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)

Klaus Hnilica
Tuesday June 19th, 2018

Advantages of Integration and Progressive Digitalization

Ever since a new British study has found out that the progressive digitalization also offers massive advantages and totally new perspectives in this field, there is a new urgency to the question: To what extent vampires can actually be integrated?

Mind you, it was not the old and ancient protagonists who initiated this revolution. It is yet again the often so scolded youth who make the decisive steps towards this ’young future that cuts the edges’: they are the ones who not only talk about digitalization, which is what any second-class provincial politician does these days, but who also actually live digitalization!

Yes, it is the ’generation smart-phone’ who, in the 21st century and totally surprisingly and unplanned, restore a tiny bit of freedom to the vampires by letting them return to free biting!

After all – and you want to be honest about this – there is nothing more suitable for the direct and unhindered bite of a vampire than the naked and exposed little neck of a fifteen-year-old female smart-phone user who is fascinated by what she sees on her screen. And I mean all the time: on the street, in the train, on her bike, on the toilet and while doing her homework.

There is definitely nothing, absolutely nothing more suitable!

And this suitability for quick access is, naturally, not only true for the aforementioned fifteen-year-old girl, but also for all smart-phone users, regardless of their age and the colour of their skin: when they act as mentioned above, all these persons remain in the exact same position, with exactly identical ’bite invitations to their jugular’ in front of their device. In fact, the author of the British study I mentioned before even assumes that the inventor of the smart-phone must have had or have a ’vampire background’. This assumption becomes even more of a probability since all the smart-phone users are so fixated on their devices that they not only fail to notice the quick bite into their jugular, but also never even realize how they have been sucked out afterwards!

They are actually so immersed in their smart-phone world that they are not available for any other observation: the first time they actually often start yelling and getting aggressive is when – due to some unfortunate mistake – blood drips on their screens, because that is when they start soiling their own screens as they wipe around with their own blood on their fingers!

This is one of the reasons why leading vampires in business and politics started several years ago to vehemently demand from companies such as Apply, Samsung and Nokia to come up with the ’blood-absorbing screen’ at long last! After all, such a modification is absolutely necessary unless you want to carelessly miss this unique opportunity of integrating vampires into society: and I mean all vampires! This includes the less dexterous ones – those who, when they bite, sometimes cause a drop or two to fall where it should not!

It goes without saying that the sector data security, too, needs massive modifications: it happens quite frequently that smart-phone users take pictures of vampires while they feed on blood and then immediately send the pictures to the smart-phones of those who have been bitten!

This is often the moment when those who have been bitten actually realize that they are currently donating blood – and since they see it on their smart-phones, they also believe it. Their reaction is that they often start hectic defence movements – which might then again cause unnecessary extra blood loss.

Consequently, what we need immediately is legislative initiatives with a ’filming ban on blood feeds’. And these initiatives cannot be national solos but have to be coordinated on EU and UNO level. Basically, this should not be too much of a problem if all parties concerned mean the same blood and refrain from overeager bloody comments.
Another problem is probably far harder to solve.

What I mean is the bite into the ’wrinkled neck of an older person’ – which, as the aforementioned British study shows, is something some of the vampires also favour.

Luckily, these few ’connoisseurs’ will also find enough older smart-phone users today – even if their enthusiasm and stamina are nowhere near what we have with the young generation. That is something that does not really make quick bites easier!

But when all is said and done, this is not the central problem! The real problem is that, even if the bite on the ’far-from-fresh wrinkled neck’ is a success, the blood you get there tastes like a wine-soda mixture that contains one eighth of Riesling and one litre of soda water!
Which is nothing. Well, it is less than nothing!

That is because today practically all older people get huge amounts of expensive blood thinners from all their doctors and health insurances: this is certainly a good thing for the pharmaceutical industry and for the blood-thinned elderly people – but for vampires, it is a pure nightmare!

