Klaus Hnilica
Tuesday September 24th, 2019

Trend Research with Carl

Carl and Gerlinde (# 62)

”Carl – there is a lady who wishes to talk to you“, Gerlinde yelled from the kitchen, before finally, deciding to bring him the telephone into his home office, after all.

”Good morning, this is Cornelia Koch from the Trend Research Institute! I was hoping that you might be willing to let us ask you a few questions?“

Carl took a deep breath and said “yes”!

”Many thanks! After all, we are dependent on people like you if we want to do a fair job.“

”Okay“, said Carl.

”I would now like to ask three questions – and as soon as you have answered them, I will leave a thank-you present for you.“

”Hm“, replied Carl.

”The first question is: are you married?“

”Why?“

”Well – my first question is about the marital status: are you married?“

”Do you happen to work for a matchmaking agency?“

”No – of course not. We are the Trend Research Institute and the only thing we want to do is find out certain social trends. So let me ask again: are you married?

”Yes and no!“

”What exactly do you mean by that?“

”Yes“, Carl replied spontaneously. He heard Gerlinde’s snicker – apparently, she had her ear on the door …

”Well, so here is the next question: do you own a house?“

”Ah – you work in realty and you are looking for objects to sell on?“

”No – we are the Trend Research Institute and we would appreciate it if you gave concise answers to my questions. So do you own a house?“

”I own several houses”, said Carl.

”How is this?“

”I own several houses!“

”May I ask how many houses you own?“

”Twenty-six!“

”This is not my idea of a good joke? Are you pulling my leg?“

”That is something I would never do without previously having asked for your shoe size!“

“Good – so I will write down twenty-six! So here is the last question: do you live in one of your own houses, or are you renting?“

”I am renting one of my own houses!“ now Carl was really getting a little impatient.

”And why is that?“

”Because my wife insists that I pay rent!“

”Why does your wife take rent from you?“

”Because I told her to demand rent from me …“

“From you?“

“Naturally, because we live together!“

”What kind of sense does that make?“

”It makes a lot of sense, because that is how she has her own money with which to pay the rent that she owes me“!

“You also charge her?“

“Yes, – because that is how I practically live for free?“

“And your wife?“

“She would also live for free, if she were to marry me at long last …“

“Thank you so much for this conversation!“

“So what about the thank-you present?“

“Well, I guess that has become obsolete“!

“This is outrageous“, said Carl in the direction of Gerlinde who suddenly appeared in the open doorway.

“Carl, I think it was really great how you taught that miserable telephone lady a lesson. I am really proud of you“!

Since she then disappeared noiselessly, Carl had no opportunity to tell her that, after this remark, he was going to cut some of the money he paid to her as his rent!

K.H.
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Friday August 2nd, 2019

It Can Be Done With White – I Know …

Dear Roland,

I understand your desire to promote freedom and your solid belief that this vision of yours must be something we can achieve on this planet (see:  http://if-blog.de/rd/die-teekanne-und-der-frieden/ ), but in my view, the future of the world is white.

Because if our earth were basically white, all would be well. With a little white paint and minimal gen manipulations, this is actually far easier to achieve than, for instance, a removal of the anti-peace testosterone from the male sex.

And the climate change that everybody laments would be practically non-existent, since a white planet would reflect more of the sun’s rays and thus the warming of the earth would be impossible. Moreover, the entire biosphere – i.e. all plants and creatures – would have gotten used to the colour white eons ago. At least in those parts where winter was a matter of course.

But even apart from this, in a white world, all potential conflicts would solve themselves in a white fog: all racism would be obsolete, because all humans would be white. White facial and top hair would further reduce the difference between generations and sexes, especially if everybody wore white clothes.

The number of books would be drastically reduced, because white print on white paper would provide us with totally new perspectives and every man, woman and child would need only one book. Besides, it would be totally irrelevant how many pages such a book has. Except in those cases where you need a particularly thick or thin book in order to stabilize a tilting table.

This aspect would be similarly dramatic in art and photography, thereby reducing the common capitalist intrigues in the art scene to a minimum. And all lamentation that this would mean that such a measure removes the yellow of the egg would be of no consequence, because you would only have the white of the egg. Not to mention the world-wide scourge of humanity: colour blindness. In a single stroke, all humanity would get rid of it once and for all.

Written hate messages would no longer exist in a white world, because if you use white writing on a white surface, you cannot do much and thus you cannot spread hatred. The powerful concerns Appel, Facebook, Alphabet and Amazon would have a totally new face in such a world, their stock market value would certainly dwindle to almost nothing or even become zero.

The same would be true for the entire digitalization in general.
And if, in addition, by way of a minimal orthographic reform, the words white and wise were to become synonymous, then this would not only make us all white citizens and voters, but even wise citizens and voters who all would be living in eternal contentment and peace! However, you could not really prove any of this because all white reasoning, even if it were extremely wise, would be invisible on a white background… …

K H
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Monday June 24th, 2019

Tina Tuner and a Democratic Common Pilosophy.

I find both Tina Turner and the US neo-pragmatist Richard Rorty with his book ”Contingency, Irony, Solidarity“

/1 / of 1989 extremely refreshing: both she – see below – and he are really concerned with things and discoveries from real life, instead of all the time seeking the Ultimate Truth that we in Germany like to set as our goal.

The important thing for Richard Rorty is that the truth is not found but made!

Incidentally, this idea was first introduced 200 years ago in Europe, but especially gained influence in the pragmatic concepts of the Americans. Currently, in a more and more digitalized world with its fake news that spread extremely fast, it will probably be hard to control the circulation of information at all.

“But for Richard Rorty, the discovery that the truth is made is like a liberation”.

All of a sudden, he can see how a truth value can be assigned to a historic state of the public perception – or at least there can be an indication of a consequence!

His idea is that, as the history of philosophy and democracy unravelled, there was suddenly the option to change yourself and the society in a positive way, instead of the domination of the metaphysical constructions which saw the truth in things.

Obviously, for the enlightened and rational citizen, his body is the ideal concept. Instead, we now have what he calles the playful and serious “ironical lady“ who understands that contingency (“contingency is something that is neither necessary nor impossible; basically it is what can be but could also be different”, see Niklas Luhmann) is a necessity because she is flooded by the understanding that both her convictions and her everyday vocabulary and the society she lives in could also be different.

And she does not think that this is a deficit!

