Klaus Hnilica
Monday February 17th, 2020

(Deutsch) Caro – schnell und dünn…

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday December 5th, 2019

(Deutsch) Fritz – und der Stillstand der Zeit

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday April 4th, 2019

The Death of the Cook (Part1) – Flashback

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But that is another even more unbelievable story!

(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Saturday July 8th, 2017

Marriage for All? Not for Carl…

Carl and Gerlinde (Instalment # 51)

“No – please not! You can have anything you want, but not marriage… “ Carl heard his Gerlinde moan when, for the n-th time, he again lay on his knees and looked up at her with true dogs’ eyes asking for her slim hand.

Standing straight but as pale as a corpse, and wearing a hideous pink-coloured dress made of Lace of Brussels, Gerlinde just murmured: “No, please not! You can have anything you want from me, but not marriage! Anything you want, but not marriage … !”, while at the same time nervously fingering the margarite chaplet she wore on her head with pointy fingers. But Carl just stared at her through glassy eyes and tried to fit yet another golden ring on her right ring finger, although they were all far too big and consequently kept falling from her perspiring hand all the time. When, finally, he almost managed to do it and her right hand was quasi equipped with a beautifully sparkling, golden finger, she gave a beast-like howl, shot up and ran through Carl and towards the front door…

Carl woke up soaking wet with perspiration!

His inside was smattered; it took him half an hour to calm down at least a little bit.

Gerlinde, who had just run through him like a North-Korean rocket, lay next to him snoring comfortably. Occasionally the sound that squeezed itself through her throat sounded more like a bark! Following their mutual agreement, he would poke her right upper arm in such a situation until she moved to lie on her side and the sound from her lips would dwindle down to a spring-like purring …

Unfortunately, this “wedding nightmare” was a dream Carl suffered from more and more often recently!

To be precise, he had been having it since June, 30, 2017, which was the day the German parliament, after Angela Merkel’s quick “change of marriages”, had decreed with a considerable majority that the right to marry is now to be established for persons of the same sex. Yes – ever since then, this nightmare kept returning in periodically changing intervals!

Nor was it helpful to discuss matters with Gerlinde – or with Hannelore and Kurt! On the contrary – the “nightmare frequency” even increased after such discussions, because Carl saw himself more and more being moved into a “depressing offside position”. After all, it was now a fact that everybody could marry – except if you were relatives – and thus rise to the superior category of “spouses”. A status which included all the significant characteristics, such as your realty property, garden, car, child, dog – and, naturally, also your spouse, whom, when talking with others or at business dinners, you could simply introduce as “my wife”!

If you belonged to this category, you knew that you had made it: you had actually arrived in real life and had fulfilled one of the most important norms of our society! No matter how long this norm lasted?

Couples like he, Carl, and his reluctant Gerlinde, were actually often looked down on with a mixture of pity, rejection and secret envy in this “normative society”. In fact, sometimes – as he saw it: far too often -, they were even considered to be in a state of “Not – Yet”! Which meant that, regardless of their advanced years, they still had not yet found the partner for life and that, due to this lack of commitment, their life was just in a phase of limbo: these couples had not yet arrived in real, actual life.

This was especially true for Carl with his “courtesan”, as some of their friends frequently called Gerlinde to his face whenever their alcohol level had reached the mark at which truth not only lay on the tip of their tongue, but also found its way beyond their slimy lips.

But then, what exactly was the position of his Gerlinde?
Was she his girl-friend? Or his life partner? Or his cleaning lady or lust object? Or what? …

For his Gerlinde, however, all those questions were something she could not have cared less about! For her, Carl’s bickering was neither understandable nor reasonable. In her opinion, all the problems he had with this non-existent and socially accepted term for couples that suggested they were one unit were just due to his being uptight! And his age! To be sure, both were naturally rather strongly related, as she herself often pointed out with a forgiving smile.

And whenever she had no arguments left, she was quick to cite some US study or other where it was scientifically proved that men, as soon as they tied the knot, unfailingly and inevitably started putting on weight – and not in small amounts, either!. And that was something she wanted to avoid at all costs, because a married obesity was something she definitely had no need of. Compared to that scenario, the almost slim Carl, in the “Not- Yet” state, was a lot better!

