One of the jokes told here about
Germans is that
- if you have two Germans, you get a club
(or a glee club)
2.that the trains run on time.
Now only partially true,
after the privatization of the whole train system,
often leading to sudden,
mass strandage on a track somewhere in Wanne-Eichel-
the equivalent of the outer Hebrides.
What the Germans unfortunately didn’t mention in these jokes,
perhaps because it is so common,
they don’t recognize the power of this genetic trait,
is the call of the wild….
That basic drive built into all Germans,
and activated at that moment of birth when they
take their first breath,
and start moving their feet,
in tiny little hiking boots,
in tiny rhythmic steps.
Looking for a woods.
The call of the wild.
Business is conducted in the woods over here-
a twenty kilometer hike,
then a supper of pigs ears in aspic
with fried potatoes and remoulade sauce,
and far far far too much alcohol,
and you sign the IBM contract.
Poets, musicians, and scientists,
seek inspiration in the woods.
A quick twenty kilometers, and back home to the den to write.
Then there are the radical green party members-
who consist, in principal, of almost all Germans.
(Try putting plastic in a General Garbage Bin,
or not recycling paint or chemicals at the paint truck pick-up point,
or small electronics at the recycle place,
or dump a mattress in the woods,
and the ecology police-
yes, seriously, there IS an ecology police-
will take fingerprints and fine you,
or put warnings on all the houses that use the common trash bin-
And that is just the beginning.
To hunt, you have to:
have a hunters license,
be part of a club, and
practice active forest repair and ecology on your days off.
To go fishing, you have to…
(After all the time and energy put into caring for those brook trout, no wonder they are smiling when they are caught.)
These people don’t just hug trees,
they invite them home to dinner.
Speaking of which,
the once per year class reunion of my husband’s gymnasium class is soon upon us.
Oh joy unbounded.
(a gymnasium is state (or sometimes private) schooling for 10-19 year-olds who are planning to go to university, and is divided into classical Greek and Latin, modern languages, and scientific tracks)
These formal occasions started out,
many years ago,
as the usual “so what are you doing now with your life?” bragging and drinking session.
Since this is a small town, though, after the first few years, it rapidly became “lets start out bragging, then, since not so much has happened in our lives, let’s go bowling, get drunk, and take a long walk through the forest to get sober.”
And since I’m the one who, in addition to being the only female invited,
(apparently one of the guys wants to find out how to sell things to Americans)
is the only one sober,
guess who gets to
drive the car so they get home safe,
and find them pickled fish and potato salad for the next morning.
In addition to walking them,
elephant parade style,
through the woods till they sober up.
This year, though, I’ve gotten smart.
To heck with the fancy heels and party atmosphere bit.
This time, I wear a down jacket,
and carry a rucksack with a flashlight,
plastic-packed portions of dead fishes,
and a wrist rope,
for them, so I can’t loose them.
And then, once they are all tucked into their beds in the youth hostel,
I will take Harald,
and the car,
and drive ten miles,
to a luxury hotel with a pool,
once he is peacefully snoring,
I will have a post-post-midnight swim,
and a two a.m. portion of the dried tomato, barley, and almond salad I packed for me.
Along with a chapter of my latest murder mystery.
A woman’s gotta do what a woman’s gotta do.
copyright Dunnasead.c0 2015