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
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.

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 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
Tuesday December 5th, 2017

The Second Darkness

Carl and Gerlinde (Instalment # 55)

When Carl woke up and found back to something that vaguely resembled human existence excruciatingly slowly, the first rudimentary things his not yet quite ready body noticed seemed to be the fact that his eyes were absolutely unwilling to open!

In fact, the synchronously beating rain showers even postponed the usual procedure of starting the day until later for the n-th time. Regardless of his only partially active cerebral cortex, he actually seemed to have a foreboding that told him that the state of affairs his open eyes would convey to him would not at all be a pleasant one. Instead, he felt that the darkness caused by his closed eyes would only be replaced by the second darkness of the closed rolling shutters while the root of his ’eye-lid immobility’, namely the unnerving patter of the rain and the noise of the rolling shutters would not be ending or suppressed. Which meant that there was not the slightest bit of a chance for him to look forward to a friendly daybreak with sunshine.

So what to do with a Sunday like this one in the pre-Christmas time where he had almost miraculously been freed of all obligations, since he did neither have to visit an old aunt nor friends who lived anywhere closer than a hundred kilometres away. And Gerlinde, lying next to him, too, did not seem to be anywhere near waking up. Instead, judging by the noise she made, she was still deep in slumber and dreaming of SCUBA-diving in the Red Sea or the Dead Sea?

At such conditions, no normal person – let alone Carl – could be expected to unwrap himself from his beautifully warm bed: after all, the sum of all the threatening evil of this probably dawning morning had the sole purpose of making his already – due to low blood pressure – bad morning mood even worse.

Who could and would take responsibility for that? , thought Carl with still heroically closed eyes while he rolled from left to right on his bed with rather little elegance and accompanied by plenty of moaning. However, this last motion was immediately corrected because his snoring Gerlindy, to his total surprise, also turned towards him, blowing a gust the strength of six to eight directly into his face in the process. It really sounded like she actually needed to free her mouth of the salty sea water.

After having returned to his original position, Carl rested irresolutely for quite a while, strictly sticking to his self-chosen darkness. He was wondering if it might be a good idea to go back to sleep or if it was perhaps already time to prepare breakfast.

In fact, there was a tricky idea trying to find its way into his already neurally activated brain cells: should he maybe, now that we were in the middle of advent time, just for once and for the first time ever, prepare Sunday breakfast? This would mean he could present the surprise of the century to a still industriously snoring Gerlinde at the very moment she would be surfacing both from slumber and from the warm floods of the Red Sea. Said surprise being a beautifully laid breakfast table by yours truly that contained all the morning delicacies she liked every morning, including her beloved strong coffee…

What a great inspiration and fantastic display of his love towards his always hard-working Gerlinde who had started going back to work half a year ago and appreciated every help at home so much more. Yes – even regardless of his still reduced operating mode, he recognized a sudden growth of a tiny plant of enthusiasm. It was accompanied by a touching warmth that not only spread in his head but also started to tentatively envelop all his extremities…
It was a beautiful feeling!

In fact, it was an extremely beautiful feeling! It was inspiring and stimulating – but also just a little worrying – found Carl if he was totally honest with himself and also if he did not close his eyes before the fact that, with all this enthusiasm, he found it rather hard to keep his eyes closed!

And this was not all!

All of a sudden, he also had the alarming feeling that something unknown and alien started growing inside him. It pushed and pulled him. It felt like an ugly parasite draining him of his strength and drinking it all up.
That was not nice! It was not nice at all!

Carl felt with immediate precision: if he now were to give in to these unsettling powers, then the night would be over and the perhaps already dawning morning with it. That was something he could not at all allow to happen, thought Carl. And above all, it was not advisable for him to now open his eyes and at long last fall into this second darkness that always was such a problem for him and that always left him extremely depressed …

The only thing that promised help in this situation was his second pillow! As always, his snoring Gerlinde had assumed possession of it. So he grabbed it back quite unceremoniously. And even while he, as so often, wrapped it around his head, he started counting tonelessly to himself – and when he reached number three-thousand-eight-hundred-and-seventy, he was actually asleep!

The only thing that eventually woke a Carl who felt reborn were Gerlinde’s energetic twice uttered summons from the kitchen: “Breakfast is waiting”.

Comfortable yawning and stretching in all directions, he was visibly content about having manfully resisted this more than alarming breakfast threat with all its foreseeable consequences for the future.