Although, as far as this was concerned, Carl was totally of another opinion than Gerlinde and still lamenting his unexplainable and singular non-married status, he had to admit that Gerlinde’s bizarre “obesity prejudice” soon started making his nightmares even more horrible: because now, whenever he urged her to marry him – she actually suddenly replied: “Yes, I will”!

At the very moment when he feels how this smiling “Yes” starts warming his soul, he is overcome by an irrepressible flatulence that blows him up like a hot balloon and makes him rounder and rounder – until there is a big bang and he bursts with a loud plop. And then he feels how his embarrassment about being finally liberated is even stronger than his anger about Gerlinde’s outburst of hilarity …

(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday May 18th, 2017

Falling Down

I no longer remember who told me this story. Perhaps it was the tourist guide when we drove to the ’Manrique Museum’? Or that female professor of geology from Brandenburg? She has been coming to the ’Lanzarote Park Hotel’ in Playa Blanca in March for eight years now and also reads Spanish Daily Newspapers, not just this stupid island magazine Lanzarote 37°. Or was it maybe Pedro who told me this story a one of his inimitable ’language cocktail’ variations at the pool?

I simply cannot recall exactly …

But it was always about that toothless street musician!

He is a true disgrace on the never-ending boardwalk close to the ocean in the south-west of Lanzarote. With his dirty and unappetizing appearance, he should not be permitted to sit there. This is simply not tolerable! Not on this fantastic EU-financed boardwalk! After all, hundreds of people pilgrimage here until late into the night.

Besides, this ’music-playing pig’ does not restrict his appearance to his rusty folding chair in front of the last stretch of fallow land, where hardly anybody would notice him anyway. Instead, he can now be almost exclusively seen on the stone boardwalk balustrade.

What an exhibition: a ’music-playing rubbish heap’ in front of the eternally sparkling, sunny ocean! With a greasy hat lying on the floor and a cap on his sun-burned head! And two watery eyes that look like puddles …

Mostly, he dribbles into his melodica – which is some kind of key flute – from which the same melody is released at all times. But it is strangely alluring! You have to give him that. Perhaps it is even by Mozart? Even if it is perhaps a little too sad? Unfortunately, I was never able to really find out.

Seven years ago, when the concert building Lava-Bubble in Jameos del Agua was closed due to stones falling down from the ceiling, this disgrace had already been playing on the Playa Blanca boardwalk. In those days, he allegedly had a rather rich musical portfolio.

And while the volcano rocks were being glued together with special resin above the roof, he also sat there every day. Perhaps even the occasional cent out of all those six million euros this roof cost found its way into his shabby hat. Who could know? Definitely not the ’music-playing rubbish heap’.

And the inauguration concert given when the renovated concert hall in Jameos del Agua  was ceremoniously re-opened will definitely also have been something he was totally unaware of. As must have been the fact that the famous English conductor John Miguel Smith was going to be at the baton and that even representatives of the Spanish Crown had accepted the invitation.

However, he did notice that the rather pompous John Miguel Smith with his much too young female companion had had a stupid accident where he stumbled right in front of the ’music-playing heap of dirt’ on the day before the concert and fell fully on his nose; yes, that was something he had definitely noticed.

And the Spanish cursing of the noble Brit was probably also something he noticed!
Mind you, Betty had even cried out “attention John“, because apparently he had recognized a strangely alluring melody and consequently only had eyes for the shabbily dressed source of the melody. But at that moment, it was already too late! He fell full-length onto the dignified brown cobbles of the boardwalk here in Playa Blanca…

Ranting, he immediately jumped up, was appalled when he inspected his atrociously grazed hands and elbows, moved his badly ailing fingers like a maniac and kept shaking his head while he smoothed the damaged, bloody t-shirt over his stomach.
He only noticed that he had also torn his rough silver Greek Knot Cross from his neck during his fall when Betty tearfully offered it to him. He gripped it like a bird of prey and threw it into the greasy hat of the street musician, who was totally appalled.

He was quick to pull Betty after him in order to get away from this upheaval among the nosy masses of people as fast as possible. Probably his only remaining worry at this time was tomorrow’s inauguration concert at the “lava bubble”! In Jameos del Agua! And his wounded arms, his injured stomach, his bloody hands and his lacerated chin. And he certainly hoped that nobody had recognized him – the famous John Miguel Smith, when he kissed the boardwalk lying on his stomach like a fallen frog …

What mortification!

