Tag Archives: Relationships

German Woman Explains ‘Disc Parking’ to Her American Husband

German-Parking-Disc-Parkuhr

“Parking discs are like little time machines fueled by guilt.” — Photo Credit: “Zeichen 291″ — Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Zeichen_291.svg#mediaviewer/File:Zeichen_291.svg

Back in February of 2013, my German wife and I were driving through a small village in Niedersachsen when we decided to stop and take a look around (which obviously means she made us stop so she could do some window shopping.) And as usual, my wife was behind the wheel because, A: just looking at the Autobahn gives me a panic attack, and B: I haven’t driven a stick shift since I was 16 years old, so the clutch would probably detonate the moment my foot touched it.

As she parked the car, I noticed my wife reaching for something under the seat; a rectangular piece of paperboard with a rotating dial on the front indicating the time of day. She spun the dial and set it on the dashboard facing outward. I climbed out of the passenger seat, looked through the windshield and saw she’d set the dial to the exact time we’d arrived.

German-Disc-Parking-Meter-Europe

“Honey, I know you’re a good person and all, but now is not the time for honesty.”

Now, there were absolutely no other cars to be seen. No people around either. In fact, the whole place seemed to be asleep. (Asleep or dead. It’s hard to tell with these village Germans.) I couldn’t understand why it would matter how long we parked there, or if some parking inspector would actually be dick enough to check our dial and ticket us for staying too long. Furthermore, I could not understand my wife’s reluctance to take full advantage of a rule system so naive it actually bases itself on trust. Holy shit, I wanted to spin that dial so hard it would say we got there tomorrow.

Anyway, I pointed to the dashboard and said to my wife, “Why not just crank that thing super late, so if you’re asked, you can say, ‘I’m just a silly little German. I made a mistake.’ “

Without even looking, she dropped her keys in her purse, stepped up onto the sidewalk and said, “Germans don’t make mistakes.”

 


 

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The Screamingly Psychotic, Totally Dysfunctional German Couple Upstairs

couple yelling at each other

“It’s not over until somebody shatters a vase.” — Photo by Vic — Subject to copyright — (https://www.flickr.com/photos/59632563@N04/)

In an earlier post, I told you about our apartment building and the truly evil neighbors beneath us. Today, I would like to tell you about the batshit insane ones living in the apartment directly above, and why I hate them with every ventricle of my American heart.

First off, let’s meet the couple: Off-Medication Astrid and her henpecked husband, Timur the Castrated. At first glance, they may look perfectly ordinary. Astrid is a young German woman, pretty, with long blonde hair. Timur is Turkish, and he has that adorably pathetic look of a little boy who has just zipped his pecker up in his fly for the first time. But if you take a longer look — really stab them to death with your eyes — you’ll see they are far from normal.

Timur the Castrated, as the name suggests, has only one major flaw: deficient scrotitude. He doesn’t have the eggs to divorce his crazy wife, but that’s not what infuriates me about him. No, I want to pick up a newspaper off the street, roll it up real tight, and pimp slap him for marrying her in the first place. I’m sure his parents warned him about her, but if they didn’t, I’d like to mega-Turk pimp slap the shit out of them too.

funny-turkish-boy-with-gun-to-head

“Quit flirting with that trigger and roll the cylinder, pussy.” — Photo by Thomas Leuthard — Subject to copyright — (https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomasleuthard/)

No, the real problem in our apartment building is Off-Medication Astrid. If you pass her in the stairwell, she will give you a toothy grin that lets you know she calms the voices in her head by detonating feeder mice in the microwave. You can just see the crazy inside her. But all one really needs to appreciate her madness is a pair of functioning eardrums. This woman is loud, and by loud, I mean the noise she generates passes through the floorboards above our home office, cuts through the music in my headphones, and punctures the bony zenith of my skull.

crazy-funny-couple-blonde-insane

“Please let me pass, lady. I just want to go home. Oh God, I just want to go home!” — Photo by David Long — Subject to copyright — (https://www.flickr.com/photos/fromthefrontend/)

Astrid seems to have exactly two behavior modes: Heavy Construction and Murderous Harpy. While in Harpy Mode, she screams, calls her husband names, cries, throws shit and then screams some more. While in Construction Mode, she is hammering, drilling and painting something with roller brushes. My wife and I have absolutely no idea what she is building.

My wife once said, “They don’t like each other. I think they are building a wall.”

I found this hilarious, but have since come up with an alternative scenario: I think Astrid fancies herself an artist. Either that, or she is constructing a Hate-Fueled Nuclear Fusion Engine, which she will one day use to split the earth in twain and entice the Devil himself to come forth and take his rightful seat upon a throne of ashes.