Now Carl felt he could actually face the second darkness and opened his eyes with a smile …

KH
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday October 12th, 2017

Failed Emancipation

Carl and Gerlinde (Instalment #54)

“Waiter – please bring a double cognac as fast as possible …!“,  Carl cried out excitedly while he was literally gulping air …

“Under way”, groaned the waiter while hurrying along his table. Thick drops of perspiration were building on his broad forehead.

“Whatever is the matter with you, Carl? Is it really necessary that you start filling up on cognac this early in the morning, when morning has hardly broken?”, Gerlinde irritably asked while taking a small sip of her freshly pressed orange juice with a worried expression on her face.

“Fear thee not, Gerlinde, I only need something really stiff to digest the news I am just reading in the paper here!“

“So – what sort of news is it?“ Gerlinde asked with raised eyebrows.

“Just imagine, the king of Saudi-Arabia and his very ambitions sun Mohamed bin Salam actually now, in the 21st century, want to allow women to drive cars!“

“How come?“

“Well – starting on June 2018 – women in Saudi-Arabia will be permitted behind the wheel of a car even without the consent of their husbands. Isn’t that absolutely maniac?“.

“Great! But as I know these brothers, there will certainly be some foul exhortation idea behind the deal… “

“Perhaps – but before you judge them too quickly, my dear, maybe we should remember that in Germany, too, the husband had the exclusive right to say what his wife and children should do until 1958.“

“Hm – great! But at least the women did not have to wear veils, did they“?

“No, they did not have to do that – but even if men allowed their wives to work, they were the ones who decided what happened with the incomes!“

“Super – that is what pimps still do for their sidewalk birds, isn’t it? “.

“Correct. The world is still as it should be in this patriarchal milieu!“

“It seems to me that you really need more cognac, Carl! If you are under the influence of alcohol, you definitely do not talk quite as much nonsense …“

“Yes, but only because I mostly go to sleep immediately! But where is this incompetent waiter now with my medicine?“

“Perhaps the waitress is quicker”, said Gerlinde. She jumped up and set a not-bad-looking young waitress onto the path of the dreamy waiter.

“And besides, if their husbands had not consented”, Carl, who obviously now knew no peace, continued, “women were not allowed to open their own bank accounts until 1962. How does that strike you?“

“There you see, my dear Carl, that is exactly why I absolutely do not wish to marry. I certainly would not want that to happen to me!“

“However, my dearest Gerlinde, this precaution is not necessary, because ever since 1969, every married woman in Germany is fully contractually capable.“

“Wow – that means everything really went at breath-taking speed with respect to the emancipation of the females – I am sure the CSU was the absolute pacemaker …“

“You mocker”, Carl smirked. He was still waiting for his cognac and getting more and more impatient …

“You are really poorly off with your cognac, Carl! In the meantime, would you like to take a sip of my orange juice? …“

“Excuse me! Has the day come when we men can no longer even drink our own cognac ?…“

“Carl, I will soon break out in tears“!

“Yes, please do – because otherwise I will have to do it”, Carl moaned.

“But there is truly no reason for you to do that, my dear Carl – with the exception that your cognac does not arrive, you men have no reason at all to lament, do you?“

“Oh – oh – and what about the ’Female Federal Chancellor Forever’; she is not only Honecker’s Late Revenge but also the Revenge of all Women Against Men for suffered wrongs!“

“As always, you are exaggerating, Carl!“

“I am not exaggerating at all, because the ’Female Federal Chancellor Forever’ would even be elected by all the women and elderly persons if she were ’a mounted specimen’  …“

“You know, instead of talking such nonsense, you probably had better get your own house in order “!

“Why is that..?“

“Why don’t you look at all the ’male specimens’ – for example the wonderful Herrn Schulz – or the kissing Herrn Junker – or the divine Mr. Trump – along with the grinning Kim Jong Un – or the eternal Bavarian drooling Herrn Seehofer… or – or – or … compared to those honourable gentlemen, even a ’preserved specimen of the Female Chancellor’ looks like an improvement to me …“

“Well, unfortunately, and as an exception to the rule – and very reluctantly – I have to agree with you, dear Gerlinde: the guild of men currently active is really a unique example for the word pitiful!“

“There you see, Carl …“! – when Gerlinde said this she had enough tact to suppress all display of triumph!