And I am not just talking the taste, but also the amount you need: due to this practice, vampires are not only forced to swallow immense amounts of blood, but also to visit the toilet all the time in order to get rid of all the water. This will quite often cause individual blockage situations at public toilets! Humans who suffer from weak bladders are those who will suffer most in the end!

Taking all these aspects into consideration, it can be said that much remains to be done before vampires enjoy the same paradise-like state of affairs in Germany that, according to our Federal Chancellor, the rest of the citizens can boast of!

But if the problems that still need to be solved are at long last tackled by politics without prejudices and without further loss of precious time, and if the entire society refuses to have a rising blood pressure because of all these concepts, then the integration advantages offering themselves through more digitalization – as shown by the British study – will soon be realized. Especially if measures are taken to make sure that blood will always remain thicker than any wine-soda mixture, because otherwise the elderly people will cause unacceptably long blood trails in their wake after each vampire bite. And said blood trails will then again cause massive data security problems, which certainly nobody can want; after all, we all know that there is nothing vampires want more than a chance to, at long last, have their blood feed undisturbed and in peace.

That is really all they want!

K.H.
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Tuesday March 27th, 2018

Saving Money with WHISKY

Carl and Gerlinde (# 58)

No, Carl did not wish to explain yet another time why he and Gerlinde had originally planned going to Tenerife but had then yet again ended up in Lanzarote, from where they had returned home yesterday night!

Gerlinde did not want to say anything on the matter, either: why had Hannelore and Kurt chosen this early Sunday morning during breakfast to invade their privacy, just because Hannelore, again, found it impossible to wait for the fantastic vacation report from Gerlinde? After all, she was eager to convince her Kurt that the Canaries were where they needed to go.

Carl was a little irritated when he asked them if they would like a cup of coffee or if they would prefer the champagne and the salmon appetizers he and Gerlinde had eaten at the “Iberostar Lanzarote Park Hotel“ each morning around this time as their brunch.

Oh – you stayed in the same hotel as last year? Hannelore piped. Gerlinde confirmed it with a tired nod while looking for the champagne glasses, because Carl was actually already on his way to fetch the champagne in the basement. Yes, when Hannelore wanted something he was always eager to please!

Come, Gerlinde, tell us how you liked Lanzarote? What was the weather like? Were the people nice and what about the general atmosphere? We want to know everything in detail, don’t we, Kurt?

Kurt gave a short nod and Gerlinde said: Well – yes – on the whole, it was quite nice!

Well – that does not sound too enthusiastic, does it, grumbled Kurt.

But it was – Carl interrupted while he let the champagne corks pop.

Unfortunately, as soon as the first week was over, I started coming down with this terrible cold. I am still not over it, Gerlinde moaned and, to prove her point, she filled two tissues with what had accumulated in her nose.

And I was cold all the time, Carl grinned while pouring the champagne for everyone.
Are you telling me that it was not as warm and spring-like as you had hoped?, asked Hannelore with her raised champagne glass in her hand.

For the many overweight people, it was certainly warm enough, Carl replied. But for the few normal weight humans, like us, it was not! But now cheers. Here is a toast to you and the fact that we are back home safe.

The constantly blowing cold north wind was really a nuisance this time. Gerlinde moaned with a grand suffering expression that Hannelore obstinately chose to ignore.

Great! – This is why you fly 4,000 kilometres in the direction of Africa, was Kurt’s smug comment. He finished his glass in one go and immediately and provocatively placed it again next to the champagne bottle that still contained a few sips.

There was not a single day when it was possible for her to lie in the sun for more than half an hour, because this stupid wind was always blowing. And she only swam in the pool three times in all these two weeks. Her cold, too, was probably because of this, Gerlinde continued lamenting. After all, now she was in lamenting mode and she noticed how this negative report made Hannelore more and more uncomfortable. But, naturally, she had not been the only one suffering from a cold: even early in the morning when everybody came to eat their breakfast, almost the entire room was filled with coughing and sneezing in all musical pitches when they arrived. And the flight back to Frankfurt, too, had been a single load of running and coughing noses.…

Since Carl, to the pleasure of Hannelore, had refilled the glasses with champagne and was now invitingly lifting his glass, Gerlinde had to interrupt her sneezing report for a short time. This gave Hannelore, after she had swallowed a few hasty sips, the chance to quickly ask the question if they had at least enjoyed nice day trips.