Get this: Astrid was once drilling something so loudly above our heads, one of the horrible neighbors in the apartment beneath us shouted up at her to stop. I felt like I was in the middle row of Hollywood Squares, trapped on all sides by senile actors from the 60s trying to out-lunatic each other. Holy flying monkeyshit I hate our neighbors. Every single one of them. Thank Christ my wife and I are looking for a new place to live. The thought of finding a house of our own is my one true hope — one which soothes me to sleep every night as I suck my thumb and snuggle my blanket like a spiteful little baby.

funny-angry-baby-sticking-tongue-out

“…you sons of bitches…” — Photo by Ms. Phoenix — Subject to copyright — (https://www.flickr.com/photos/32020964@N08/)

 


 

My German Wife Complains About Getting Cramps While Jogging

funny jogging picture of a woman running alone

“Wait up, Honey! I just blew chunks all over this new shirt your mother bought me!” — Photo by rosmary — Subject to copyright — (https://www.flickr.com/photos/rvoegtli/)

As you may already know, I often jog around the Maschsee here in Hannover, Germany. It’s about 3.9 miles in circumference (6.3 km), which is a pretty good bit of exercise for someone who sits in front of the computer all day long making pretty things for money. The first time I successfully ran the Maschsee, I wanted to throw up as hard as possible. I wanted to vomit like a dog who’s been gorging on something nasty it found in the garbage — back all hunched over real tight, mouth open and drooling, making that awful, full-body dry heaving sound, like, AHYUK-KA YUK-KA YUK-KA — and then BAM! Paydirt.

Although jogging the Maschsee has become progressively easier each time I’ve done it, there is one thing which still challenges me: talking while running. It gives some people cramps or stitches in their sides, but personally, I just don’t have the cardiovascular fortitude for it. Not after the first minute into the run or so. After that, it’s a test of willpower and socially acceptable masochism, and wasting oxygen is like spitting in the eye of the exercise gods. I’m pretty sure every dude who ever dropped dead while jogging was trying to hold a conversation at the same time, like it was no big deal. But oh, it was a big deal, for Lord Cardio the Spiteful is a god who demands your full attention, lest he become jealous and smite thee with a cataclysmic aneurysm.

old-cemetary-with-moss-covered-grave-stones

“Welcome to your new home, big mouth.” — Photo by Martin Pettitt — Image subject to copyright — (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mdpettitt/)

So back in the winter of 2012, my wife actually joined me for a jog around the Maschsee. (A rare occasion, as my wife is a teacher, and teachers work way more hours after class than you might think.) We managed to go most of the way around before we decided to walk. As we were walking, we were passed by another couple — a man and woman with superior thighs and exemplary calf muscles — who were running at a good clip while conducting an effortless conversation. I mentioned to my wife how impressive I found this, to which she replied:

THE WIFE: “If I try to talk while I run, I get these horrible side-bites.”*

*I think she was translating the German word, “Seitenstiche,” or “side stitches.”

 

 


 

My German Wife Is Impressed by a Bagpipe-Playing Lawyer

bagpipes-player-funny-man

“Stop playing that thing or I’ll shove it down your Scotch-hole.” — Photo by Jonathan Stonehouse (https://www.flickr.com/photos/gizmo_bunny/)

Back in 2012, just a few months after we moved to Germany, my wife made me watch all 5 seasons of Ally McBeal. That’s 112 episodes, each one lasting 45 minutes, which adds up 84 hours of total viewing time. (Coincidentally, 84 hours is exactly how long a man can have his testicles squeezed together in a woodworker’s vise before he begs for death’s sweet, everlasting embrace.)

As you probably know, Ally McBeal was a popular television series which ran from 1997 to 2002. It was a surreal comedy-drama, following a young, self-obsessed lawyer named Ally McBeal as she hallucinates her way through a series of romantic misadventures and magically relevant court trials, which hammer the moral of each episode into your skull with all the subtlety of a howitzer.

Ally works for a fictional law firm called Cage and Fish. One of the firm’s eccentric co-founders, John Cage, has a pet frog named Steffan (pronounced Steh-fahn.) After a series of unfortunate hijinks — involving a lot of girlish screaming, frog-tossing and the poorly timed flushing of toilets — Steffan is killed. A funeral is organized around the toilet in which Steffan met his demise, and the entire cast of the show listens as John memorializes his friend by playing the bagpipes. (The actor, Peter MacNicol, actually plays them in real life.)

I watched this scene with the predictable amount of stone-faced apathy until my German wife raised her eyebrows, nodded her head and announced:

THE WIFE: “It’s pretty impressive he can play the doodle-sack.”*

*The word “Bagpipes” in German is “der Dudelsack.”