“But still, God has mercy on us men, Gerlinde: because at long last, my very dearly craved cognac is arriving!“

In fact, the friendly waitress suddenly came scuffling from nowhere and placed a huge brandy balloon – into which Carl might actually have jumped directly – in front of him under a thousand apologies and manoeuvres for the endless waiting time. And before Gerlinde could look around properly, his head actually already hung in the balloon up to his neck…

This was the only possible explanation for the fact that Carl, immediately after the cute waitress had vanished as picturesquely as a gazelle, could come up with the dry statement that, regardless of all currently felt superiority of the females, nobody could seriously doubt that even this lovely waitress was still moving on a pair of ’waiting upper legs’  …so why would we need a superiority complex? When all was said and done, women were, like in all times, basically just ’a piece cut out of man’, weren’t they?

KH
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Friday September 8th, 2017

Pure Slug Terror

Carl and Gerlinde (Instalment # 53)

Somehow or other, Carl could very well sympathize with the murderous ideas that were reflected in the eyes of his neighbour Konrad whenever anybody uttered the word ’slug’!

After all, this peace-loving owner of solar panels had a spacious garden – including numerous vegetable plants and a glamorous flower bed. Just like Carl himself! And like him, Konrad, too, did not want to poison his family by using enormous amounts of the snail and slug bait ’metaldehyde’, did he?
So what to do? After all, every summer, as soon as dusk neared, these disgusting, finger-thick, brown ’slime-slinkers’ started their silent attack on defenceless zucchini plants and freshly planted marigolds like modern guerrilla hordes? And only when morning dawned and they had mercilessly eaten up everything, they dastardly retreated into their ivy-covered hideouts?

So it was no surprise that not only Konrad, but also many other garden owners patrolled their gardens like South-American murderer brigades equipped with headlamps, secateurs and razor-sharp spades. They did their murderous craft with exactly the same stealth and ruthlessness as those slimy ’slug monsters’ did theirs!

Yes – Carl had to admit that he would really have enjoyed taking part in such revenge crusades against this ’slug pestilence’. And that he had actually already taken his torch and his secateurs and been secretly at it when Gerlinde was not at home in the evening. But provoking a ’permanent crisis’ with Gerlinde for this reason – that was definitely something he did not want at all!

After all, his darling Gerlinde was a passionate animal rights activist and could not treat any animal poorly, which is also why she mostly only ate vegetarian! Except if an attack of hunger forced her to spontaneously fry a mountain of pork schnitzels or a leg of lamp. Or, even worse, if one of those sneaky gnats or horse flies was bold enough to NOT bite Carl on his lower arm but instead her on her lily-white neck: those were the moments when she actually was able to do some deathly beating!

My God – what a fuss she had made about it when, two years ago, he had tried to fight the slug terror with beer traps. He had actually filled several jam jars with beer and sunk them into the soil in the garden at strategic points! And – just like he had intended – said jars had been full of drowned slugs in the morning. Basically, one would think that was not a bad way to die – drowning in ’Krombacher’ – was it? But his super-sensitive Gerlinde had a totally different opinion!

She almost suffered a yelling attack when he, imprudently, showed her one of the well-filled jars with the ’slimy’ slugs in it – before she disposed of them into the sewage system.

Well, it must be admitted – they did not look particularly appetizing!
But then, according to everything he had read about it, these poor snails with their minuscule brains had not suffered very much, either.

Since, however, Gerlinde, even in discussions that lasted several hours, could not be persuaded, he soon realized that, even if, perhaps, the fight against the ’naked slug’ might be won in this fashion, the price would be the loss of his ’naked Gerlinde’! And that was definitely a price he was not willing to pay. It was better that these nice snails kept eating up all the vegetables in the garden – if that was what they and Gerlinde wanted!

Totally unexpectedly, the solution of the problem came from Gerlinde’s friend Hannelore! Because Hannelore’s animal-loving Kurt had developed the following procedure against the evil slug: in the morning, he strolled through the dewy grass carrying parts of yesterday’s FAZ and collected two or three well-saturated slugs on their slimy return trip with the big double-pages of the newspaper. He added the occasional half-nibbled leaf of funkia and then formed an easily manageable box of several layers that he encircled with rubber rings.

These daily three or four boxes with still living slugs would then soundlessly disappear in the biological waste container in summer. And with the exception of the slugs, everybody was happy!

Of course the layer of paper for the ’slug post’ should not be too thin, because otherwise everything would be slimed through in no time and the cute slugs would sit on the underside of the biological waste container on the next morning. Then the entire packaging procedure would have to start again until the waste was emptied next Monday.

