And Gutenberg Lived Here: Sneak-Through Kebob Houses

We’re in Lent,

over here in Gutenberg land,

an area so Catholic that the carnivalists make statements

on public television

about how Catholic we are,

(“others can say what they want, we’re Catholic”)

and fly in extra priests from all over the world to handle the confessions of the over a million visitors to the carnival season.

Our population?

About 250,000- up to about 350,000 if you count all the suburbs and sprawl-

soon to be united by an about 17 mile “mainzelbahn”-

a sort of seven dwarfs

(symbol of the local tv station)

fast train

to bring people into the coface football stadium

and the ZDF-the second German television.

Also Catholic, if you listen to the locals and their complaints.

Not that I have anything against living in a Catholic town.

Except the sixty percent Catholic populace’s one hundred percent certainty that everyone is Catholic until proven guilty.

Now I can handle a mass with the best of ’em.

All classical musicians are trained to.

But over here,

  1. the Gutenbergers have their own mass form, going back to something like the middle ages,


2. when you get the call to conduct, they ask you to play “for the credo”

Be still my heart. A Mozart mass? Haydn?  Schubert?

No, actually, they mean what they say:

play “for” the credo,

meaning after the credo,

and definitely not Mozart.

No, modern, light, and sounding as much like a musical as you can get is what they are really after.

Sister Act is a big favorite.

Actually, though, with regard to lent,

the biggest problem,

believe it or not,

is the nearly jealous tolerance of others,

which I find very sweet of them, actually,

toward those without food restrictions at this time.

At a HUGE seventieth birthday party of a musician friend,

my husband and I were taken by the arm by the wife of the birthday boy,

and lead firmly,

with no chance for escape,

past the fish buffet,

and to the end of the line,

marked with a sign,


“protestant corner”

and full of ham and cheeses.

And very good they tasted, indeed.

Although it is definitely embarrassing to sit with others watching every bite as they eat their six kinds of raw herring.

But that’s life here in Gutenberg Land.

Along with the fact that our local Turkish kebob owner has to have his one son take telephone orders during lent,

and the other deliver on a bicycle.

Also only during lent.

You wouldn’t want the neighbors to see you eating kebob in the shop, would you?

Oh well,

only five more weeks till the we get to eat the Easter bunnies-

that are actually Santa Clauses wrapped in Easter bunny tin foil-

that everyone bought during the huge Easter chocolate half-price sales

in January.

copyright 2016




  1. from the genial sparring we have had on the friday loose bloggers, I know what you mean, S-man, but sorry, it doesn’t apply to me. I’m a believer who is tolerant enough to let everyone believe what they want to believe, since it isn’t any of my business, as long as they are true to their own beliefs, or life moral system, and they let me be true to mine. (Besides, you can learn a lot from other faiths or belief systems. Like that you can’t play the organ on good Friday, since it has gone to Rome.-more some other time.)


  2. “protestant corner” – THAT is hysterical.

    I get to the office at noon. And I work at a predominantly Catholic office – since the employment ads are only in the local Catholic Newspaper.

    On the first Friday of Lent, the boss brought in lunch from a local restaurant known for its fish fry. Before I got to work my boss texted me, the known nonbeliever, and said – I got you the chicken. ;-D


    1. Great story. As to the job situation: we have the same problem here. To work for the Catholic church is a civil servant job. And still, they insist you have to be Catholic. Even the cleaning teams. About the chicken… did you mention to him that he took part in grilling one of the symbols of the resurection?


      1. Wow. Having a civil servant be part of the church seems so strange. I always forget that most places don’t have the separation of church and state built into the government structure and in fact religions and governments have been linked through most history.

        Once its there, its got to be hard to remove. We spend so much time protecting the existing separation, I can’t imagine if we had to start a divorce between them.

        On the chicken – LOL. But no, I just said Thank You. Its more politic.

        Liked by 1 person

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