Tag Archives: German

Denglish 42: The German Sizes Up Daniel Radcliffe

As my wife and I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part II, I made a comment about Daniel Radcliffe’s remarkably slight, 5’6″ build:

ME: “My God that Harry Potter is small.”

THE WIFE: “In German we say, ‘Er ist eine halbe Portion,’ which means, “He is a half portion.’ “

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

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Denglish 41: My German Wife Requires Garlic to Make It Tasty

Sometime last year, The Wife and I were discussing our shopping list over the phone. We were planning to make a casserole and our list was nearly complete, but I asked if there were any additional items we might need. She responded thusly:

THE WIFE: “Oh, we do need garlic. We make it nasty with stink!”

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Denglish 40: Our First German-American Pizza War

The Wife and I love making pizza together. We each choose a side of the dough, then select our own ingredients and arrange them however we like. But make no mistake — this is a violent competition to see who can make the better-tasting half. Seriously. People have been injured.

For our very first pizza, my wife chose to make some kind of hideous spinach and mushroom disaster (just kidding — it was actually really good, but don’t tell her I said that). For my side, I chose Greek olives, feta and red onions, and even my wife had to admit the ingredients sounded awesome:

THE WIFE: “Greek Salad Pizza? Oooo, I sneak up on your side.”

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Denglish 39: Impressing The German with “O-o-h Child”

I once informed my wife I was about to impress the hell out of her by singing a high-pitched rendition of “O-o-h Child” by 1970’s soul family group, the Five Stairsteps. She prompted the serenade thusly:

THE WIFE: “Yes, please impress me. I’m just kidding. That was a joke.”

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Denglish 38: My German Wife Speaks Bluntly About Ally McBeal’s Bosom

Inexplicably, my wife’s all-time favorite TV show is Ally McBeal. She owns every season on DVD, and finally managed to get me to watch an episode after henpecking me for a year, effectively breaking my spirit and leaving me an empty shell of a man.

Since then, The Wife and I have had numerous discussions about Calista Flockhart, the characters, storyline and overall substance of the show. My wife enjoys its silly humor, especially as it concerns young, professional, unmarried and childless characters. A great deal of value is placed upon independence, which, I believe, is what my wife likes most about it. However, the first thing she ever said to me about the show was…

THE WIFE: “In Season 2, Ally McBeal has no tits at all.”

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Denglish 35: My German Wife Cannot Smell the Scent of Happy Hour in New York City

During our 2010 trip to New York, The Wife and I made a point of visiting every Irish Pub we came across in Manhattan. On one occasion, we entered a pub on the Lower East Side to find the bar was completely full, but there was seating in the restaurant area. A friendly manager sat us in the restaurant, explaining we could still drink and eat at happy hour prices. Our waitress, however, was a grumpy New York waif, whom we deemed “Surly Sarah.” At the end of our meal, she brought us the bill with full menu prices, even though we’d ordered well within the happy hour timeframe. Surly Sarah was more than a little inconvenienced by the fact that we had not read her mind and reminded her of this beforehand.

THE WIFE: “You decide in your head to charge us full price? Can I smell this? No.”

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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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