Well- and that was exactly the weakness of this ’slug elimination program’ designed by Carl’s animal friends!

Carl suddenly discovered a hitherto unknown sensitivity in himself when some lone ’slimy plant eaters’ sat on the border or the lid of the biological waste container and slumbered in heavenly peace!

Strange? – all of a sudden he felt pity for these slimy monsters that yesterday had still eaten into his zucchini plants and he embarrassingly found that he no longer had the strength to send them back into the container after they had so courageously liberated themselves from their ’ FAZ incarceration’ . Instead, it felt almost like a compulsion to give them back their freedom. …

Gerlinde and Hannelore actually even cried a few tears when, a short time ago and after his first glass of beer, he admitted this weakness of his. They would not have believed it possible that the otherwise sometimes quite rough Carl was capable of such sensitivity. It was quite sweet – really sweet … …

After his third bottle of beer, Carl found it just as sweet as his two admirers. However, he considered it more prudent to perhaps not mention that he actually had released the few who managed to break through into freedom – but, of course, freedom meant the so much more attractive freedom in his neighbour’s garden– and not in his garden!

And since slugs are by nature rather discreet creatures, there was certainly no danger that this small secret they shared with him would see the light of day any time soon. …

KH
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday August 17th, 2017

“Don Carl“ – or: the Heroic Fight for the Underpants

Carl and Gerlinde (Instalment #52)

Rarely had Carl stepped into his underpants more enthusiastically in recent years. It was this great feeling of ’being embedded’ and ’being protected’ that he enjoyed.

It was a pleasure he made himself aware of several times each day these days – and the feeling was strangely enhanced whenever, during the day, he allowed himself to re-position the private parts hidden therein by discreetly re-arranging his trousers!

Yes – it was “allowed himself to” – not “had to” – as he formerly used to look upon it!

Because ever since, apparently, a movement that originated in Southern Germany – headed by the usual suspects /1/ – had started discrediting men’s underpants – which, incidentally, had been establishing an excellent tradition in the Christian culture over almost three hundred years – with Bavarian relish, Carl had become alarmed for more than one reason!

Yes – it was really a ’shock with an aura’ that found its way to Carl when, on this 13th day of August in 2017, he came upon said IF blog /1/ in the social networks. In this article, the author talked about a world-wide underpants-free future for all men: a world where, from one day to the next, wearing underpants by men was abolished. As a reason, it was stated that, apparently, all chafing, uncomfortable itching, disgusting tickling and virility-threatening clamping between razor-sharp zippers was now ignored, denied or hidden under a ’caftan ’.

A ’caftan’ that allegedly was only invented to give more freedom – that is, freedom for the ’unrestrained dangling of the male privates’ and consequently freedom to enjoy the ’so-called feeling of comfort’ that went along with it!

Of course, this had unimaginable consequences for the body – life – health – morals – society and economy! Not just for Germany and the European Union, but, when all was said and done, also for the entire Christian Occident and thousands of underpants-producing workers.

And was the time really chosen at random?

Had not just a few months ago Putin forbidden all activities around ladies’ underwear for the entire Eurasian Economic Zone, which had had disastrous consequences for TRIGA?

Maybe this was the balance against the male half of creation that was necessary due to gender-equality, after the first hit had devastated the female half of creation?

And was it really totally by accident that this campaign started in Bavaria of all regions? Or was it perhaps part of a long-planned conspiracy by Putin and Seehofer?

But when Carl, a few days ago when they had a meeting to discuss the ’development of new market strategies’ at TRIGA, mentioned these aspects, he was appalled to notice how his colleagues could not have cared less. Bernie – i.e. Dr. Osterkorn –, who was the head of the hosiery sector at TRIGA, in particular, did not seem to understand the impact of this event at all. As often before, he, again, lacked the antennae for trends in fashion and society!

Incidentally, the same was true for Gerlinde during their breakfast in the morning!

She, too, only had a laugh for him …

And – almost sympathetically – called him, Carl, a maniac who, once again, was chasing ghosts. And when Carl reacted offended and left the breakfast table without having drunk all of the morning coffee she always brewed for him with special love and care, she cried after him that she was not going to believe in the threat to occidental culture before Horst Seehofer appeared wearing a ’Caftan’ for the next Political Ash-Wednesday in Vilshofen!

Luckily, Carl knew what needed to be done in such catastrophic situations when everything was in danger of tumbling down: ’nothing’!

Now that was one aspect where, as always, he found himself in the best company with the others …

KH
(Translated by EG)