Klaus Hnilica
Monday February 17th, 2020

(Deutsch) Caro – schnell und dünn…

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Klaus Hnilica
Tuesday March 27th, 2018

Saving Money with WHISKY

Carl and Gerlinde (# 58)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So – what?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday March 8th, 2018


During the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea, I was in the Antarctica. That was definitely not a bad idea for someone who wished to avoid the Olympic Commerce Terror.

Roland in the Antarctica as participant in the Olympic Competition of Hot Dog Pølser (genuine Danish red sausages) eating and beer drinking.

If you are not in favour of the media hype, if you are not all that “nationally” inclined and if you neither want to hail every individual medal nor the ranking on second of the FRG (GERMANY) of these strange “Olympic” winter competitions, then it is a good idea to flee to a place as far away as possible while such “athletic” mammoth events take place.

Now many of you will say:
“What is wrong with you this time? Our GERMANY was really successful at long last! That is really something to be truly proud of as a German.“

It used to be much worse:
When I was younger, in the last millennium, people like me were often called “Traitors“ if they refused to really get into the collective Olympia and world championship euphoria. It was especially off balance whenever the success of the GDR’s National People’s Army was admired. Because all of them were using illegal substances, anyway.

As far as this is concerned, the world actually is now a slightly better place …
Yes, we came in second!

1 NorwayNorway  14  14  11  39
2 Deutschland Germany  14  10  7  31

However, you have to say “we only came in second” after Norway, which is a country with a population of only 5.3 million! We, the great nation Germany have 82.8 million inhabitants. And yet we took 8 fewer medals than they (four silver medals and four bronce medals). Isn’t that embarrassing? The success certainly gets a different perspective.

Let us take a closer look:
It was not we who were so successful (or rather, coming second, so much of a loser). It was the German Customs Officers, the German Federal Police and the German Armed Forces.

I used to believe that our Customs Officers were our weapons during the upcoming trade war against the USA under Mr. Trump. And that the Federal Police had important tasks such as protecting people on Christmas Fares against suicide attacks.

And that our Armed Forces are meant to be a deterrent? And that they are supposed to help such NATO partners as Turkey and also to give qualified assistance with the realization of a number of UN sanctions and activities? That is what I believed.

But all these assumptions are wrong! Those three institutions are apparently responsible for Olympic medals. Even the Armed Forces were quite successfully collecting medals. Although, allegedly, nothing works well at the Armed Forces. As you see, you cannot believe everything you read.

In summary, one can say that more than 100 out of our 154 Olympians in Pyeongchang are state employed (police, federal police, armed forces and customs officers).

Quelle rp-online.de

Even our ice hockey team was decorated with silver. They were 25 professionals (source Wikipedia), but in the total medal count, they only got one medal! Now isn’t that unfair?

It might be asked who was the 26th professional (see above on the graphical representation).

If I disregard those 26 professionals, more than 100 out of 128 Olympians were state employed, that is more than 78 %. This means that customs officers, police officers and the armed forces have a ¾ majority …

And I am annoyed with myself:
I did not stick to my intention to never again write anything trivial.
And I hope that this trivial article will not make me a traitor in anybody’s eyes.


If I remember correctly, then the Norwegian Olympic Heroes, too, were mostly from the Norwegian Armed Forces.

(Translated by EG)

On Friday,

the arcis-vocalisten

will sing in the Himmelfahrtskirche in Munich Sendling,

I am last-minute advertising this unique concert, but not only because tickets are still available. Above all, I point you towards this concert because it is going to be n absolutely unique experience. One that you will not wish to miss!

One specialty about it is that it is sung a-cappella, which means there are no instruments, let alone an entire orchestra to accompany the singers. Naturally, this is much more demanding for the singers, since nobody plays along with what they are supposed to sing.

Another specialty is that there will be a world premiere:

Markus Fritz is himself a member of the choir. He is also the composer of the work
„De Tranquilitate Animi“
after words by Seneca!!!

You will also hear the “Missa in F Major” by J. G. Rheinberger and the motet Opus 74 No. 1 by Brahms, as well as a few Kaminski songs.