However, in at least one case, this hope seemed to have been in vain; because when the ’music-playing rubbish heap’ had overcome his shock paralysis and fished out the cross that lay between the few coins in his hat, there was suddenly a strange sparkle to his alcohol-marked face. A sparkle that even continued when he opened his toothless mouth out of which came a questioning “Miguel?”…

And then again “Miguel – Miguel, is it you?“

The street musician got more and more excited and even panicky. He dropped the soiled melodica and started using his left paw, too, for squeezing the silver cross – and again and again, he croaked: “Miguel !…Miguel !!…Miguel…!!

But John Miguel Smith was far beyond hearing and being seen. In fact, he hurried like a wounded animal along the boardwalk accompanied by his totally hysterical companion. All he wanted was crawl into his lair at the Hotel Vulcano as fast as possible!

Since, as everybody knows, the famous conductor Smith strictly forbids all attempts at finding out about his life and mercilessly deplores even the smallest public assumptions, the desperate calls of an old man, too, were lost in the rippling of the ocean that ran along the lava coast near the boardwalk balustrade.

But still, as I said, I heard somewhere that this incident is the reason and the only reason why the street musician, since that time, only plays this one ’endearing melody’ that, to this day, I could not identify. It is because he still hopes that his Miguel – whom he could not have cared less about when he was a child, in fact whom he even gave away for adoption – might one day pass by and invite him, his alleged father, to drink a brandy ’Carlos III’ with him…

Well, I am not sure if it is really the ’Carlos III’ this rubbish-like musician dreams about, but I would like to invite everyone who can tell me something new about John Miguel Smith to have a ’Carlos I’ with me in the pre-warmed glassed of the Café ’Gilbert’ on the Playa Blanca boardwalk. As I see it, the old ’music-playing piece of dirt’ should get some help, so why not through a good brandy?

Please note that all persons and activities in this story are fiction. But still, I will continue to look for this melody that caused the famous conductor to fall down. I have to find out more about it …
(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. …

(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday February 11th, 2016

Hairy Headlessness …

Carl and Gerlinde (Instalment No 47)

ZZZZZM214Yes, indeed – there were areas where Carl was displaying truly unshakable stability! Mind you, I am not only talking his favourite beer, the hazy Glaabsbräu, or his hair tonic, or the much-loved Nivea Cream he puts on his skin on a daily basis – no, he also was religiously faithful when it came to his dentist and his French Baguette from the Briegel Bakery – and the same was true for the TRIGA underwear, the Davidoff Small Cigars and the Falke Socks – and, of course, his hairdresser Florian Breitschuh!

This last was the easiest to understand, because whenever twelve weeks had gone by, Carl would go and see Herrn Breitschuh at the hair studio ’Haargenau’ and have his magnificently growing head of hair shortened: it was something he had been doing for thirty-seven years now!

In fact, the ever bolder grey hair growing randomly in his nose and ears now shortened the ’twelve-weeks-period’ that had been his habit for decades. But then, Carl took this fact with serenity, because having his hair cut by Florian Breitschuh  had never been a burden. In fact, it had always been a welcome ’relaxing break’ in his otherwise stress-burdened daily work life.

Of course, Carl was secretly happy that said wild growth of hair inside his nose and ears was restricted to those areas, instead of starting to grow all over his breast or even shoulder blades: after all, Gerlinde always showed unmistakable signs of revulsion whenever she saw a male human with animal-like hairy shoulders in the public swimming pool or sauna. In fact, on these occasions she even had to take extra pains to restrict her compulsively starting ’faecal linguistic eruption’ to a reasonable dimension and make it socially acceptable; naturally, this was a life-saving hint for Carl when it came to how he needed to control his hirsuteness!

But the thing Carl appreciated most about Florian Breitschuh was his taciturnity
With the exception of a short welcome, there was no unnecessary word spoken between him and Carl. And, in particular, there was never any exhausting talk about vacations, the impending climate catastrophe or the ever more threatening refugee situation.…

No – Carl and Florian Breitschuh were always silent during their ’hair cutting activities’!
But still, there was one comment Carl never refrained from: as soon as he sat down and had the barber’s cape around his neck, he smiled at the mirrored image of Florian Breitschuh and sonorously said:

“Two Centimetres“!