On the contrary, she uses the new opportunities that result from this and uses innovative vocabulary in order to test new stories about herself and the world and to experience the world anew.

The female ironist leaves everything unsolved, she does not crave freedom of conflicts, but open synthesis.

The female ironist knows what life is really about and what makes contingencies possible:

“the state guarantees freedom for its citizens and the society practices solidarity with those among its members who have been violated and restricted“.

This knowledge turns the female ironist into a liberal person.

Consequently, if you pair liberalism with an ironic concept of the world, you get a mentality that is appropriate for dealing with the modern craving for fixed identities in a democratic way.

Yet, regardless of this addition of irony and solidarity, you have to note that, with a radical-democratic perspective, even though the female ironist will agree with the contingencies of life, there is still the fact that solidarity necessitates that national and religious differences between humans are considered irrelevant if compared to the similarities between pain and humiliation.

The difference between Rorty’s solidarity concept and the rational ethics of enlightenment is that he includes no general principles whatsoever.

He recommends a change towards stories in order to enable literature and the public to develop more sensitiveness towards human misery – and thus generate solidarity.

In this context, however, we need to ask how exactly pain is measured and if perhaps a scale for measuring it is in itself contingent and dependent on the respective social concepts?

And what about solidarity practices themselves perhaps providing us with a concept of what is unsurmountable misery only while they are ongoing and only step by step?

Because what a European discourse in 2019 considers pain is definitely not something you can easily generalize.

Which raises the basic question: is Rorty’s concept is a step towards the solution of the problem or perhaps a symptom for the political situation?

Or maybe Rorty’s approach is more a de-militarization approach for philosophy – just like Tina Turner‘s Popsong ”We Don‘t Need Another Hero“ of 1985 – which means that we do not need counter-heroes to replace the ancient metaphysics. Instead, we need a pragmatic approach towards solving the everyday problems of society?

Which then implies that the typical personality of humans in a liberal democracy is actually boring, calculating, miserly and un-heroic.

If you follow Rorty, then this is basically the price you pay for political freedom!

And, as opposed to Max Weber, Rorty does not fall victim to a cultural pessimism over it. Instead, in typical US fashion, he wisely says “so what?“ and recommends that the words greatness and heroism should only be used in private and never publicly, because: cravings like these will damage the liberal society!

In general, it seems that Rorty’s question of vocabulary to be used in public is stimulating in modern times.

After all, Rorty’s recommendation to leave religious and other identity-based arguments out of the public discourse because they are only conversation stoppers bought him fierce enemies both on the left and right side of the political scale – and also among the religious groups!

Because if you leave these groups out, you are in danger of losing your claim to solidarity and liberalism.

On the other hand, you will have to ask what exactly remains as a common ground for a society that polarises in terms of ideology?

And how can it find a common language – which seems absolutely necessary if it wants to unite?

Today, it seems that doing without ultimate reasons is understood less as a philosophic change but more as a political problem.

In the end, it might become something that supports a philosophy that postulates the “priority of democracy over philosophy“ and does not stubbornly use its former vocabulary, instead applying its vocabulary to the political present – and, if necessary, modifying it!

K H

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday April 11th, 2019

Death of the Cook (Part 2) – Dead Spot Hotel

Oh God – how often have I wished I had never agreed to this unholy affair: all the things that came to light because of my meddling, or rather all the things that remained unsolved, only contributed towards me feeling even more sorry about the loss of my friend Sturmius…

It started with the impossible ”Dead Spot Hotel” in the beech woods of O.R.. No halfway sensible person would ever have set foot into this impenetrable wilderness. But, naturally, Charlotte Burns, this dubious self-appointed guide, had to ‘produce‘ a breakdown near this the world’s absolutely most remote hideout with her minibus, four more persons and a driver. And it had to be exactly on Friday afternoon, on our way to the ‘Musikantenstadl‘ that, allegedly for the first time ever, played in the town W. Of course, the usual suspects were to come: Andreas Gabalier, Andrea Berg, Roland Kaiser and whoever else usually is part of the outfit.

Almost miraculously, there was a sign not far from the place where our breakdown had occurred that said that a ‘Dead Spot Hotel‘ could be found three hundred metres from here. However, as it turned out, said hotel had been out of commission for many years and, with the exception of a retiree who was hard of hearing and occasionally had a watchful eye on it, nobody ever went there.

Well – it is hard to believe, but occasionally, the famous TV cook Sturmius von Suppé, too, was part of the outfit. His purpose – typically for the outcast- was to try special cooking creations about which nobody at all must hear anything in this absolute solitude.

Naturally, only a very small and exclusive circle of persons was in the picture about these sporadic visits of his. Apparently, the mysterious Charlotte Burns was one of them: there is no other explanation for this accidental meeting of this bizarre group of tourists and my friend Sturmius.

I, too, had until then not had any idea that he actually used this place once in a while for diverse adventurous activities.

It seems that a regional TV station also used this ‘ancient place‘ for diverse ghost stories and ‘Tatort‘ recordings.

Still, it stroke me as more than strange that the famous TV cook Sturmius von Suppé, of all people, had been told to go there in order to create a suitable “monster dinner” for a “monster binge at midnight”. Allegedly, the motto had been “the less appetizing, the better“: make it an “abhorriminable TV program“!

As I was told, Sturmius von Suppé was not at all fascinated by the idea of having to execute such a lengthy cooking experiment that might well take several days in such a dilapidated environment. But his arguments were beaten; again and again, strict secrecy policy was given as a reason by the responsible parties!

But perhaps even more important for him was that this break-down tourist group turned up at the ‘dead spot hotel‘ totally unexpectedly late at night.

Was this an accidental? Or was it really this impertinent guide Charlotte Burns who had set a few wheels in motion?

Actually, the members of the tourist group were almost an embarrassment. Besides the alcohol addict Raffaela von Suppé, there was a rather dubious music journalist Dörte Hansemann, along with the two “Hessian Babblers” Ernie and Bert Hesselbach.

And, almost as if a button had been pressed, all of them seemed to suddenly hate the son of a bitch Sturmius. However, they did not take to each other, either: the lesbian couple Charlotte and Raffaela made fun of the lamenting Dörte who, after an alleged violation by Sturmius in the basement of the Dead Spot Hotel, admitted that she had a fifteen-year-old daughter with him. And it seemed that Bert Hesselbach had been cheated by Sturmius when it came to the rights for the phenomenal ‘Noggi Aroma‘. He said that a lot of money had changed hands during that affair.

