Hans Bonfigt
Monday September 11th, 2017

Autobahn 2.0: Der neugrüne Rassismus – Hully Gully

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

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)

Carl and Gerlinde (installation #50)

Carl always knew that he would never ever spend a single day, not even a few hours or minutes and seconds vacationing on the Canary Islands – and definitely never on Lanzarote!

After all, what business did he have in this pitch black lava excrement where absolutely nothing reasonable grew, yet where ever new overfed hordes of tourists from Germany and England bent their backs in ecstasy whenever they saw a small green blade of grass making its slow way from the cold magma towards the heavens after no more than two hundred and fifty years. Said blade of grass was certain to speed towards the sun during the next few centuries at a growth rate of at least nine-tenth of a millimetre per decade …

Well, what else was that blade of grass supposed to do, since there was no ground water at all in this holiday resort? And the ah-so-life-giving rain, too, only deigned to fall in minimum amounts on a maximum of eighteen days each year. Which is why even the twenty-five million years old volcanic cones next to the magma deserts also managed no more than a quasi-whispered shimmer of green on the sparse volcano sides. After all, there was no other volcanic region in the whole world where similar masses of tourists have ever experienced fewer drops of rain, and would continue to witness as little rain in the future – as on Lanzarote!

No – it was definitely not a place Carl wanted to see first-hand. Not at all!

His sitting in a Condor machine to Lanzarote with Gerlinde nevertheless was more a blunder than anything else and perhaps exclusively due to the fact that, after the last agonizing forty-three weeks at work, he needed a few days away from the firm and away from Gerlinde’s constant Canary Vacation pestering. Nothing more needed to be said on it! Except that the Iberostar Hotel with a view of the ocean that Gerlinde had booked, at first sight and if you made a few concessions, did not seem to look all that bad, did it?

Mind you, all this ocean in front of your nose tended to get a little boring after no more than five days, regardless of said ocean being really wonderfully blue and showing it, too. The water then again looked grey and grey-blue with white foam crowns and, of course, totally pitch dark at night unless a sliver of moon was mirrored in a strange way therein. But this baroque game of colours still could not contribute towards a drastic change in Carl’s emotionally unbalanced frame of mind, because when all was said and done, it came down to simply being water, water, and again water – instead of a mountainous landscape with glaciers, ravines and aeries. That much remained facts, even if Gerlinde was not prepared to admit it and immediately countered all his grumbling about the ocean with a pout as big as a huge wave.

And as far as this aforementioned ocean was concerned – there was no way you could avoid it on Lanzarote, not even on the endless boardwalk!

No, it was absolutely impossible!

Because if Carl moved from south-west to north-east next to his Gerlinde, he had it on his right side – and vice versa: when he moved from north-east to south-west, it was, naturally, on the left side: the ocean! And whenever he sipped his elaborately served and beautifully warmed brandy ’Carlos I’ in one of the millions of pubs along this boardwalk, it was not to his left or to his right, but, of course, right in front of his nose. And the same was true when he ate his ’shrimps with garlic’. And when he ate pizza with Cortado, it was no different – except if he quickly disappeared to the toilet. There was no other way to avoid the ocean.…

And, naturally, this ever-present ocean was also constantly accompanied by a just as ever-present wind. In fact, more often than not is was quite a storm that raised Carl’s hair to point south-east whenever he had forgotten his baseball cap. In the afternoon, the same wind was camouflaged as tepid ’Calima’ and had come all the way from the one-hundred-and-forty-six kilometres away Africa to direct his no-longer-abundant hair towards the west. Quasi as a free extra, it also filled both his nostrils with the most fine-grain Sahara sand. The same was true for Gerlinde’s golden nostrils.

It goes without saying that the ocean also had a word or two of splashing to contribute when they ate their lunch: the battle was far from won when Carl and Gerlinde, after having waited ninety minutes before a table near the ocean that had then been cleaned by a diligent waiter and set with cutlery and the menu by another before a third one took their order of ’Cervezas’ and the next waiter that of the actual food, finally sat down. After all, the suddenly occurring change of waiters around noon naturally necessitated a totally new ordering process of the desired garlic shrimps and sardines.