After this verbal tsunami, Carl would usually close his eyes and not open them again until the sweetly soft bristles of the Breitschuh hairbrush would indicate that the ’hair-splittingly precise’ end of the haircut was reached, at the same time brushing away everything that might threaten to tickle Carl’s ears, nose, shoulders, neck or collar.

At the very moment when the Breitshuh hairbrush would make its last fanning movement was always the time when Carl opened his eyes and saw in the mirror, admittedly with less enthusiasm as the years went by, his freshly styled, grey ’two-centimetre top hair face’!

Subsequently, a short left and right rotation would suffice before he would, with a hardly noticeable nod, show Florian Breitschuh for the hundred-and-fortieth time how absolutely satisfied he was with the result! Florian would then acknowledge this with a subtle smile and a bow only recognizable for those who knew.

So why did he now have to cope with this absolutely unbelievable event that was beyond all rationality?

What a monster was suddenly looking back at Carl when, as usual, he opened his eyes full of confidence after the haircut was finished.

Was this balding head really E.T. the extra-terrestrial? Or maybe it was one of those millions of pitiable cancer patients who nowadays were never missing from a TV series? Or was it Satan in person bashfully grinning back at him from the hairdresser’s mirror?

Hm – Carl growled and tentatively looked at all angles – then again at the face looking at him just as hesitantly from the opposite side – just like he were currently fleeing from somewhere…

“Hey“, Carl yelled, now a little louder: “who is this?“

After all, it was a fact that he himself was sitting at the hairdressers’, which he spontaneously remembered; but no other familiar face could be seen anywhere. Only this strange guy behind the mirror who seemed to stare out and be totally perplexed …

And when Carl asked him who he was, he laughed and said: “I am your wife’s hairdresser, young man! Incidentally, she sent you to see me, since your hairdresser broke his arm!“

“And ?“.

“Well – nothing “and”! I explicitly asked you again when you were sitting in my chair after you had said ’2 Millimetres’. To which question all your impolite reply was that you did not like repeating yourself. Then you closed your eyes. So I went to work. With the machine!“

“Hm”, Carl said yet one more time. Then he remarked that, luckily, he was not vain.

On his way back home, however, he came to the irrevocable decision that he had to call in sick for the next two weeks: his secretary Bettina, as well as Miriam Braun would get crying fits on seeing him like this.

Even his boss Dr. Osterkorn, would probably advise him to not see any customers for the next six weeks. And he would call his Gerlinde immediately and propose a four-week vacation in Iceland. After all, she had pestered him about going there forever and he had always succeeded in avoiding it because there was nothing in the world he hated he hated more all this rain and cold climate.

But if you wore a suitable cap, such weather capriciousness was not at all a problem, was it? Why had he not thought of this earlier? Wasn’t it strange?

Yes – perhaps he should immediately buy the right cap and surprise Gerlinde? Why not? After all, Nicki Lauda also wore one of them …

(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Wednesday July 15th, 2015

Trapped on the Balcony

Carl and Gerlinde (XLIV)

Oh God – what a heat! Absolutely beyond endurance! And today of all days, Hannelore and Kurt had planned to invite them, because, at long last, they had managed to finish the renovation work on their house. It had taken them two never-ending years during which everybody had been sure that there was never going to be a happy ending!

ZZZZGAfter all, when Carl had read about the sixty documented façade fires in the City of Frankfurt mentioned in the ’Frankfurter Allgemeine’ where the insulation had been quite an effective fire accelerator and shown this analysis with all due superiority to Kurt, the latter had lost all enthusiasm about minimizing heating costs. But then, his persistent ’climate preservation activist Hannelore’ eventually prevailed and forced him to install said insulation anyway! And since she had already gathered steam nagging him, she made him renovate the rolling shutters, too: ever since last Tuesday, all the fifteen rolling shutters on the windows and doors of their one-storey semi-detached house now moved up and down without the slightest sound, sun-sensor controlled and fully automated.…

And this is what he and Hannelore wanted to toast with their friends today, Kurt had stammered. Mind you, the families Renner and Gutmann had to send in a last-minute cancellation, because Kerstin had suffered from a heatstroke, Anne had been stung by a bee yesterday and reacted allergic and her husband was still busy dancing around his office without being able to say when he would be back.