So it came as no surprise that, under these circumstances, nobody could sleep well at night when Sturmius von Suppé was, on top of everything, accused of cannibalism because he apparently had, in a consciously provocative fashion, processed a bloody female arm – which he had ‘constructed‘ beforehand from pigs’ feet with culinary finesse – as part of his ‘fashion cuisine‘ for the ‘monster dinner‘.

As a consequence, there was an unappetizing argument in the hotel kitchen during which Sturmius, instead of being able to continue with his work, heard for the first time about his illegitimate daughter Katharina whose mother was Dörte Hansemann!

But the situation took a truly dramatic turn when the totally ignorant Ernie Hesselbach just drove the hand blender which Sturmius had demanded and which hung next to her over the kitchen counter into the soup saucepan in which he was busy partitioning the chicken mush for the creep soup with both hands. And since the device was apparently truly very deficient, it triggered an electric short circuit in the soup that was accompanied by a noisily whizzing electric shock in the wake of which Sturmius von Suppé dropped dead! And he was really and truly dead! As they wrote in one of those tabloids.

Well, you can rest assured that nobody had intended this outcome!

With the possible exception of Charlotte Burns who could not escape fast enough, followed by Bert Hesselbach with his totally clueless and confused wife Ernie.

Raffaela, who turned out to be Sturmius’s sister, was probably anything but unhappy about the sudden death of the brother she despised. She definitely did not take long to find consolation in her Schnapps bottle. …

And Dörte Hansemann, who, at long last, got a signal in this dead spot, was able to tell her daughter that she had just turned very, very rich through a substantial inheritance!

Dörte Hansemann was probably also the person who had called the local police. They came surprisingly fast und officially announced Sturmius von Suppé dead. They also sealed the crime scene for the coming securing of evidence. Dörte Hansemann and Raffaela von Suppé gave their statements in the same night, not even demanding to see their rightful lawyers.

Charlotte Burns and the Hesselbach couple were interviewed two days later, but none of these statements brought forth any changes in how the accident was judged!

After an initial ‘light storm‘ in the usual dailies – which was due to the popularity of my friend – it took surprisingly little time for everything to return to normal. I am sure it was partly because none of the concerned parties was interested in pursuing the matter further.

I was the only one who did not really find peace: somehow or other, my journalistic gut feeling told me that there was more to this alleged accident that met the eye. Since, however, I had no tangible proof, my hands were bound and I was left alone with my nightmares and musings for the time being…

K.H.

PS.
Let me express my gratitude to those who helped to shed a little light on the darkness of Sturmius‘ death: in particular, I would like to Christine Bruckmann, Gabi Nelges, Martina Tornow and Detlef Knoll. Irene Weingärtner, however, refused to discuss the matter.

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday April 4th, 2019

The Death of the Cook (Part1) – Flashback

“A first-grade asshole!“, was always the first reaction when they talked about Sturmius. For me, too, this guy was hard to digest – almost impossible to accept. …

But you had to admit that he was an excellent cook!
For many years, his name and his artistry in cooking were everybody’s main topic. Sturmius von Suppé cooked on TV on a Thursday at prime time, his viewing figures had no problem surpassing those of the Sunday ’Tatort’.

No rapist or child molester could compete with his Tafelspitz, let alone his roast saddle of venison. No murderer was ever able to get more interest than his acid Vienna Schmäh while he cut duck breasts and glazed carrots.

But I was never able to find out why this Sturmius showed such a dog-like devotedness towards me of all people. Perhaps it was because I, too, was different. Yet I had never been ostracized like he – who, even when he was at school, had constantly smelled of ’celery’!

”Here comes Stinkersturmi! Sturmistinker, Stinkersturmi“, they called after him or whispered with smiles at each other, because Stinkersturmi was not someone you wanted to find yourself alone with on a dark road at night. He had the strength of a Grizzly Bear and never hesitated to use it: even before he grumbled, his paws found their goal – after which mostly nothing remained to be said or done.

Since I was built more like a hen and had not much to offer except a full mouth, Sturmius – without my ever asking him to – made me part of his ’celery aura’ and removed all evil doers from my path before I could even say ’hens’-droppings’.

To make up for it, I agreed to sit next to him each year. Who else would have been able to endure this repulsive creep who smelled of celery?

Naturally, this earned me the mockery and anger of all the others, but that was the price I paid for being protected by him; the price also included all the help I gave this walking celery in mathematics, physics and chemistry.

Once in a while, I even went home with him and saw his impossible upper-class parents and his lethargic sister Raffaela. To be sure, she did not smell of celery, but she made up for this by smelling of perspiration. And the dark, wood-panelled rooms of the noble castle smelled badly of old cabbage, because, due to the high price of heating, they were hardly ever aired.

But I really had never been quite close to this Sturmius von Suppé! I am sure it was not exclusively his fault – I, too, liked hiding behind my protective ’shield ’ and did not let anybody come close: nobody would have understood my ’tepid sorrows’, anyway…

Well, perhaps Sturmius would have understood! But I totally had lost his trail after graduation. I was the declared asshole and had enough on my plate with all the oppressive salamanders. Camouflage and deceit were the necessities of the time: nobody should hear about my unspeakable tendencies. And then, I somehow had to get through my studies at university.

So much the more did it surprise me when suddenly he, Sturmius, appeared on the TV screen of the nation out of nowhere and not only pampered his guests in a culinary way – for instance with his Beef Olives -, but also brought tears to their eyes with his biting Vienese Schmäh.

Suddenly, nothing was left of his uptight inability to talk a lot, neither could you hear any of the Hessian dialect with which he used to provoke the nobility circles he moved in.

And how strong he looked, this appetizingly dark-tanned Sturmius: the formerly pudgy pig-face had become distinguished and the total baldness, along with the dark horn glasses and the then seldom seen three-day-stubbles gave him a magnetic look.

The lively eyes and his broad grin – disarmingly charming whenever that was what he wanted – cultivated everything like the most delicate of spices. All of this not only delighted me, but also felt like a punch into my guts: I had to admit that he – the eternal asshole – had managed something that I never achieved: burst out of the ’cocoon’ and turn the unappetizing caterpillar into a colourful butterfly! Yes – Sturmius definitely had done it …

I admit that this insight came totally out of the blue for me and that it gave me some sort of chronic stomach ache that did not seem to abate! My only consolation was the tasteless hope that, regardless of all his culinary brilliance, he probably still smelled of celery. If even this was no longer true, then what remained of my former superiority?