But then: so what? After all, Carl and his beloved Gerlinde were on vacation and they had this absolutely heavenly view of a very blue ocean that, even far out on the horizon, never seemed to lose its blueness…

But when, at long last, the ordered Sardines arrived thirty more minutes later, which was considerably after Gerlinde’s sizzling ’garlic shrimps in the pan’, they looked surprisingly good even to Gerlinde’s sceptical Carl. Unfortunately, they also seemed to look good to the not-at-all bashful seagull that sat on the dangerously close boardwalk fence. Said seagull was even quicker to grab his second sardine with its beak than Carl had been to pick up the first one on his fork.

Carl was quite perplexed when he gazed after the bird as it hastily flew out onto the damned ocean with its pickings. Since Garlinde, full of laughter, did the same, he at least managed to alleviate his unfortunate situation by pinching a few of her garlic shrimps unnoticed and accompanying them with some of her Cerveza.

Of course, this fight about food continued in the evening when they sat at dinner: in the dining room, however, it was not the seagulls who emptied the half-empty plates for Carl and Gerlinde but the overeager army of diligent service persons who apparently were paid at piece rate. What else could have caused them to take the plates of their guests away so dextrously that said guests frequently rammed their forks into the table by mistake whenever they tried to pick up the last remnants of meat or baked paprika? And it was quite normal that tables were cleaned and newly laid three times during a single breakfast – and all this while Carl and Gerlinde kept getting new breakfast eggs, small bowls of marmalade, butter, croissants, poppy seed rolls, fried bacon, cans of tea, coffee and orange juice!

It was really bad news – almost as bad as the damned tv program, where, due to the hell of a time shift, Carl missed all news about Donald Trump and Recep Erdogan, and often even the national soccer league and the ’Tatort’ that, after all, for practically all Germans – except Gerlinde – had replaced the church visit when it came to marking a Sunday – which was even worse. …

But the worst of all was this terrible fuss they made about that strange César Manrique’ on Lanzarote!

Apparently, he had lived exclusively in magma bubbles and implemented an entire concert hall for an audience of six hundred into his bubble, along with a discotheque in his subterranean dungeon where, next to the dance floor, white, fingernail-sized, almost blind albino crabs crawled in a totally clear pool of water. Normally, those crabs only existed a thousand metres below in the ocean, but here and now in this pool, they spent all their lives eating the algae that grew there on these few square metres of lava. Mind you, they did it day after day, week after week, year after year in total darkness – what a terrible life this must be, thought Carl, who felt a cold chill go down his spine whenever he thought about it. Compared to such a life, his life with Gerlinde – even here on Lanzarote – was actually a gift of God, wasn’t it?

KH
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Tuesday February 14th, 2017

Woebegone Europe – What Exactly Is It?

At the moment, nobody can probably say what kind of construct the so-called ’Europe’ is. Economically, it does not look too good, its crisis countries struggle against increasing unemployment rates, it is politically divided and the citizens and elites have become more and more each other’s enemies because, after seven years of Euro crisis, they now see themselves confronted with a refugee stream from Africa and the Near East that does not look like it will end in the near future.

Is this the demise of this ’European Artificial Concept’ European Union (EU) and currency union, where none of the governments that are part of the whole is capable of showing us a uniting narrative – which means that the stupid shouting of rightist disruption mushrooms is being slurped up by an abandoned citizenry like Grail Messages?

Or is this diffuse concept EU doomed because all its borders have to stay open? Since, as the German Chancellor – who simultaneously writes into her subjects’ annals that a 3,000 kilometre-long border as Germany has it cannot be controlled anyway – tells her citizens that otherwise the Euro will have failed. Just like the EU with its 14,000 kilometres of borders, cannot be expected to control them all?

And those who think they know better and tell people that ’Schengen ’ should under all circumstances have been adhered to and that the exterior borders should have been protected are told that, after the interior borders had fallen, they perhaps learned nothing at all from the world financial crisis that, too, was initiated by the Americans. After all, did anybody care about the Maastricht Rules when the individual governments hastily saved their banks because the economic control mechanisms had failed – or that is at least how they interpreted it – and, consequently, everybody had to return to the ’primate of politics’ as a matter of course?