But then, sitting on the north-facing balcony of the first floor, Kurt continued after having yet once again related the entire renovation adventure and while still gripping his Aperol Spritz – now minus the ice cubes – one could just about tolerate even temperatures of 32 degrees Celsius! This wonderfully refreshing breeze coming from all sides was also what had eventually made Hannelore agree to serve her delicious buffet on the balcony, after all. …

”Kurt, if you continue your monologue holding this full glass in your hand”, Hannelore suddenly aggressively interrupted him, “the only guests remaining with us will have died from thirst and turned skeletons before having so much as smelled all those delicacies we prepared for them. Please let us, at long last, push the now tepid Aperol Spritz through our throats and then turn to the cold beer sitting in the ice buckets! And my appetizers would also definitely appreciate being devoured and pushed into our empty stomachs as fast as possible, before the basil is totally dry and the wasps have eaten your savoury sardine bread spread…“!

“God be praised”, Carl moaned with relief, touching Hannelore’s naked arm while Gerlinde tried to console the so harshly interrupted Kurt with a few whispered niceties.

Carl was also the first to, after the short and embarrassing pause, grab his small bottle of beer from the ice-bucket and, without a single break, use it for removing the lukewarm Aperol Spritz taste from his throat!

All the others followed suit, and since they actually did enjoy the nice breeze on the balcony, their chewing mouths soon started resuming their lively gossip.

It took this bone-shattering “NO! Damned!” for another interruption of their chattering to happen: all three of them gazed at Kurt who, highly excited, stood in front of the closed balcony door with an ice-bucket full of empty beer bottles: nobody had noticed anything, because it had all happened so noiselessly.

And now they were closed! The balcony door shutters!

And, of course, the control device was inside and nobody had their cell-phone with them. Well, where should anybody have kept it, wearing their light summer outfits; even Carl had no suitable pocket in his Pumpkin Shorts!

“So what now, my golden programming genius?”, Hannelore attacked her totally flabbergasted Kurt. “If I remember correctly, you told me more than twenty times last week that this is something that absolutely can never happen, because you programmed the shutters for all the balcony doors to always remain half open. Or am I mistaken, my super-wise Kurti?”. 
“Dear Hannelore, you are not mistaken. You see me facing a mystery …“
”My dear Kurt, this is not just a mystery, but a totally closed balcony door”, Carl added with a grin.

“So – and what now, my dear folks?”, Gerlinde had turned a little acidic.

“I do not know – I truly and really do not know …!” Kurt stammered.

“Maybe we should yell!”, Hannelore suddenly shouted, “yes, let us all together give such a loud yell that is sounds like cowbells ringing; somebody is bound to hear us …“

“Ha, ha – who would hear us?”, Kurt moaned. “The neighbour on the right is hard of hearing and sitting in front of the TV set and the neighbours on the left are on vacation…“

“And the ones back there are having a garden party, so they will not hear anything because of all the noise they make themselves”, Gerlinde added with frustration.

“But Hilde, on the opposite side, still has her lights on! Look at the upper storey!”

“And all the windows are also open”, Kurt suddenly sounded quite triumphant…

And he immediately started yelling loudly for his beloved – who, incidentally, at the age of 82, also was only of limited hearing. This was not something Kurt let himself be deterred by: he yelled “Hilde” until – well, until he no longer had any breath left!

Of course, the occasional car also drove by! But they took no notice at all of the ’incarcerated four on the balcony’. And even if they had noticed, they would surely have thought those guys up there well equipped, since they were so strangely yelling and full of joy, also waving all the time…
And, of course, Blanka, Hilde’s Polish nurse, was also not available – but then, she would not have understood anything, anyway, because the ’Deitsche Language’ was not precisely her strong suit!

When finally Carl had managed to tune his powerful organ in harmony with the ’help ’- cries by Kurt, the one who had been so much wanted actually appeared in one of the illuminated windows, enthusiastically waving towards the merry balcony round. …

She also noticed how hot it was and how she was totally in the nude underneath her light shirt!