Nothing – nothing at all was left – as I immediately realized when we met again for the first time. He whispered with an air of nonchalance that he had never forgotten me! So what would have remained for me to brood over or be sorry about? It was immediately clear that I, the freelance journalist, would have to work where the beautifully sun-tanned Sturmius did all his barbecuing and cooking. Be it Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin or Vienna – I was always there with him!

This is how it did not take me long to find out how Sturmius had not only learned how to cook and cooked with Plachutta, Lamprecht and diverse other restaurants, but also that he had been an item with a cabaret artist famous throughout the city for ten years. Said artist also had been responsible for bringing to the light of day the ’new Sturmius’ with a lot of sensitivity, thus laying the basis for his exceptional TV career.

Unfortunately, soon after they separated, this benign spirit turned totally towards the French Cuisine and his new lover, absolutely refusing to have anything to do with Sturmius‘ former Viennese cooking art. What a pity! It had actually been a lady who had intervened, but Sturmius refused adamantly to tell anything about her …

Well – and in Berlin, Sturmius had a short time ago, just like in old times, used his fists to get me out of a very inconvenient fight after we had celebrated through the night and met the wrong types of guys in a park. But Sturmius had not forgotten anything. On the contrary. Without a word, he finished the affair. The only help he needed was when he insisted that the three injured boys should be neatly positioned like sugar canes on the still dew-wet grass – arranged according their height. Somehow or other, he had become pedantic and more sensitive – this new Sturmius von Suppé…

So much the more brutal and merciless was the news that he had suddenly died!
For me, it was unbelievable that this frying and baking basic power was never again going to barbecue anything. Who could have managed to do harm to such a tough tree trunk? He was always the one who had wet the others?

Or was everything a lie? Just dog Latin? Had this grandiose camouflage artist again tricked us all? Perhaps because he saw that his mission had ended and he was scared to start a boring life of routine? Or did he intend to surprise the world yet again? With a Sturmius as a side dish that nobody had ever seen before? Well, it was absolutely conceivable… …

But when, after long and sad weeks of alcohol delirium, I awoke and regained consciousness, and after all news about Sturmius’s death in the press and all social media had been digested and several discussions with his former environment had happened, I seemed to feel deep inside that, for an investigative journalist like me, there remained a lot to be investigated and that this is what I owed my friend. As he used to say whenever his braised meat was in the oven: you have to give it its due time. …

But that is another even more unbelievable story!

KH
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Saturday March 16th, 2019

Tenerife and its Thieving Magpies

Carl and Gerlinde (instalment # 61)

Honestly – for all normal humans, it is truly an extraordinary delight if they, at long last, can be gleeful without all restraint. At least, this is certainly true for Carl!

And he feels he can enjoy that glee particularly when it is about Tenerife. That island where Gerlinde, a few years ago, had sought refuge for a few weeks when, in a spell of mental incapacitation, she had thought she needed to separate from Carl. But then, what clear-minded woman would ever separate from Carl?

None – at least that is what Carl believes.

And in the end, Gerlinde did not really do it! Because as soon as she had seen what grandiose advantages this miraculous creature of a man had, she had commenced snuggling up to him again after surprisingly little time.

Naturally, he had been quite happy to have her back: after all, they had really gotten along brilliantly over all these years. And, to this day, he did not understand why she had needed this time-out at the time – and on this stupid island Tenerife to boot! He had never really liked it. And he also had never ever wanted to fly there.

And where he now – for the sake of peace – had flown again with Gerlinde. Just like all those other seven million tourists who spent time here every year. And they were old, fat, from England and Germany and France and even – who would have thought it possible – from Russia…

And Carl had to admit that this “Barceló“ in Puerto Santiago with its four stars was actually not a bad hotel. Even if he felt reluctant about admitting it: this hotel really sat near the black lava coast in such a picturesque way that it reminded you of a crusader. You could imagine starting your voyage at any moment. Directly into the Atlantic Ocean, passing San Sebastian, the Capitol City of Gomera, just like long ago Christopher Columbus who also, just like Carl and Gerlinde, had only the endless blue ocean in front of his nose every day and every night – and the stiff westerly breeze.

Admittedly, the splendid promenade along the small fisher harbour in this small town of Puerto Santiago, too, was not bad. Regardless of the many bad construction sins along the promenade that stretched far into the hinterland, even up the black volcanic slopes.

The lone diver, who was chained to a steel balustrade, looked funny. The contraption was probably meant against thieves and against the strong Kalima that blew from Africa all the time. He had advertisements from a diving school in his breast pocket and both his arms looked surprisingly unhappy as they hung down. And although his left hand had been bitten off – probably by a frustrated terrier –a long time ago, his right hand, wearing a red glove, courageously pointed into the thirty-metre abyss of a black Barancos that flowed into the near ocean directly behind him. Its powerful waves had been rising up and eating into the black lava coast for millions of years day in day out.

To the left behind the diver, you could see the newly built spectacular town fairground that jutted out far into the ocean and at the front end of which stood the statue of a deserving Spaniard. It was surrounded by Guanches that had visibly been treated poorly by the Spaniards, who had not left their work unfinished in the name of Christendom: with the exception of hints in the genes of the current population, nothing was left of them today.

Almost every other day, Carl and Gerlinde strolled along the fairground towards the Arena, enjoying the marvellous view onto the ocean and regularly making their way towards one of the typical pubs, where they would regard the lively atmosphere on the small beaches while sipping their Cortado and Aqua con Gas.

The same was true for this Thursday. Except that, today, the Kalima was blowing even stronger than before, which meant that at noon, when they were again commencing with their stroll, they were quasi surrounded by a permanent coat of sound. Countless tourists made their way through the broad pedestrians’ paths and practically every single pub along the street was firmly in the hands of semi-nude old men who mostly quietly sat behind huge beer glasses with their white-haired wives. However, when they spoke, what they said mostly sounded English, very seldom German and never Spanish.

When, almost in a fearfully good mood, Carl returned with Gerlinde in order to eat their usual portion of grilled sardines with ample rose wine at the Paraiso del Sol, he suddenly got the impression from the sound of the Kalima that something inside his body there was a short vibration. It was not the cell-phone he was carrying in his breast pocket. After the second vibration, he knew that it came from the backpack behind. He quickly turned around and even touched one of the two darkly attired, black-haired women who were far too close behind him but showed not the slightest degree of surprise.