And that is how we are going to continue, no matter what! As it is, the safety packages and soft budget limitations are an excellent tool for keeping the interest rates of ’Mr. Draghi’s EZB’ low and even for, without any shame, indebting ourselves even more without having to deal with the intricacies of debt reduction and structural reforms as the usual dumb asses demand!

What a pity that parts of the population and the EU and currency union get more and more dissatisfied regardless: masses of them run towards the leftist parties in the south and towards the right extremists and national conservatives in the north and east, instead of at long last becoming wise and taking their example from good old Germany – this is true for the euro crisis, the refugee crisis and the energy revolution! It would be quite easy, wouldn’t it?

Even if there might be the danger that the occasional wisecrack who believes that Germany, based on well-meaning, will actually do the wrong thing due to its uncoordinated policy, thereby threatening to destroy the peace project of a unified Europe. One of those wisecracks is he historian Heinrich August Winkler. He says: It is part of our German responsibility to kiss inflated moral egos that especially progressively inclined Germans world-wide possess good-bye. It is an erroneous belief that we, if necessary even all by ourselves, have to realize the good things. It must not become our lives’ lie!“

Hm – how confusing! This is definitely not what our Federal Chancellor thinks?

But maybe the man actually has a point?

KH
(Translated by Evelyn)

Carl and Gerlinde (# 49)

Well – it was truly a shock this morning after Carl had beheaded his Sunday morning egg which, for a change, had actually been soft enough inside for spooning out. At the very moment he started eating, Gerlinde said:ZZZZZZZA180843“Carl, I decided to quit smoking as of now!“

As she said this, her face radiated with happiness, regardless of the fact that only a few minutes ago she had been busy in the kitchen without even having washed and made up her face before – which was definitely what she did not really like at all. But then, Carl was so preoccupied with his morning egg that every effort towards looking perfect in the morning would have been a waste of time anyway.

Only when Gerlinde tried her announcement for a second time, introducing her words with a massive hissing and additionally pressing her already empty eggshell on his still uneaten egg, he seemed to wake up and turn towards her.

“Hey, Carly! I am going to stop smoking as of now!“

He glanced at her wordlessly.

“What do you say? Aren’t you glad?“

“Nö.“

“Why not? You have been complaining for gazillions of years that the cigarette smell annoys you?“

“Well, yes”, said Carl, took Gerlinde’s empty egg off his half-eaten one in irritation and continued spooning his egg where he had been interrupted, albeit with less zeal.

“So what now?” Gerlinde was at a loss and working her way towards getting fed up.

“Well, do you know what you are doing? You are upsetting the age statistics I just took a huge effort re-arranging!“

“Is this one of your enigmatic jokes that you love as much as I hate them – or what is the meaning of this, my dear Carl?“

“This is not a joke, my dearest Gerlinde, but we are talking the latest scientific facts I processed while integrating all the corrections “.

“And?“

“Nothing and, Gerlinde! After all, you know quite well that, given our age difference – you are 42 to my 58 – one can easily start wondering “.

“Is that so? All of a sudden?“

“Yes – all of a sudden! But then, perhaps you, too, have been reading the newspapers over the last few days and noticed that, according to the latest retirement statistics, I only have 24 more years to live, while you easily have 44 more years to look forward to, my dear Gerlinde!“

“So where is the problem?“

“The problem is that I, too, want to live another 44 years, just like you!“

“And?“

“And, following the latest New York study, I have been working on a nice plan how to actually achieve that goal …“

“But that is nice, Carl …“

“Well, it is not – because with your latest remark – though not knowingly – you just made this plan totally unrealistic, Gerlinde …“

“My God, how so?“

“Well, in said study, it says that I can live up to five years longer if I eat five walnuts every day”!
“And an extra five years will be added if I kiss you on a regular basis! A glass of wine every evening gains me another 3.8 years and 15 minutes of daily exercise adds 3 years.