Yes, definitely, said Gerlinde after a long pause during which she, who was still wearing her bathrobe, had been swaying her upper body in both directions and taking small sips from her glass!

Immediately after arrival, they had booked this much-recommended and grandiose trip to the fantastic small fisher island ’La Graziosa’ in the north of Lanzarote for Wednesday: it was only 60€ per person and included lunch, the bus transfer from the hotel, the ride to the romantic harbour of Órzola and from there, with a catamaran, through the so-called Rio to the island of La Graziosa!

Unfortunately, however, it rained on this wonderful Wednesday, which scarcely ever happened, moaned Gerlinde. She asked Carl for a refill and also pointed out that the otherwise normal wind had grown into a veritable storm on this day, which meant that they could not stay on deck and that an extra glass bottom boat had to be commissioned to accommodate all the tourists who wanted to stay dry. After the meal on La Graziosa, they decided against another sightseeing tour of the island in the rain and instead cruised around the island with both ships through this deathly swell – after all, there are 6,000 kilometres of Atlantic Ocean directly behind Graziosa. As a result, she had to throw up all the time and even Carl was only just able to walk upright by the end of the tour.

After this short report, Gerlinde needed another glass of champagne and then sank down on her chair in a state of exhaustion. Carl finally took advantage of this opportunity to say something and added that, after this adventure, each of them had stood under the showers for half an hour in order to get a little warm again. Later, thank God, the unexpected happened – which saved the vacation …

And what unexpected event are you talking about? Hannelore eagerly asked with new hope in her eyes.

Well – I am not sure if I should tell? What do you think Gerlinde?
She did not care, muttered Gerlinde, all she wanted was another glass of champagne.

This is the fourth already, Carl noticed with some worry.

So – what?

Well, I was only mentioning it, he said while refilling the glass.

Incidentally, after the successful trip, their general state had been rather similar to the state Gerlinde was now in, Carl said to Hannelore and Kurt. And without further thought, they had then drunk all the four small bottles of Whisky from the mini-bar in order to sink into their beds with a minimum degree of content.…

However, the rude awakening came on the next morning when they discovered that the price for every one of those minuscule 5cl bottles of Whisky was 9.90€. This means that those four ridiculous bottles of Whisky – none contained more than what you could swallow with four mouthfuls – cost – 39.60 €! Well, this was certainly something you needed to give time to sink in, he moaned.

This is certainly not a bad profit for the hotel, Kurt – suddenly wide awake – commented!
And Gerlinde also moaned in her chair. However, her renewed call for champagne was no longer satisfied.

Instead, Carl told Hannelore that, naturally, nobody was going to treat him to such fraudulent rip-off. A short visit to the supermarket clarified the Whisky situation: the 75cl bottle of exactly the same brand was 15.85 €.

Even Kurt knew immediately what needed to be done. Consequently, he nodded when Carl, not without a certain degree of pathos, declared that he and Gerlinde spent the remaining 10 days of their vacation consuming 10 bottles of Whisky. Which meant that, after deduction of the acquisition costs, they had actually generated a plus of no less than 1,325.- € – as you could easily calculate yourself!

Ahhhh – Hannelore suddenly giggled, now it dawned on her: so that is what Gerlinde meant when she said that, all in all, you had been quite satisfied with your vacation!
Yes, that was probably what she meant, Carl confirmed since Gerlinde by then had gone to sleep in her chair. Apparently, the champagne had done its job!

And maybe the champagne had also helped Kurt who, without sounding any louder at all and with an air of self-evidence, suddenly said that, if such a potential for economizing was apparent, he could easily imagine spending a vacation on the Canary Islands.…

KH
(Translated by EG)

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Klaus Hnilica
Sunday January 28th, 2018

Pouring Water on Hot Stones

Carl and Gerlinde (Instalment # 56)

Basically, the year 2018 had begun quite well.