Instead, they passed him without any reaction. All of a sudden, he found himself annoyed at being by himself, took the backpack from his back and unbelievingly stared at the two wide-open compartments of his backpack with the scarves, hats, water-bottle, spectacle container and hairbrush in it. In shock, he called for Gerlinde who had walked a few steps ahead and not noticed anything about the two ladies before her – probably Roma – having intended to steel from him. They probably had not found anything interesting in his backpack.

Still in the process of calling, Carl, besides a paralyzing helplessness, felt an intense anger rise inside and would really have liked to overwhelm those two pick-pockets immediately. However, these two were not even reacting to his calling out to Gerlinde. Instead, they pretended that all this racket had nothing to do with them. In fact, they even positioned themselves next to the chained diver, took a leaflet out of his breast pocket and studied it with interest.

Carl felt that he, too, with his open backpack, had to be there and was there in a few strides. However his study of the leaflets consisted of constantly gazing at the two dark magpies, which they did not even seem to notice.

Suddenly, Gerlinde stood next to him and said: “Carl, I will now go and buy those shoes we saw together yesterday in the shop over there”.

”Okay“, Carl said apathically, without actually knowing what Gerlinde was talking about. He continued staring at the two black ghosts before him…

”But I will need some money from you, I do not carry any money on me. I am sure you have it in the front backpack pocket as usual, don’t you?“

Before Carl could react, she lifted the backpack that Carl had hanging over his arm and miraculously produced four 50-Euro-bills out of the third small backpack compartment that the beasts had not opened and that only contained Aspirin and a few drugs. She then disappeared without another word to the opposite side of the street.

Suddenly, Carl got the impression that the two black misery messengers no longer kept their painfully preserved facade of good temper: they replaced the leaflet back in the diver’s breast pocket with such a jerk that he almost toppled over regardless of his chains. Then they hurried away. As their distance from him grew, the venom they showered each other with increased. At least to Carl it looked like they were accusing each other of having spoiled a huge chance in a truly amateurish way.

And Carl not only realized suddenly why he was so deeply in love with his boisterous Gerlinde, but also and above all felt the heart-warming power of justified glee rising from inside…

K.H.
(Translated by EG)

PS:
In Instalment (XXI)
Hinter Sonnenbrillen vor Gomera
loves Gerlinde her time on Teneriffa!

Klaus Hnilica
Tuesday January 8th, 2019

A Translation Mistake with Consequences ?

Since, after the ‘quiet time‘, we are back to ‘peaceful routine‘, it might be quite interesting to stop and think about all the evolutionary changes that even written texts can undergo. This is especially true for the book of books – the bible /1/:

For instance, in early Hebrew versions of the book Isaiah, there is a prophecy that uses the word alma when it describes the mother of a boy whose name is Immanuel (translation: God is with us).

In some languages, among them the ancient Greek, there is no translation for alma. However, a rough equivalent might be “young lady“ or “young lady who has not yet borne a child“.

When Jesus lived, however, the Jews no longer talked Hebrew. They talked Greek or Aramaeic. Consequently, the word alma became the Greek parthenos, which has a specific meaning, namely “virgin“. The biological term Parthenogenesis (“virginal conception“) is based on it: it describes a reproduction process without male contribution as we find it with some insects and reptiles.

That means that a modified translation of one single word turned a “young lady” into a “virgin” and a child into the Messiah! And the story of how Jesus was conceived suddenly changed completely. …

Matthew and Luke even turn this into a truth in their gospels. And for a billion Christians, it turns into a dogma. Which is exactly what we sing about in our Christmas Carols.

Isn’t it strange?

/ 1 / Adam Rutherford: Eine kurze Geschichte von jedem, der jemals gelebt hat
K.H.
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday November 29th, 2018

At the Dentist Between Drill and Spittle Suction

Carl and Gerlinde (# 60)

Somehow or other, Dr. Mittler had reserved a special place in his heart for Carl and Gerlinde. Whenever he gave them lead seal, a dental calculus remove or a root treatment, he emphasized how lucky they all were about him knowing them both and being able to chat with them. At times, Carl even started wondering if Dr. Mittler was perhaps secretly in love with his Gerlinde, because of how charmingly he spoke to her and how he overwhelmed her with compliments whenever she went to see him once a year for her routine teeth examination.

Since Carl, just like Dr. Mittler, was an enthusiastic Vienna vacationist, there was only one topic whenever he went to get a treatment – Vienna!

Even more so because Dr. Mittler, who had been born in Dortmund, had almost accepted a professorship in Vienna. Eventually, he had decided to actually work as a practicing dentist ‘at the roots of things, or, of humans‘, as he always reminded them with a hearty laugh. And to this day he had never regretted the decision for a single minute.

He admired Carl not only for his fantastic knowledge of all the important and significant restaurants and “Heurigen” pubs in Vienna, but also for his ability to speak almost perfect Viennese dialect. Dr. Mittler, as a born ‘Ruhri‘, who still had not really gotten used to the taciturn Hessians and their atrocious dialect, could never get enough of it: words like leiwand, Servus, Beuscherl, Schmäh and Topfenstrudel were simply balsam for his aching soul and he was willing to listen to the sound of them all over again and again. Unless he talked himself, which actually he did without any interruption, full stop or comma and without ever even surfacing for fresh air. This meant that, even though he constantly enthused about Carl’s wonderful Viennese dialect, he probably never really noticed it…

And, of course, he certainly did not hear him when Carl, during his lyrical stories about his last Vienna vacation, lay before him with a widely opened mouth and he, Dr. Mittler, worked on a huge old amalgam seal on the lower right molar tooth with a drill. That is why, Dr. Mittler said with a look that asked approval from the slightly overweight Frau Römer who sat to the left of Carl with a spittle suction device, trying to open his mouth and treating his left lower lip quite badly, he found it extremely much of a comfort when Carl magically produced these familiar Viennese holiday sounds in his surgery by speaking in dialect.

It really was a first-class pleasure, he said with a smile and then allowed Carl a short break during which he could rinse his suffering mouth and relax his tense jaw line. In fact, this abruptly re-gained relaxation of his speech instruments could even have made it possible for Carl to utter a short contradiction in the most beautiful of Vienese dialects if only Dr. Mittler had interrupted his own rumblings for at least a fraction of a second or if he had only once taken a new breath. But since this was not what happened, he immediately was back to having the drill and the spittle suctioning in his mouth when – eager to get some relaxation – he was just going to close his mouth prematurely for the second time.