Eating five portions of fruit each day gains me another 3 years and indulging in chocolate rather than gummy bears means one more year. Taken together, that gives me almost exactly those twenty years you have on me statistically, my dear Gerlinde …“

“Except the entire concept has one glitch …“

“Yes, if it were not for the fact that I have to kiss you and that, by being thus kissed you would again live five years more than I …“

“I can see that the situation is really bad…“

“Yes, it is grave, but all this could be regulated if, once in a while, I were to kiss our friend Hannelore instead of you …“

“A great idea, because then she, too, will live longer …“

“Yes – and besides, you know, she is not really a bad kisser! But the true catastrophe will start if you really stop smoking. Basically, according to the New York study, this will give you 10 extra years. And since I do not smoke, I have not the slightest chance of growing old alongside you, my dearest Gerlinde. That is just a plain fact!“

And it was also a fact that Gerlinde no longer answered, but instead acted. So Carl suddenly found himself in the middle of an unspeakable confusion of shattered breakfast cutlery, marmalade, butter, coffee and tea under a tablecloth that Gerlinde had thrown at him …

Gerlinde was quite sure that this activity was not conducive to a longer life, but judging by the moaning that came from under the tablecloth, it did not have an immediate life-shortening effect, either – regardless of the advanced years of the pitiful candidate …

KH
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Tuesday March 29th, 2016

Soles Worn Thin

Carl and Gerlinde (Episode No 48)

“You always either suffer from diarrhoea, or are drunk, or else sit in front of the TV set watching soccer!”, Gerlinde barked from the balcony into the darkened room of her much-loved hotel Barceló Santiago.

ZZZZZZ_173721“My dearest Gerlinde! Do not be so upset with me, just because of one beer I allow myself each day while watching Kloppi and his FC Liverpool“, Carl grunted back.

He was pleasurably reclining, lying down and never once taking his eyes off the screen on the wall for a single second! After all, there was something at stake in this Europe League! And – after the surprising first goal – the brave Augsburg players were still coming along nicely against the Klopp troupe …

“As always, you are just talking nice! As it happens, my expectations for this spring vacation of ours on Tenerife had been rather different from what it turned out to be so far!”, Gerlinde kept complaining, regardless of the fact that her nagging was totally drowned by the noise the Atlantic Ocean made on the black reef – directly below the hotel.

By now, she was quite annoyed. It was already the fifth time this afternoon that she threw herself onto the deck chair and melancholically stared at the trashy blue ocean with the archaic three-mast ship in full sail, from where, yet again, numerous tourists who had been tricked into coming here were in vain looking for dolphins and whales.

Just like she had been trying for hours in vain to tempt her Carl to come outside and get some fresh air: mind you, it had taken her three years to talk her hard-bodied non-vacationer into finally flying to this unloved island of Tenerife – where her ’Ex Husband’ Jürgen still owned the formerly shared apartment.

Yes – it had been a total of three years during which she had tirelessly worked towards persuasion. And at the end of it, the moron was now sitting in the hotel room in front of the TV set, or else, if she was lucky, could be made to move his buttermilk cadaver up one flight of stairs to the pool area and swim a few negligible rounds; of course, he always wore his sunglasses and kept his stubborn head above the water at all times, because he had to be careful not to get his ’perm’ wet. To make up for it, a stiff neck was guaranteed, which meant that he could flee the pool after no more than five minutes. …

Maybe it was even less than five minutes!

After all, the borders of the pool were at all times under siege from beer-drinking English families with ’brexit’ favouring fathers who liked to scuffle and who often catapulted their resisting monstrous offspring towards the middle of the pool like misguided North-Korean missiles. If, under these circumstances, you persevered at the pool, you were at both lucky and unlucky. Because the survivors not only had totally wet hair on their heads but also found that, due to the huge waves, all sunglasses that had been originally worn were irretrievably diving towards the unfathomable pool bottom as quickly as a zebra fish.

And woe if, while fleeing in panic from this ’British Tsunami Chaos’, Carly was caught and shaken by a stray fall wind blast from the snowy tide that had been waiting in the background. In that case, Gerlinde could definitely forget the remainder of the afternoon!

Whenever such unspeakable adversities happened, Carl would wordlessly throw his dressing gown over his shoulders and ignore every deck chair, no matter how attractive it looked. Instead, he would stride towards the pool bar with determination!

It went without saying that, once there, he would not leave before he would manfully have downed four double ’Carlos’ into his tormented body – regardless of how Gerlinde was complaining!

So it can hardly be a surprise that Carl would, after such a display of assertiveness, astonish a totally perplexed Gerlinde on the very next day after the obligatory breakfast of fried egg by asking if she were spontaneously in the mood for a small hiking tour.