At least for Carl. And the same was true for Gerlinde.

Visiting the sauna as early as the third Sunday afternoon of the month, which actually was in January, had been an absolutely great idea of Gerlinde’s.

Naturally, when Carl finally came strutting into the overheated cabin, she had already been lying naked on her sauna towel and luxuriating for quite some time.

The critical glimpse she gave him when he arranged his towels on the sauna bench were not really something new – he knew and felt it …

If you continue to refuse more exercise, you will soon need to wear my brassiere, was her uncouth – and perspiring – comment.

Are you saying that you consider your own bosom too small and consequently we are looking at plans for a beauty operation? Carl sanctimoniously asked – he was not yet perspiring.

No, that is not what I am saying. I am totally satisfied with my bosom, thank you very much.

So there is not going to be a breast expansion, including skin smoothing in the near future, Carl murmured while he kept rearranging his already perfectly arranged sauna towel. The small towel that lay at the top end and had been folded several times, too, was perfectly arranged.

No, Carl – but looking at you, I find that your body offers quite a bit of potential for smoothing.

Well – then why don’t you look the other way …

That is what I do most of the time, anyway. But there are times, like this one, when I can hardly avoid looking at you. And then I notice that you are no longer what you used to be, Carl.

At long last and without another words, Carl very diligently took his place on the very meticulously arranged sauna bench, after having given Gerlinde an unnerved grin.

Especially your breasts go more and more south! Gerlinde insisted.
Hm – and that is why I should wear your brassieres? Carl asked as the first beads of perspiration appeared on his face, on his stomach and between his buttocks.

No, that is not what I suggest – but how about shovelling in less chocolate?
Well, you know, Gerlinde, not everybody has to have your slimness mania and wants to look as corpse-like as you!

No, that is absolutely true, but then, nor does everybody need to be so lazy and overeating as you have become in recent years, my dear Carl.

You are rather snappish today, aren’t you, said Carl. He made his cumbersome way from the sauna bench and poured four ladles of water over the sauna coal. He knew that this would soon be too hot for Gerlinde.

She actually gave a short moan, but then she said: well, Carl, go ahead. After all, you are the one with the more sensitive heart condition!

Do you know, Gerlinde, what I would like best right now? I would really like to place you under the cold shower and keep you there until you have returned to being your normal and peace-loving self.

Why don’t you? You can also flagellate me, chain me to the cooling bed or torture me in some other way, but …

But what?

But alternatively, you could activate your cervix and ask yourself if, maybe, it would be a good idea to torture your own Apollo-like body, instead of always just …

What exactly do you mean when you say torture? Carl’s comment when he interrupted sounded somewhat tormented.

All I mean is that you might decide to exercise more and develop healthier eating habits.

Ah, Carl moaned while turning left on his sauna towel with a lot of perspiring and moaning. Now, for the first time, he actually had Gerlinde in his line of vision.

He continued by asking if, with this, she wanted to hint at ’modern times’ now being ahead for them, too!

You really tend to be extremely drama-oriented when something does not work exactly as you wanted it to, Gerlinde lamented.

Well, isn’t that inevitable if now I am threatened with lactose intolerance, veganism and Helene Fischer, rather than sex, drugs and Rock’n Roll!

What strange slogans you always come up with, Carl!

Yes – yours truly and his slogans.

What is so evil about people being health-conscious and taking good care of their body? Gerlinde murmured to herself.

Well, if you do not understand, my dear Gerlinde, then I cannot help you, either – in fact, now I have to get some fresh air, otherwise I will really go crazy with all this over-heated nonsense …

But be cautious, Carl. Our overweight neighbour is always eyeing your bacon hump, or whatever!

And you will keep a watchful eye on her wire-haired dachshund – who will never say no to a bone…

KH
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday December 21st, 2017

(Deutsch) Ach – Weihnachten …

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.