And Gutenberg Lived Here: Just Call Me Friday

I don’t know what it is about Fridays-

Maybe it’s just the fact that since everyone else is on the road that day,

in up to two-hour traffic jams,

or has picked up their kids from school at one pm and are at McD’s,

before trying to shove the tykes into winter boots for school,

and buying a paper lantern-

so the mini-burghers can travel the streets at night

on St Martin’s day,

supposedly the eleventh of November,

but here,

anytime in the week will do,

and  get small treats,

or money for the poor-

St Martin is the patron saint of sharing,

and the huge cathedral in Gutenberg,

and apparently founder of UNICEF,

and the catholic charity Caritas,

which is fine with me,

since the kids learn a lot about sharing,

and chanting:

“Lantern, Lantern, sun, moon and stars,”

which will come in handy later

when they become adult fans of the Gutenberg 05 football team

(sing through a two-hour game,

drink a couple, or twelve, beers,

eat afterwards at a cheap Chinese-

(“you’ll never wok alone”))…

So anyway,  there we were yesterday-

wandering around between McD’s and the coffee place next door,

while waiting for them to winterize our car-

five hours, count them, five, if you can believe it…

I could have turned the bolts with a kitchen fork,

and changed the tires myself in that time….


It’s the friday thing.

Usually, for us,

for above mentioned reasons,

unless state required anti-sliding in frost and snow prevention measures have to be taken,

the big adventure of the week.


we love to hop a tram,

empty rucksacks on…

you never know when you will run into a head of cabbage,

headed for-

at least on our tram route,

the adventure of:

on one end, a whole series of small villages,

always with the usual post office, bank, green grocers, butcher, baker, candlestick maker,

and on the other-

a town of about 350,000,

where someone in the city council,

after a bad review at carnival,

or in the newspapers,

or too much Chinese food

after an 05 game,

suddenly sits up in bed,

probably on a Friday night,

and says

“I think I’ll chop down all the plane trees-

in the middle of the night,

so no one has a chance to protest-

and put up more space for viewing stands,

for the carnival season,

which is now underway here,

or for the day of the “vital center”

which used to be the local old folks homes,

until someone decided everyone over fifty

(new definition in the Lutheran church here-

over fifty, join our senior citizen group,


I meant, of course,

“spiritual community vital center-”

didn’t someone,

like Orwell,

write a small master gem about the fact that

we don’t really like Newspeak?

And should perhaps maybe watch out for it?

Since, according to Orwell,

in the year 1984 the world will surely…?

Did I mention that St Martin was a Roman,

and that according to legend,

he not only halved his coat,

to help a poor man he met on the road,

he, and his cohort buddies,

were saved-

from an eminent hoard of other-thinking attack- savages-

by a herd of hissing geese,

(didn’t I see that once in a Christmas Panto?)

and therefore,

on his day each year,

the Gutenberger all file into the,

only slightly modernized since his time,

local Roman wine pubs,

where they drink a “quarter” of wine,

from a “roman”

a kind of clear wine goblet with designs of twining wine plants

and a long green twisted foot,

sorry, I couldn’t find anything about St Martin’s foot anywhere,

while celebrating St Martin’s being saved by the geese,

by eating a plate of…


Roasted goose.

With potato dumplings-

(did they throw potatoes at the raging hoards?)

and red cabbage.

(Maybe the hoards were Mongols?)

And if that thought quacks you up,

you ought to see what the Gutenberger do

on the day of St Florian-

patron saint of all things flamed and grilled,

and who also prevents an overdose of water,

in buildings,

or wine…

in Romans.

And whose motto is:

“Holy St. Florian

save our house,

Let someone else’s burn.”

Fondue, anyone?

copyright 2017

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