“What – today?“

“Well, yes. Why not? Two weeks from now, we will no longer be here, will we?“

“If that is what you want – with pleasure. You know I am always in favour of spontaneous decisions, my dear Carl.“

“That is exactly why I love you so much, my dearest Gerlindy”, Carl sucked up to her while clandestinely spooning the orange jam Gerlinde had gathered for herself onto the last remaining piece of white bread.

Since, however, the bus for the ’initiation hike’ she had been booking days ago already left at eleven, this was one of the exceptional cases where all protest was vain!

What was far more important for her was the fact that, less than forty minutes later, her ’hiking eager’ Carl stood next to the bus to Santiago del Teide ready to go and carrying his backpack. And, mind you, it was all for no more than 3 Euro and 30 cents – for both of them!

You definitely could not get more economical, could you!

Carl, too, was in the best of moods. During the speedy, curvy drive up, he pointed out for several times that there probably were only very few couples who were capable of deciding something so spontaneously and then of acting accordingly as they did.

It was unique, absolutely unique, this harmony between the two of them. Wittily, he pinched his Gerlinde’s upper arm so hard that she shrieked like a piglet. And since Carl grew more and more enthusiastic with respect to harmony and even mentioned Kurt and Hannelore – who seemed to find no common ground at all for shared experiences – he was rather surprised when Gerlinde, as early as after the third stop, urged him to exit, discreetly pushing him towards the entry point of the hiking path she had chosen:

10.3 kilometres to Tamaimo!

“Ha, this is ridiculous”, Carl was quite jubilant, “I could do it with one leg tied down!”. No sooner had he said this than he had already jumped from stone to stone without hiking sticks until he reached the bottom of the first steep decline, where he laughed and waited for Gerlinde, who preferred to start the journey a little more cautiously.

There was no question that the route was truly picturesque. Gerlinde really had done a great job choosing this tour. To the left and right, the terraced fields were still untended at this time of year; in between you could see well-stocked ponds and green meadows all the way to the steeply climbing hills in the background. And no human being anywhere. Only a few scattered palms and, very far on the horizon, a white house. Somewhere in the distance, a few dogs barked.

But the path was not easy!

Almost all the time, the way was steeply downhill and on the occasional flat parts, there were always razor-sharp small stones where you had to be careful indeed to avoid stumbling.

But then, wearing the good ’Lowa Shoes’ and being fit enough, all this is no problem, Carl still believed so when he started feeling that his right shoe seemed to swim away from his right foot. When he lifted his foot in order to see what was the matter, he was horrified to discover that the total profile sole was hanging at a thread; the only thing it needed to totally break off was a small rip!.

“So what now?” Gerlinde asked anxiously.

“I have no idea!“

“What about the left show?“

“Well, the left shoe still has its sole – no! On the left side, too, it is already hanging by a few threads …“

“Oh my God – what now?“

“Nothing – we continue on our hike!”, Carl grunted, sounding as if he were walking in fish oil.

Which is exactly what he was doing!

And he still did it when even what remained of the soles was practically no longer there. And even when the insoles where hanging from their last threads inside the shoes! And when the hiking socks were nothing but holes, and when the shirt and the t-shirt he had tied around his feet dissolved into bleeding fringes. …

But by that time they had actually reached Tamaimo! And there was a bar from where, after Cortado and water – God be Praised – they could order the taxi that took them to the hotel. …

“What a pity”, Gerlinde lamented after she had named their destination to the friendly, young taxi driver, “that this had to happen at the very start of our hiking program”!

Acidly, Carl agreed, although he had long ago decided that ’lost soles’ at the end of a ’hiking vacation as planned by Gerlinde’ would have been a lot worse.

Regardless, the bitter complaint they were going to send to the ’Lowa Company’ would never turn into an exultant thank-you letter. He owed Gerlinde that much. …

KH
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday March 10th, 2016

Castle on the River – or: Schinkel’s Stag

Here is another interpretation of the famous painting “Castle on the River “(1820) by
Karl Friedrich Schinkel

ZZZZKarl_Friedrich_Schinkel_-_Schloß_am_Strom_-_Google_Art_Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Almost unnoticed, it appears,
beside the tree, our stag, and rears,

it lacks aggression, makes no sound,

takes in the castle, looks around!