But at least Carl managed afterwards to utter several loud and rattling
“Aaaah!“s
that were accompanied by a painful facial expression when Dr. Mittler, while asking him which of the Heurigen pubs in Vienna are the most fashionable, shortly touched his gum. However, he admitted that he actually preferred the ‘Gösser Bierklinik‘ to all Heurigen pubs anyway because they served such huge Schnitzels.

Since Carl, due to his gum injury at the bottom right, began to blead quite freely, Frau Römer energetically pressed him against her stiff bosom in order to now not only drain the spittle, but also the blood. Which meant that Carl, when asked by Dr. Mittler if he felt any pain, could only give a short grunt and accompany it with a woeful look. At least, Frau Römer whispered – while Dr. Mittler kept talking – that he was allowed to also rinse his mouth at any time if he so desired.

Carl took advantage of this opportunity and gave a rather forced smile!
He gave his mouth three thorough rinses and then digested the information that Dr. Mittler, on top of the huge Schnitzels, also really loved the delicious Viennese dough-made food, which his wife did not appreciate at all because he often suffered from intense heartburn afterwards and consequently was in poor shape until noon of the following day.

But then the procedure was over!

At long last, Carl could again open and close his mouth, or rather: he could normally move it and also grin. Dr. Mittler asked him to make a new appointment with Frau Koch in the near future, because this was definitely necessary. After all, the new filling needed polishing and a few other small things also still needed to be done to his teeth.

Incidentally, said Dr. Mittler, he already very much looked forward to their next meeting, because he was then going to hear Carl’s wonderful Viennese dialect – which always made his heart skip a beat…

Carl nodded silently and gave the sensitive Dr. Mittler a hefty shake of the proffered hand.

KH
(Translated by EG)

PS:
This text is a total work of fiction and all similarities with existing persons is absolutely accidental.

Klaus Hnilica
Friday October 26th, 2018

Business Suit or Dirndl Dress?

I often went past this bar. But I never went in. Why should I? I am not a bar frequenter and never will become one.

However, after all these weeks of hot weather, the idea of a cool cola with rum or an ice-cold whisky soda sometimes found its way into my brains when I passed it on my way home. I have to admit it!

Besides, the permanent darkness you saw whenever the entrance door was opened also suggested that it must be quite nice and cool in there. And it opened quite often! Somehow or other, it seemed that the place was open day and night, seven days a week and fifty-two weeks every year! Wasn’t that strange?

Well – and then, last Tuesday in the late afternoon, I actually stood there at the bar of this strange place and finally ordered the long craved whisky and soda on plenty of rocks!

It was probably because the day had again been unbearably hot and I dragged myself home feeling totally drained and depressed after my day in the office. When, suddenly, an elegantly dressed elderly gentleman opened the entrance door to said bar directly before my eyes, I took courage and followed him spontaneously – as far as the bar: I had to do this because in the impenetrable darkness I immediately became totally dis-oriented.

Since, as I said, I ended up at the bar accompanied by this random door opener, I was then left with ample time to get used to the extreme darkness.

This sense of having lots of time was also why the existence of a barkeeper had totally slipped my mind. Only when he asked what I wanted did his youthful dark-skinned face – his white teeth – his totally bald head – and – and – and … register.

His question took me by surprise, so I just said whisky soda, please!
Which whisky brand?

Hm? – I moaned.

Bourbon? Scotch? Blended Malt?

Any of the three – but please with plenty of ice!

The young man possessed too much tact to further prolong my agony. In no time, he put a glass of whisky soda in front of my nose and next to it an extra container with ice cubes and a pincer. I was absolutely thrilled.

After two hefty swallows, I was finally prepared to look around and see where I had ended up: to my right, I saw, indeed, the elderly gentleman I had followed. He was probably a regular, because he talked English with the barkeeper. And to my left, almost at the end of the huge bar, there was a lady wearing a Dirndl Dress. She clutched her drink in both hands and just looked in front of herself rather stiffly.

But something was wrong with this lady.

The very way how she sat on the barstool. Her Dirndl dress, too, had moved upwards in an unseemly manner. The protruding leg looked like a hairy, brown-painted prosthesis and was stuck between the barstool and the counter. Well, and then even I understood! It was not at all a lady sitting there wearing a summer Dirndl dress – no, it was a man!

In fact, it was a rather rough man, too who, for some reason or other, had been pressed into a far too tight Dirndl skin like an oversized meat sausage. Consequently, you now saw not only the brown meat sausages between the blue waistband and the red upper dress, but also how the short sleeves of the white blouse pressed into the meaty upper arms. Not to mention how you saw plenty of black chest hair at the cleavage!
Well, you cannot do any worse, can you? Give me a break!

The fact that this ‘man-woman‘ kept trying to at least pull the light-blue hem of the dress over his right knee did not improve matters at all. To add insult to injury, regardless of the very dim lighting, it was easy to see that this strange in-between creature had not done anything at all to make its face something that might at least shown a tendency towards looking female at all.
On the contrary: some of his long and oily hair actually hung in strands over his forehead and his very brown, rather bawdy face, sported extremely visible black three-day stubbles!

However, when our eyes met because I had been gaping at this hermaphrodite for too long, I was surprised to see a sudden smile on his face. In fact, said smile even looked like an invitation to me, because it was accompanied by a friendly nod of the head.

Regardless of the confusion I felt, I nodded back and took two gulps of my whisky soda in order to regain my inner equilibrium.

The Dirndl-hermaphrodite then ordered a new glass of bourbon from the barkeeper by yelling at him quite loudly before getting up and turning in my direction.

Careful – the man was at least half a head taller than me and looked quite muscular! Not saying anything but moaning and reaching down at his light-blue dirndl dress, he took his place next to me on the bar stool while I bashfully smiled at him and mindlessly refilled my empty whisky glass with ice.

I am sure you are surprised to see my outfit? He said in a surprisingly winning way.

Well, to be perfectly honest, yes, was my terse reply. But I am sure I am not the only one around here who feels this way.

Too true! Was his short reply before he downed his freshly ordered bourbon in one go.

I continued by saying, but then, it is certainly none of my business! After all, this is a free country where everybody can move around as they like.