 


 

 

My Wife Suggests Long John Underwear to Help Fight Winter Chills in Germany

long-thermal-underwear-funny-winter

“Keeps my junk so warm I gotta smile.” — Photo by Anthony Easton (https://www.flickr.com/photos/pinkmoose/)

We’ve all heard winters in northern Germany can be pretty harsh, right? They’re long, dark, scary and depressing, like a prolonged nightmare or just about any movie starring Jeremy Irons. Winters pass so slowly here, the Germans have constructed a series of traditions and paid holidays systematically designed to keep you from playing chicken with the next subway train you see and screwing up the U-Bahn schedule for everybody.

I don’t mind winter, but even I have to admit the winter of 2012 was a real penis shrinker. In Hannover, winter lasted from October until May. Seriously, it was May when my wife and I were finally able to turn off the heat in our apartment and not freeze to death like a couple of white chocolate popsicles. Luckily, my wife is German and she knows how to deal with these long winters. She’s always telling me to wrap myself in a blanket, drink hot chamomile tea (because Germans think chamomile is a panacea), place a hot water bottle on my lap and wear thermal underwear beneath my pants (known more creepily as “long johns”).

I generally follow her advice, but the truth is I am a profoundly lazy man. Sometimes I cannot be bothered with all 4 aspects of her winter defensive strategy, which is why, back in November of 2012, I wore thin pajama pants while working at my computer and then complained about the fact that my legs were cold. My wife came into the office, put her teacher’s bag on the floor and announced:

THE WIFE: “It is getting very cold. Your pee-jammy pants are not warm enough. Tomorrow we buy you Johnny Long Bottoms.”

My German Wife Orders the Execution of an (Apparently) Female Pest

german-wasp-pests-insects-dead

¡Viva la Revolución!

Our apartment here in Hannover, Germany, has a little south-facing balcony in back. It gets full sun with almost no wind, thanks to the adjoining buildings on either side. During the summer months, our balcony gets so hot we are forced to enjoy Saturday morning brunch in our underpants. Seriously, we eat sliced meats, cheeses and bread rolls wearing little more than the shame God gave us.

traditional-german-breakfast-cheese-wurst-bread

I cropped this photo so you couldn’t see my junk.

I don’t know if it’s the heat, lack of wind, or the musk of our traditional German breakfasts, but we are constantly hassled by wasps. They only come one at a time — never in a swarm — but they are relentless. Destroying these wasps is a task which falls squarely upon my American shoulders; I use my baseball cap to swat them right out of the sky, and then separate their heads from their bodies with the brim of my hat, like a big, dull knife. Once a wasp has been decapitated, I set its head upon the ledge of the balcony — eventually gathering 4 or 5 of them and lining them up in a row — as a warning to the rest of the wasp community: “Your kind is not welcome here. All stinging insects will be assassinated without hesitation. (Except honey bees. You guys are cool.)”

During my time as a naturally gifted wasp slayer, (dare I say, artist?), I have learned exactly 2 things:

  1. Wasps give exactly zero fucks about the sight of their decapitated family members.
  2. My wife hates wasps more than I do

So back in September, as we were eating brunch on our balcony, one particularly ballsy fellow landed on a piece of meat on my wife’s plate. I gently brushed the wasp upward, into the air, and smacked it right back down with my baseball cap. It hit the ground, stunned but very much alive, and buzzed its little wings with such fury the dust swirled around it like a pissed-off tornado. That’s when my wife announced:

THE WIFE: “Okay. She can die now.”

ME: *Laughing* “She? Why is it a ‘she‘ and not an ‘it‘? Can you see her little wasp titties or something?”

THE WIFE: “Just kill her!“*

*Apparently, the German noun for “wasp,” (die Wespe), is neither masculine nor neutral; it is feminine. Click here to learn more about the German language in our blog post: An Initial Impression of the German Language: Gender-Based Nouns Are Just Awful.

My German Wife Buys A New Shower Caddy for Our Bathroom

German-Shower-Caddy-Dusche-Bath-Products-Expat

Those bottles look like tiny prison inmates leaning over Cell Block D. “When we gonna shank the naked guy, Boss?”

So, moving into a new apartment is always a monumental pain in the ass, especially when you’re moving from America to Germany literally weeks after getting married. It also doesn’t help when you know nothing about furniture, kitchen appliances or any of the bathing accessories women can’t seem to live without. (Loofahs? Poufs? Bath Sponges? These all sound like playful forms of birth control which might come to life and start singing around some lovesick princess in a Disney movie: “Why say ‘maybe’ to that baby gravy? Wash your womb and add perfume; no one wants a baby!”)

Fortunately, my wife knows all about bath products and how to store them in an orderly fashion. So back in August of 2012, just before we moved, she informed me we would need to hang some kind of apparatus in our shower stall to hold all of our toiletries:

THE WIFE: “We don’t want to drill holes in the tile, so we will get a basket with vacuum sponges.”*

*I believe she meant a “shower caddy” with “suction cups.”