And yet, it was the reason why,
when morning grass was not yet dry

the ranger met his sudden death:
the shot stopped everybody’s breath!

It happened at the time in anger,

too furious was the righteous ranger,

Instead of going through the head,

it was the knee the bullet met,

The one who cried was not the deer,

but the castellan from the rear:

“Be damned, stupid, blind marauder

and take payback in swiftest order!“

The man was dead, his friends so sad,
but nobody a memory had

of who shot whom and where and why?
They just said: people should not cry!

The mourning phase was deep and grey
castellan was still not too gay.
The coffin went by waterway
and people duly came to pray.

KH
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
The picture was taken from Google

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday November 26th, 2015

The Avalanche – or: An Inappropriate Good-Bye to Hydraulics.

Carl and Gerlinde (Instalment #46)

It was typical! Whenever Carl really needed some sympathy, nobody was home. Consequently, he gruffly pulled the front door closed after an expectant “Hello”.


ZZZZZimg213The only thing he found on the ledge in the hallway was a note saying:
’Am in the municipal office sorting winter clothes. Why don’t you come, too? It might get late. Kisses, Gerlinde’.

Hmm – Shit! Instead of a friendly face lighting up in welcome, all that drifted through the garden into the living room was the usual November blackness. The last bit of red heaven seemed to be embarrassed as it gracelessly disappeared behind the yellow tamarisk. Well, neither was it necessary for Carl to have any more heaven at the moment. Purgatory or hell would have been more like it…

He was still standing in the hallway when his bag flew out of his hand. His trench-coat and shoes were grumpily thrown in the direction of the clothes-stand. 
What a shitty day! – he said for the third time, automatically gripping the Brandy bottle! ’Carlos I’! In disgust, he fished for a glass on top of the house bar and threw himself onto the living room sofa with a moan. Listlessly, he stared at his reflection in the patio door pane that was darkened by the night outside. For his first ’Carlos’ he still toasted himself.

As he drank his second one, he was already in the phase of being annoyed with his stupid cerebellum for still circling around the nonsense the concern leaders had offered at today’s meeting. Not to mention all this reassurance drivel of our ’Ruling Fairy-Tale Auntie’, who, through her persistent ’We can do it – We can do it’ tried to preserve the long sleep of her nation that has been going on for ten years without any interruption.

Yes – who knew, perhaps she herself was ’Sleeping Beauty‘!

However, it seems that this was not even known to the overambitious Prince Seehofer in his overflowing-with-asylum-seekers Bavaria: otherwise he would never have been so disappointed about her not being prepared to wake up from that sorry state where she obviously did not know what happened in her realm.

Mind you, he had taken such pains, hadn’t he? Keeping her standing no less than twenty minutes next to him in front of the entire Bavarian Royal Household, just to show that she was well capable of sitting it out when he took command, just continuing to sleep standing up – as always.…

And Carl would probably have gone to sleep after his fourth ’Carlos’ if he had not accidentally activated the remote control of his TV. All of a sudden, he saw a rather excited TV moderator who foulmouthed an absent Schäuble in no uncertain terms, because said minister had totally unbecomingly broken the rules of how to describe the asylum seeker problem by not using the German ’hydraulic collective symbolic language’.

During an event the moderator briefly showed, he actually had – what a scandal! – compared the overwhelming influx of asylum seekers to Germany with an ’avalanche’ a careless skier might have triggered by moving the snow a little thoughtlessly: an avalanche of which at the moment nobody knew if it was already in the valley or still in the upper third of the mountain. 
This, so the moderator, was really disgusting! Such a totally wrong image is nothing short of inhuman and a catastrophe, said the moderator who had clearly been brainwashed to be mainstream! And this comparison was totally lopsided! After all, as opposed to the one-time alpinist Schäuble, our Federal Chancellor had never ever gone downhill skiing. In fact, she only ever went cross-country skiing, and even then only in the lowlands!

This totally unexpected avalanche-like deviation from the ’hydraulic collective symbolic language’ used by all the parties and media by the Federal Minister of Finances, so the moderator, was really evil!


And he asked what it might mean that Schäuble did such a thing at the very time when the Federal Chancellor was already clearly getting less and less backing both among the citizens and within the party? Is that how someone was massively rattling her guideline competence? Did this not show only the deep rips between CSU and CDU, but even within the CDU? Even in the Great Coalition?