Correct! Was his reply while he took a gulp of his bourbon.
Let us rejoice in the fact that this is how matters stand in this country, I added.

To be sure, to be sure, were his eager words.

I said nothing because I did not want to appear nosy.

After a short interval, he said, you know, there is a reason for my strange Dirndl dress outfit!

Certainly, we all certainly have our reasons, I replied…
But in my case, my wife is the reason, he interrupted me.
Hm – I grunted.

Yes – she believes I am a drunkard!

How come?

She is convinced that, while she will see the musical later this afternoon in the Congress Centre, I will get hopelessly drunk!
And is she correct?
Definitely not! On the contrary. In fact, I believe she will not at all go to listen to the musical but instead see here lover. She is just afraid I might spy on her …

Which will probably not be an easy job with you wearing the Dirndl dress outfit!

That is also true, but this is because she shamelessly took advantage of the fact that, this time around, we already arrived a day early for the musical and consequently stayed overnight in the Congress Centre Hotel. When, at noon, I went to sleep as usual, she probably got dressed in her ‘small black‘, packed my suit – and disappeared!

Which means you are practically incarcerated in your hotel room until she returns! I finished for him, feeling as sharp-witted as a master detective.

Correct – by the way, I am Hilmar!

Okay Hilmar! I said and gave him my name – which I do not wish to tell you here – and raised my glass to him.

In any case, I continued, it seems to me that your lady is a smart creature, if you allow me to say so. And she definitely reminds me of my ex wife…

In other words, we are both burnt children, Hilmar summarized the situation.

Or else horned idiots who have deserved no better, I said before again raising my glass to him and, like him, emptying same glass.

Hilmar nodded thoughtfully and ordered two new drinks for us.

Then he said that, at long last, he wanted to fight back and consequently he wanted to propose something – among friends!

What kind of proposition are we talking? I asked.

How about, Hilmar said hesitantly, if you were to – quasi on an honorary basis, lend me your suit for a few short hours and in return wear my Dirndl dress?

That was definitely something I had not seen coming!

I quickly felt how both my blood pressure and the frequency of my sitting pulse went up in a rush and, supported with my right hand, gave him a gesture that suggested he might not be quite right in the head?

But Hilmar seemed to have anticipated this: he remained unperturbed and said that it would definitely not be detrimental for me because money was something he swam in!

After a longish pause, during which we silently stared at each other, I said: forget about your money, Hilmar! You know, your proposal is so beyond rational that it is coming out almost attractive at the opposite end. That – and because my ex-wife was similar in type to yours – I will help you. I will do it!

Hilmar embraced me very emotionally and we both disappeared to the toilets!

Of course, now all the diverse mouths in the surprised faces of the bar visitors opened again when, suddenly, ‘I‘ was a ‘Dirndl Dress Monster‘ while Hilmar looked the gentleman wearing my dark-blue summer suit!

Since he was more muscular than I, the jacket and the trousers were just as undersized for him as earlier the Dirndl dress had been, while I had no problem at all wearing the clothes that belonged to his wife. But Hilmar was definitely very happy with his new outfit!

He was visibly happy when he swallowed his newly ordered whisky. Then he consulted his watch, looked straight into my eyes and said with feeling that he will be back in no more than two hours.

Before I had a chance to reply – he was gone and I was left all by myself on the stage: at least this is what it felt like when all the guests in the pub suddenly stared at me.

I probably turned purple and spontaneously turned towards the counter with a feeling of inner emptiness. In a reflex movement, I looked for my glass and rather desperately poured the rest of my whisky soda down my throat.

To be sure, I signalled to the bar keeper that I want another one, but at the same time I already toyed with the idea of going home and hiding in my nearby flat.

But before I could think this idea through, a spectacular not-very-young lady suddenly made her way through the bar room entrance.

Besides her perfectly made-up face, she was much more remarkable because she wore a much too big trouser suit. However, this did in no way minimize her elegance!

She was around my height, had short black hair and perhaps a nose that was slightly too long. To make up for it, however, she had a fascinating smile. On her stiletto heels, she marched towards the counter without hesitation.

Even before the bar keeper had a chance to ask her what she wanted, she twittered self-determinedly: I want the same as the lady who wears my Dirndl dress!

That would be a whisky soda, stated the bar keeper soberly.

Well – you should know!

Of course, I, the moving Dirndl dress monster, realized immediately how my knees got softer and softer. But I was even more impressed at the speed and precision with which this newcomer had analysed the situation in this dimly-lit bar.

I hardly managed a short Good Evening and certainly nothing else, because the feeling that I, again, had to play a game in front of the aggressive audience robbed me of all my strength.

On the ‘trouser suit lady‘, however, the situation seemed to have a totally different effect. With a provocative glance, she said: or are you telling me that the clothes you wear are not mine?

I do not now, my lady, I stuttered.

But I know!

And why do you wear this much too large man’s trouser suit, since you claim that this Dirndl dress is yours, I enquired with sharp male logic?
Because you are wearing it – dear Sir! Or have you ever seen two persons wearing one Dirndl dress?

No – certainly not! Was my soft reply while I downed my glass in one go in my desperation.

Since the bar keeper had, by that time, already served her drink, she took it and raised her glass to me: here is to you, dear Sir, she said in such a loud voice that nobody at the nearby tables could have missed it.

And she whispered in my ear that her name is Elsa!
Hilmar’s Elsa? I asked without real surprise.

No – your Elsa, if that is what you want!

Oh my God – now that did surprise me. Or maybe surprise does not really come close to it? I was overrun and caught up by a tsunami of undefinable emotions in such a way that I said nothing for several seconds.

Since apparently Elsa noticed how I felt and all my colour had probably drained from my face, she said: but, naturally, this is only if you give me back my Dirndl dress!

With pleasure – but what will your Hilmar have to say about it?
Forget Hilmar – and come to the toilet with me – but quick – otherwise I might change my mind.

When, after having given the bar keeper a brief update, we disappeared and shortly afterwards returned to the counter with swapped clothes. We were, of course, still on stage, but we had become far less interesting. After all, a lady wearing a Dirndl dress and a gentleman wearing a suit were not really special enough to warrant hours of fascination.

And when, finally, we lay next to each other in the nude at my home, Elsa confessed that Hilmar had no idea how lucky he had been today: today of all days, her boss, the rat, had disappointed her and sent his secretary into the musical as a replacement. Hilmar was probably at this very moment sitting next to her – after the interval!

