy, and I liked its sickly shade of green. I liked it so much, in fact, I took it home so I could show it to my wife. “Isn’t this cool?” I exclaimed. “Look at the giant eye and sharp teeth! It’s the perfect mug for me, don’t you think?” To which she replied…

THE WIFE: “I like for-free shit.”

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

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Denglish 75: My German Wife Explains Urinary Hormone Levels

You already know my wife and I are disgusting. It should come as no surprise we have precious few boundaries where the bathroom is concerned. In general, we won’t walk in on each other when the door is closed. However, last winter, my wife was in the bathroom and the door was slightly ajar. I needed to pluck a nose hair in a big hurry or something, so I busted right on in and went to work. My wife was clearly peeing, as she is wont to do, and I noticed how strongly it stank.

ME: “Your pee smells so strongly.”

THE WIFE: “That’s because the female body has so much Ostesterone.”

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

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Denglish 74: My German Wife Invents Acrobatic Dried Goods

When The Wife and I go grocery shopping, we always like to shake things up by buying a few items we don’t purchase regularly. Back in February of 2012, we were on some kind of dried goods kick, eating raisins, dried apricots, cashews and other nuts. Our cupboard was pretty well-stocked, but I felt like a snack and couldn’t remember everything we had. When I asked my wife what my options were, she replied:

THE WIFE: “We have almonds and banana flips.”

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

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