What is the meaning of all this? The moderator apparently was not only asking himself, but also in the direction of Carl who, instead of replying, countered with a question of his own: the question if he, the extra wise Mister Moderator, knew how many glasses of Brandy he, Carl, had already drunk: four, five, six or seven? Because he himself certainly no longer knew 
After all, for him, so Carl told the moderator on the screen, the answer to that question was far more important than all this avalanche show! Because the answer was basically decisive when it came to the question if he, Carl, could still dare going to the municipal office and appear before the strict eyes of his ’winter-clothes sorting Gerlinde’, thus at long last actually doing something productive for the asylum seekers.

Or else if it was wiser to save face and stay at home, doing nothing practical? To make up for it, as before, he could start trumpeting one smart-assy solution after another into the world tomorrow, as soon as he was again sober. It was all about this difficult hydraulic asylum seeker topic which suddenly was also discussed like an avalanche…

Hm – it was truly a difficult decision, Carl told himself. And as such, it certainly should not be decided before the next ’Carlos ’, or should it?

KH
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday October 29th, 2015

Halloween in Vienna or the Vampire Hardware Problem …

A conversation with those beyond …
Wienaktuellfoto Of course, Gottlieb Bissinger is touring Vienna on Halloween Night, too! However, at three in the morning, he is rather confused when arriving at a totally dilapidated suburb railway station. Strange figures are about. He is not even sure yet if he will be able to catch a train to St. Pölten at this time of night. So far, he was neither able to see the platforms, nor any of the ticket sales booths. As usual when he knows no advice, he dials Mother’s number – and the connection to beyond actually works:

• Hello, Mum! It is me, Gottlieb! I am glad to catch you so late. But then, they do not sleep where you are, do they?

• ……………………………………….

• Well – you know what it is like with my sleeping habits? Three in the morning is the time when I usually call it a day! It always annoys Elfi if I want to nibble at her until three in the morning. …
• ……………………………………….

• Elfi? Who is Elfi? It is my new St. Pölten Girl!
• ……………………………………….

• No – Mama, Elfi is not one of our kind.
• ……………………………………….

• Elfi’s parents are true “No Vamp People”, totally boring salad eaters with no spirit to do anything hilarious – and sitting in front of the TV set every night, too. And, of course, at midnight, they lie in their beds, instead of, like our kind, still roaming around looking for a snack of blood …
• ……………………………………….

• Exactly, Mum – instead of a few nice drops of blood, her old man constantly drinks beer when sitting in front of the TV set – ’Schwechater’!
• ……………………………………….

• No, Mum, there is certainly no reason for you in the beyond to worry about me. These are very decent people! Just like you know them – the ’No Vamp People’: friendly, clean, without fantasy – and terribly industrious. Actually, they are really busy from dawn to dusk…
• ……………………………………….

• What? Well – you can say that again, Mum! Since those ’No Vamps’ sleep all night through, they certainly do not know what to do with all their energy in the daytime. So they ’busy themselves’ like crazy! Not like our kind, who are a little slow in the daytime. Especially after, again, you chose such a ’bloody moron’ with a poor cholesterol level.

• ……………………………………….
• Mum! This LDL cholesterol is really bad news! You would not believe how your head will just explode on the day after such an ’LDL bomb’. It really makes you want to screw off your head, put it in the next corner and leave! Really! These young over-eaten ’girlies ’ have no idea what they are inflicting on us vampires with their stupid ’fast food’ and the resulting crazy cholesterol levels…
• ……………………………………….

• Yes – you are absolutely correct, Mum! Basically, what they are doing at McDonalds with all this fast food on a daily basis is a threat to vampire health! You really should talk to the authorities about sending control brigades!
• ……………………………………….

• But Mum, that is ridiculous! I am sure you can still remember what happens with this kind of attempt at uproar in Austria? It will instantly be controlled by those ’up ahead’. Who in Vienna is ever interested in a bunch of blood suckers? If we wished those ’up ahead’ to wake up, we would probably have to sail the Neusiedler See on a rusty skiff and throw ourselves overboard. …
• ……………………………………….