Yes, and because of this scandal, she was upset enough to wish for revenge in the form of wanting to surprise Hilmar in his ‘booze bar‘ – which she had known a long time about – by wearing his own suit. Because seeing Hilmar in her Dirndl dress was exactly what her thus humiliated soul had needed! But unfortunately, due to my un-reflected saving manoeuvre, this scenario did not materialize, said she with an evil smile before she took a painful bite into my left nipple – which, as she felt, stood far too provocatively.

Since, after an hour of lusty moaning and the return to this earth, Elsa had probably recovered from the misery that was brought upon her but could not decide what to wear – suit or Dirndl dress? – I dressed in her Dirndl dress and sent her back to Hilmar in his suit!

Hilmar already stood at the counter when I entered the bar!

He gave me a very friendly hug and for the bar visitors the show went on…

But he was rather in a hurry. After all, Hilmar was extremely happy about the entire affair having been only a terrible misunderstanding between himself and his beloved Elsa. Now he urgently had to go and see her in the hotel, he said, and make amends for his shabby mistrust in her by inviting her to a festive dinner in a ‘star restaurant‘!
He hoped that this plan would come to fruitition, because Elsa’s girl-friend in the musical had told him that Elsa had unfortunately been forced to leave the wonderful event during the interval as she had suffered from circulation problems.

Thankfully, at least I remembered the necessary clothes swapping when Hilmar’s burning heart became eager to see his Elsa, while the bar keeper reminded us of the six not yet paid-for whiskies which, naturally in his joyous enthusiasm, Hilmar gladly paid, including a more than generous tip.

And I was happy to be allowed to roll home at long last, wearing my own clothes and feeling the sound of 500 Euros in the breast pocket that Hilmar had hidden there. This was proof that the last few hours had not been a dream, but that Elsa might actually – perhaps? – again bite me next Tuesday…

KH
(Translated by EG)

Hi
Carl and Gerlinde (Instalment # 59)

By the way, Gerlinde, when I accidentally met our friend Kurt last Tuesday at REWE, he told me – under the pledge of secrecy – that, regardless of his considerable age, he will separate from Hannelore if, like in the previous years, she insists as stubbornly as she always did that we again book our next summer vacation together, Carl said at 22.20 hours when the temperature was still 28 degrees Celsius directly in front of the ice bar. This must have been the eighteenth time he wiped over his forehead with the same paper napkin.

Mind you, he added while steering Gerlinde towards the interior of the parlour, the nightmare was basically due to the word ‘together‘ as Kurt had put it while simultaneously, with the usual anxious nodding of his head, he had stacked ten cartons of ‘Philadelphia Cheddar‘ into his trolley.

Because his lamentable experiences last year between October and the end of the year regarding this year’s summer vacation was decidedly over the top, even if said top were that of a huge pregnant dairy cow, Kurt had said as they stood in the middle of the air-conditioned food area at REWE!

Since, however, neither Gerlinde nor Carl were able to decide spontaneously which of the numerous unoccupied tables to take in the neon-yellow sub-tropically warm ice-cream parlour – which was wide open at the front towards the street -, Carl shortly interrupted his report about Kurt’s confidential separation revelation while meandering from one table to the next until Gerlinde flung herself on a chair at the very back of the establishment and declared with a moan: it will be either here or I will suffer a break down on the spot!

Carl raised his eyebrows in disappointment but then – still dripping with perspiration – , after having joined Gerlinde and in the process almost having toppled over the neighbouring table, said that Kurt had talked about 34 travel brochures from five different travel agencies. Hannelore had forced him to work through all of them meticulously, along with making him to listen to 18 presentations in various adult education centres and libraries about travelling through Patagonia and diverse pole regions, through Australia and New Zealand, doing a desert safari and three different round-the-world-trips, as well as four meditation courses in Austrian and Greek convents. And all of it just because Hannelore could not make up her mind about what sort of vacation she wanted in which region of the world…

Gerlinde – holding the open ice-cream menu and pointing at a vanilla ice-cream fruit cup with plenty of cream with her right, almost stiff, index finger – said that she was not really surprised by this lament of Kurt’s. In fact, she, too, had already noticed that Hannelore seemed to become more and more indecisive as she grew older!

Since this was already the third time the waiter asked for their order, Gerlinde finally, with a threatening look at Carl, ordered her fruit ice-cream cup while Carl, although sitting in front of the several-page long ice-cream menu, was not yet ready to order more than a bottle of sparkling mineral water. Beyond that, he asked for a little patience as far as his ice-cream order was concerned and told Gerlinde that, when they were talking about this ‘monstrous vacation choice procedure‘ at REWE, Kurt had, above all, been angry with Hannelore because they were now, as a result of all this tedious work, starting a two-week trip to Portugal. To be precise: to a wellness hotel in the Algarve, where currently you had to endure 42 degrees Celsius in the shade and there were already forest fires twenty kilometres away that looked like they were never going to end …

Great – was Gerlinde’s laconic reply, before she took pity on the desperate waiter and ordered a CARLOS I (which was the least she could do) while Carl now at long last started to really get involved with the ‘ice-cream varieties‘ on the menu. Without giving the waiting steward a single glance, he told Gerlinde that, basically, his order was very easy. After all, he only wanted three balls of ice-cream without anything on it and consequently the only thing about which to make up his mind was the choice between dark and light chocolate, or about vanilla, hazel nut, stracciatella, strawberry, yoghurt, latte macchiato, cream-cherry, mango, maracuja, lemon, banana, pomegranate, raspberry, dragon fruit, bounty, cream grit, cinnamon, raffaelo, and seaberry- chinaberry! Nothing could be easier than that, which he found really hilarious..

But since the waiter still stood before him like a vengeful deity, he said, to the surprise of everybody, that he wanted an espresso.

Double – or single?, the waiter asked.

No – but maybe two balls of vanilla ice-cream after all, Carl said.

So: vanilla ice-cream!, the waiter typed it into his gadget.

No – just bring me a CARLOS I like the one Gerlinde has ordered.

And when, at long last, the incompetent waiter had left, Carl noted with a sour face that, for the first time, he now really pitied Kurt: because if he had a partner who was as indecisive as Hannelore, he would probably go crazy every single day of the year. With these words, he pushed the ice-cream menu towards Gerlinde with satisfaction. Gerlinde got up without a word and left.

Hopefully, she was only washing her hands?

KH
(Translated by EG)