And Gutenberg Lived Here: Does That Sleigh Have Brake Lights, Mr Claus?

When you decide,

out of some strange form of craziness,

probably having to do with musicians’ overwork,

due to the holiday season,

to take part in a project

to write on a pre-fixed topic,,

somehow you know that:

  1. no matter what the topic was SUPPOSED to be, it will turn out different than you thought, and
  2. Someone, somehow, is always pushing the envelope to see just how crazy it can get.

Usually me.

But I have to admit, this week really took the biscuit.

Starting with the fact that,


around Christmas,

a group of us put together a list of one-off topic suggestions


with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head,

grandma got run over by a reindeer playing on the radio,

and, I have to admit,

quite a lot of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in my tea,

not to mention a huge overdose of Aunt Elizabeth’s divinty fudge,

and with Christmas spirit abounding,

not to say rampant,

made me decide to toss on today’s topic.

And since I was relatively near the top of the list.

And, since it was well after midnight,

and I assumed it was clear where it went,

and I really just wanted a few hours sleep before shower, tea, tai chi, work,

I dangerously left it where it was on the list.


when the other topics arrived,

and, apparently were also simply placed,

as they arrived,

meant that you end up with today’s topic,

On the….

uhm, gulp, twenty-ninth of April.

Hey, no problem.

I’ve sung Papgena in a feathered bathing cap, remember?

Just keep in mind,

they’re not staring at you,

they’re just afficianados of stage backdrops,

so kick out that buck and wing,

and  keep tap-dancing.


culturally speaking,

since the Gutenberg Land Radio and Television stations all love American shows,

like NCIS,

and the Big Bang Theory,

and since they are a WHOLE lot cheaper if not shown at the original time,

Easter over here always brings a plethora of Christmas Shows:

The Return Of The little House on the Prairie,

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir,

The NCIS Christmas special from 2012…

And since,


someone or other over here in GB-land

always has to have his car inspected,

even on the twenty-ninth of April,

and that

by some of the toughest, most tight…(ly run ship crew in the world)

the Gutenbergers’ own technical inspection service,

who, to be fair,

and keep my car owning it’s cute little clock badge that tells me the time,

ie the month to have it inspected,

is actually one of the best anywhere,

Even if a dear girlfriend of mine,

German, of course,

did do her rendition of a Mexican hat dance,

complete with waving authority papers

and stomping on her removed license plates when they told her

she didn’t pass the inspection,

since the running board of her ancient VW beetle had fallen off,

during the inspection,

(knowing her, it was probably super-glued)

and could not be welded on,

as it wasn’t safe…

Not that they were wrong.

Just that we were students at the time,

many years ago.

And for some of us,

it was either a car

(and there is a reason a cheap car over here is called the fifty buck duck)

(duck is the old German nickname for the citroen 2cv)

or a whole lot of extra time waitressing or picking grapes,

or no student fees paid.

And since I often still see,

on the student sign-boards,

when I bring my husband to work,

that even today,

the most important phrase in ads for selling a student car  is

“technically drivable till…”

Which brings us back to technical problems in a sleigh,

from reindeer oopsies on the windshield of the car behind, to…


hey, what can I say…

the best answer to all I have ever heard,

to roughly paraphrase the knights about to approach Camelot,

Monty Python version,

“methinks they are a silly lot.”


and if you think that is strange,

wait till next week,

when I try to explain to you the difference,

or maybe connection,


growing up, and growing old …


copyright 2016 All rights reserved.

6 thoughts on “And Gutenberg Lived Here: Does That Sleigh Have Brake Lights, Mr Claus?

  1. It’s in their somewhere. Chalk it up to poetic license.
    Although I realize if I were still at school in the states, this would probaboy be marked UMB-
    American for you missed the boat.
    However, in the laaarrrger scope of things…


  2. Vehicles here have to have a WoF (Warrant of Fitness) regularly – but because I am now car-less, I don’t know when that occurs. I do know every now & then there is some disaster with a colliding of vehicles and often it is mentioned there was NO current WoF on a vehicle – usually referring to mechanical, or bald tyres or rusting chassis etc.

    Vehicles must also be registered, another kind of tax with sticker – Drivers should have a drivers license (more money) and it’s advised you have vehicle insurance…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Writing from a land where you can get a ticket for not bringing your paint left-overs to the bi-weekly paint and poisons collection bus, or use any color but yellow for plastic packaging, cleaned please, or blue for wet garbage, you live in the land of ultimate freedom. Just sorry it is so expensive for you.


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