Kurt’s desperate yell, however, that he absolutely needed the house keys deposited with her again only brought the reply:

“I am in the nude …“!

And when asked where Blanka could be found, the answer, of course, was again “I am in the nude… “!

But since, regardless of Hilde’s fortuitous nudity, the time approached midnight and not only the Aperol bottle, but also the three bottles of champagne were empty, Carl manfully took the initiative: powered by quite a bit of alcohol, he suddenly – without any advance warning – catapulted himself over the balcony railing like Tarzan for all to see, awkwardly gripped the downward leading rain pipe and – even before Gerlinde could give an anxious outcry – landed on the ground with some kind of primal yell!

At least that was what it seemed to be, considering the muffled sound of his impact and this animal-like “Ouch – Shit!“.

And after fearful questions from above and tension-laden silence from below, finally came an all-salving moan and the spooky comment:
“Now, I, too, am in the nude …!“

Which was when everybody gave a yell of liberation, noticing that Carl’s beautiful new summer outfit hung from the rain pipe in tatters and he, Tarzan himself, apparently had survived the entire episode without breaking any bones; he was still wearing his undamaged TRIGA boxer shorts…

Since the automatic movement lights on the patio had turned themselves on, he even stood in the limelight, looking very spectacular with blood smeared all over him! So it was hardly a surprise that Hilde enthusiastically joined in with the applauding audience, constantly saying that Kurt was not in the nude, after all…

However, since it was not Kurt but Carl – whom she took for Kurt – who knocked at her door, it only took a few minutes before the sought-after spare keys were in his hands. …

What a triumph for the ever so robust TRIGA boxer shorts! Because without them, Carl could never have run to Hilde’s so quickly …

(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday April 16th, 2015

Paula’s Kiosk or: Not a Fairy-Tale Life

Paula says what she thinks. At least sometimes.
Mostly, she talks without thinking. Just as an idea hits her. Or just as her gut feeling tells her!

Once in two months, she is totally silent. No syllable will pass her lips.

The customers are used to it. They just point their fingers at the newspaper. The cigarettes.
The love story. And the ’super sausage-roll’!


But whenever she is talking, she has to listen to hundreds of love stories!

Piecewise – between taking one-and-twenty and two euros. If it was an entire bottle of beer, sometimes she has to listen for five minutes or more!

And Susi will weep at Paula’s. Behind the kiosk. Because her Herbert, again, has been beating her. Drunk.

And Conny gets a free sausage sandwich and a cup of hot tea. Still, she cannot stop smoking weed. Poor sod!

For the ’Delicious FAZ Fuzzy’, Paula bends under the table to pick it up every other week.

For the filthy pages. He buys them for a friend. Not for himself. Sure! And the ’Beck’s Beer Drinker’ wants the Playboy under the PM magazine. The guy with the ’Sueddeutsche ’ also buys auto-motor-sport and ’My Horse’. And the ’Hanauer Anzeiger’ takes the ’Kicker’.

The ’BRIGITTE’s’ are all known to Paula by name. The same goes for the Gauloise Ladies!

Well, basically, they are all ok! Her customers!

Once in a while, you get a stinker. But Paula will form them into shape.

If necessary, she can get quite loud-voiced! For all to hear. Even those near-deaf elderlies.
She has to find an outlet for everything. She does not care if it is appropriate. Or inappropriate.

The same goes for what annoys her about Sandra. Her stubborn daughter.

Or if something is wrong in the street where she lives. Or in the city. Or in Germany. Or in the impossible UE. Or elsewhere in the world.

But when all is said and done, the world at large is something she basically could not care less about. After all, there is enough happening in her own life that is less than perfect. But then, what is less than perfect in the world is even worse! On the front pages of her magazines, all you ever read is slaughter!

In former times, at least you got tits and bums. People could get upset about them. Including herself! But only if said accessories were bigger than her own outfit.: she really had quite a bit of material up front! And her rear could compete with a mare in heat. At least that is what Jürgen used to say. The rat. He just left. When she was carrying Sandra. Well – history.…

But other than that, they were more orderly at ’Honi’! In those Erfurt days. Not all had been bad – in the GDR.