• Sorry, Mama – you are right, that was truly over the top! I admit it and state the opposite! But you see, I am currently terrible tensed up…
• ……………………………………….

• Why tensed up? Well – as a vampire of today, you have all sorts of problems far worse than those stupid cholesterol levels! What do you think, Mum, how inconvenient, for instance, are all those shitty cable hanging from young person’s ears practically day and night, just because they have to spend all the time gallivanting on some App with their smartphones or damaging their brains with pop music …
• ……………………………………….

• No! Mum, you cannot know about those cables at all! A few years ago, they were not even invented …
• ……………………………………….

• You are asking why those cables are bad news, Mum? Well, it is clear, isn’t it? You basically can no longer bite into any neck without getting a cable between your teeth!
• ……………………………………….

• Exactly, Mum – with our long fangs, we get stuck all the time! And then, if those nervous creatures keep moving all the time while you bite them, then those cables will wind themselves around our canines like a lasso and you are practically imprisoned! Can you imagine how stupid that is?
• ……………………………………….

• No – Mum, but if you run, you will almost always pull the earphones from the ears of the ’girlie’ you have been biting, and the smartphone from her hand …
• ……………………………………….

• Mum, now you are being ’topnotch ’. You cannot imagine how loud those young ’materials’ yell. It sounds like they are being butchered! Even after you have sucked an entire litre of blood from them! Mum, they simply never get exhausted! They are filled with ’Red Bull’ to the brim!
• ……………………………………….

• No – the girlies do not mind so much being bitten! Except if you spoil their t-shirt! But the true catastrophe is when they are no longer online. That is when your problems begin!
• ……………………………………….

• Exactly – but if, whenever you bite, you get more cable than blood into your mouth, it is hardly a surprise if something like this happens, is it?
• ……………………………………….

• Mum! You in the beyond really have no idea what happens down here! Unless I watch like a hawk, these bold cunts will start filming me as soon as I so much as touch their skin. And then I will find myself on YOUTUBE before even having finished the meal and wiped my mouth! It is really weird, Mum …
• ……………………………………….

• Yes! And I am sure you can easily imagine how Elfie gets ballistic on seeing me on YOUTUBE sucking someone else’s blood! In almost all cases, she gets the heart piercer and then I am dead for the remainder of the week …
• ………………………………….

• No – it is definitely not nice, Mum, really not nice…
• ……………………………………….
• But please do not again go on about how I should have stayed at home in Natternbach and restricted myself to exclusively feed on Annerose …
• ……………………………………….

• Mum! – I told you a hundred times that a farm girl is not the right thing for me! I definitely would not wish to bite into a sweaty neck smelling of cow dung all the time – Mum, this is not what I want. In fact, it repels me. …
• ……………………………………….

• But Mum, what do you think how – compared to this – superhuman all those foreigners dancing around the Vienna Kärntnerstrasse at night in droves smell!
• ……………………………………….
• Yes – well, the aroma is of all nations you can imagine. …
• ……………………………………….

• And when one of those Japanese or Chinese girls is standing in front of the newly whitewashed St. Stephen’s Cathedral looking up, taking a picture and offering her white neck, then this is true paradise! If you manage to snap away at that moment!
• ……………………………………….

• Mum – what do you mean not to commit a sin? It is true paradise!
• ……………………………………….

• Well, you are right about that, Mum – naturally, Elfi is also paradise – but in a totally different way!
• ……………………………………….

• Why? Well, of late, Elfi seems to be creeping around like a heavenly ghost!
• ……………………………………….

• Well, you know my healthy blood appetite, don’t you? Just like Papa, but not everybody is up to it for a really long time – in fact, my next to last one, Herta, had the same problem!
• ……………………………………….

• Yes, truly a pity! Elfi is really a nice girl. Bloodless but nice!!
• ……………………………………….

• Well, Mum, it is quite possible that you will meet her today. After all, I have a terrible ’blood lust’ right now – and who can say if she survives it!
• ……………………………………….

• Well, now I really have to go! In this strange waiting room, some people already start giving me strange sideways glances! I am afraid if I keep talking, they will want my blood! But be not afraid. I am certainly fine! Bye, Mum – and treat Elfi nicely, she really deserves it. Bye!

KH
(Translated EG)

PS:
I took the picture from Google