And you had to admit that business was not so great here, either. Which was hardly a surprise! Nobody smoked these days: everybody wanted to live the healthy life. They all want to lie on their sofas and watch TV when they are a hundred. And then they want to go west without ever having woken up from their sofa dreams.
Luckily, there were still women around! They still smoked. Old and young ones. Including herself! They are the ones who you still could make money with.

But then, who is still drinking beer today in bright daylight? They are few and far between. The young ones have no time. And the retirees prefer to drink schnapps!
Yes, once in a while, she will offer them one on the house. But careful! They will easily get demanding …

To make up for it, her ’Super Sausage Rolls’ sometimes still sit there at night. That is really something she feels insulted by. But then, the only thing the young girls let behind their teeth is green salad. And raw cucumbers, unpeeled. The painted skeletons are the worst of them!

They no longer know what roast pork tastes like. Or knuckle of pork with sauerkraut. They are all into vagina. Or vegan. Whatever that is supposed to mean? You cannot expect her to really know about all that stuff, can you?

The other day, her Sandra also started in the same fashion!

Nothing she cooks at home is good enough! All is bad! And how she runs around! The girl is a true embarrassment: no end of iron rings on her face. And tattoos all over the place. Her Kevin looks even worse. And this hell of a shaved head! Truly venomous! Basically, Paula would prefer not to return home at all. All she ever does is have to get annoyed with those two ’tattoos ’!

What a blessing that she has her Helmut! Besides the kiosk, he really is the one true joy of her otherwise ’shitty ’ life. He really cares about her. You could not wish for more! And he has been doing so for years!

If it were not for him and the kiosk, she would really decide to shoot herself! Or take pills …

On Monday – Paula’s kiosk was –surprisingly – closed!

This has never happened before. The customers were angry and shook their heads.

Later, Susi told people that Paula had planned to do less kiosk work, anyway! And marry Helmut. All had been ordered already! Then last week she got the diagnosis: probably lung cancer!

Exactly – what you read in the ’Hanauer Anzeiger’ was also about Paula: Woman throws herself in front of train – one-hour delay of all early commuter traffic!

She had given the police the information about Conny. Of whom nothing but minced meat was left. Lately, she had been dreaming of her final appearance! One final appearance with flying colours! One where everyone would feel it! She had said that was her vengeance, punishment for the One Above. Paula had only laughed in her face and said that was mere rubbish!

She never believed Helmut about his lung cancer! Never in life, was what she had said: never in life did Helmut suffer from cancer …

On Thursday – it had reopened. The Kiosk!

God be praised!  People were truly happy! Paula would never have dreamed to receive so much outspoken delight. And that Susi in the back was not going to cry, but instead was giggling, was also something she would not have thought. At long last, she had sent her drunkard Herbert on his way!
 Paula had bought champagne and toasted Susi’s courage!

And she had also toasted ’Minced-Meat Conny’ in hell!

They both had laughed so much that the guy who bought the Süddeutsche had pointed at his forehead. In fact, he had not even bought the newspaper. And the FAZ Fuzzy had left without his dirt, because Paula could not stop laughing. And neither could Susi!

Well, how was anybody supposed to understand women, said the ’Hanauer Anzeiger’ reader.

And then he started laughing himself. And so did Helmut behind him. He seemed to be quite amused …

Had Paula been right after all with her diagnosis? Was it all a lie and nothing was true anyway and life was basically rotten?

Perhaps that was it. Otherwise they would not all have laughed so much, would they?

(Translated by EG)

I took the picture from google

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday February 26th, 2015

Fateful Siesta

Carl and Gerlinde (XLI)

ZZZVimg171Why had it had to happen at this of all occasions? Why when Carl had, at long last, taken his Gerlinde along to the lingerie and underwear fair “Five Elements”? And it was certainly no surprise that, afterwards, Gerlinde was not only disappointed, but also angry!

God, how often had she tried to persuade Carl to take her along when he went to this famous underwear fair where he organized the most bizarre exhibitions with the most crazy ideas and other shebang for TRIGA every year. And where, smiling practically at the push of a button, he always ran up to form like a yeast doughnut in hot oil between those hysterical, cold, long-legged underwear dolls.

On the other hand, you had to admit that this really outrageous thing would never have happened if Gerlinde had not been there. Because without her, he would never have siesta-ed and consequently would never have been confronted with this more than strange situation. A situation that might well have been instigated by the competition. Or by the NSA? Or the KGB? Well, you never know, you know!

But well, all those ’if’–s and ’then’–s were not going to do any good now when the ’stable door had been locked after the horse had bolted’, were they? Of course, the ’horse’ was meant in a purely metaphorical way, since there was no horse involved.

On the contrary. In fact, this entire unparalleled scandal in the famous Berlin Four-Star Hotel during the 11th Fashion Week was all about how to best prevent the activity that could cause ’possible birth’- albeit of a child, rather than a horse.

Mind you, this ’possible conception’ was, of course, only of virtual nature, since Gerlinde – thank God – was far beyond the age where such an aspect could possibly mutate into an unwelcome real surprise.

Yet there had definitely been more than enough demand on this late morning for the kinaesthetics and exchange of fluids usually preceding such a procreation process on both sides. Absolutely! And one had also seen it as the ideal prelude for the siesta urgently desired by Gerlinde on this second day of the lingerie and underwear fashion show. After all, the evening reception given to entertain the international and national customers on the previous day had lasted until early this morning, bringing with it many delicacies on the rich buffet which were consumed along with costly alcoholic beverages. The lively organiser Carl and his charming company Gerlinde had definitely partaken …

Consequently, a few quiet minutes – or even a quarter of an hour – definitely seemed like a tempting idea to both of them around noon.

And Gerlinde would not have been Gerlinde if she had not only immediately succumbed to this temptation without reservations, but also enriched them in no time by practicing a few rather exquisite fantasies every equestrienne would have been proud of. 
It seems like the dressage numbers displayed actually demanded absolute concentration from both horse and rider.

How else could you understand that neither of them noticed how suddenly, not at all far away from the ’king-size bed display parcours’, a young inconspicuous hotel employee – so it seemed – not only watched the exciting dressage artistry with a bowed upper body, a red face and fascination, but also worked most enthusiastically on his iPhone …

It seems that, somehow, Carl must have spied a shadow from the corner of his right eye, because there was an involuntary movement of his head to the right, but only so slightly that the equestrienne who was working with a lot of concentration was not distracted in any way.

And suddenly what he saw was a pair of nosy eyes over a good-natured smiling mouth. Actually, the full head of blond hair of this young gentleman sitting above a youthful, not at all fearsome face like a little crown even added another air of normality to the entire scene.

When the young man, totally fearlessly, put his right index finger to his lips in order to signal Carl to – please – please – remain entirely quiet in order not to destroy this wonderful scene by an inconsiderate move, this, too, fit perfectly into the image …

In retrospect, Carl was almost ashamed about having offered no resistance at all to the directions of the strange young man and instead having permitted Gerlinde to finish the last step of her supernatural dressage! But then, there was not really an alternative for him in this breath-taking moment, was there? Everything was such a matter of course in this harmonic procedure that he lacked not only all concept of terminating it, but also the strength to do so!

And Gerlinde’s cathartic yell of joy shortly afterwards also proved he had been right! It had been an eternity since he had last heard such a joyous outcry over several thirds that seemed like it never wanted to end, accompanied by a cascade of gurgling sounds in between! In fact, perhaps he had never ever heard it in exactly this way?

The same was obviously true for the unknown young gentleman who seemed to be sponging up everything with sparkling eyes and a face that showed the highest degree of rapture. Immediately afterwards, he disappeared just as noiselessly as he had come…

With a slight degree of surprise, Gerlinde – still breathless – registered that Carl suddenly lifted himself up from the ’shared show-riding course’ and hurried to the door, locking it with the words: it is not secured! Shortly afterwards, however, purring like a cat, she fell back into a deep, refreshing sleep in Carl’s arms. …

Only later – unfortunately before Carl – did she discover the inconspicuous warning written on yellow folio-format paper on the table: 
In case you are toying with the absurd idea of informing the hotel management, this little equestrian episode will be available on You Tube within a few minutes.

This was the time when Carl, to his huge regret, had to confront Gerlinde with the unwelcome truth – and thus make the “Five Elements” fair something she would never remember fondly. 
Basically, it was a pity, because the rest of the week, too, had been rather glorious: the underwear sector of TRIGA, which had just recently suffered serious problems, seemed to have really recovered…

(Translated by EG)