If if would not be staying in France this Friday, I would definitely be among the audience.

Not only, but also because Evelyn (EG) sings in the choir.

(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday October 8th, 2015

We can do it! Or: Blessed Be Those Who Have No Idea

Carl and Gerlinde (XLV)

There were days when Carl, even during the phase of waking up when Gerlinde’s elven-like blabbering actually made his basilar membranes vibrate but his eye-lids had not yet moved upward, knew that something unpleasant was going to happen…+

ZZZZSimg211Accordingly, the facial expression he offered Gerlinde and which was mirrored one-on-one in her face – if, these days, it was possible at all to see anything of her face in between those extremely obtrusive illustrations in the ’Frankfurter Allgemeine’ – while he was eating his breakfast egg, naturally, looked a little strained.

Carl noticed how reliable his gut feeling had been when, at long last, his secretary Bettina offered him his usual cup of coffee in the office. Because her meaningfully pursed lips, wide-open eyes and several attempts at moving the cup of coffee closer towards him were certainly no good omens.

When she proceeded by telling him that Dr. Osterkorn had asked everybody to a meeting at ten thirty in the big conference room – no documents to prepare – it was absolutely clear that his sinister foreboding would, again, prove correct …

The only surprise was that, on top of Bernie alias Dr. Osterkorn and a number of new and unknown faces, not only the other three sector heads, but also both TRIGA managing directors were present.

Apparently, Dr. Schäufele, the head of trading, was in charge of the meeting, since he had placed himself with a rather crumpled face and among constant whispering with his colleague Dr. Tuchweber at the head of the huge conference table.

In accordance with the sober atmosphere, Carl unobtrusively sat down next to Miriam Braun on the only vacant seat.

Dr. Schäufele was immediately in the middle of things! After greetings by the concern heads from Düsseldorf he read in a rather pronounced way, reminding everybody of the gigantic national task that, due to the dramatic change in the German political situation, we were now facing without once looking up from his text. He also said that the concern heads were going to approach this task with a huge amount of respect and responsibility.

It went without saying that, in the face of this unparalleled challenge, the TRIGA company, too, would – this was the first time Dr. Schäufele actually looked up from his manuscript – contribute to the best of its ability!

This was especially important, Dr. Schäufele continued, since our Federal Chancellor had given a clear signal with her “We Can Do This”! In her inimitable way, without getting lost in details, she not only invited every state in Germany, every community and every town, but also every individual citizen to cordially welcome all the refugees from Syria. Everybody is called upon to make him- or herself part of this European task and go right to their limits and beyond when it comes to human and financial resources. And since the processing of asylum seekers will be a lot faster in the future, all this can be done without a considerable increase in federal funding, says the Federal Chancellor!

It is hardly a surprise, said a tight-lipped Dr. Schäufele, that, due to this exemplary attitude of our Federal Chancellor, huge parts of the press celebrate her and even some mention her in connection with the Nobel Peace Prize!

Instigated by these jolting words from the Federal Chancellor, the concern heads now appeal to all concern firms to also contribute to this great national program and think about including young, trained and untrained refugees of war in their projects! Particulars about how this has to be done, so Dr. Schäufele, will be worked out by a specially installed working group at the appropriate time for the entire concern. And then forwarded to all the individual sectors and departments; it went without saying that, naturally, all unplanned personnel will have to be integrated into the existing work processes within three years in order to make sure that both the current and medium-term sales and profit goals will not suffer and that there is not the slightest interference with the concern numbers as determined; because nobody – ladies and gentlemen – Dr. Schäufele admonished everybody with a baleful expression, which was accompanied with an intense nodding of the Technology Manager Dr. Tuchweber,  can and wishes to risk a profit warning of the concern, even in these difficult weeks and months! Nobody can wish that! Absolutely nobody!

And as a prophylaxis, Dr. Tuchweber interrupted his colleague from trading Dr. Schäufele, he expects the entire leading crew of the TRIGA firm to influence their employees in such a highly motivating form that every one of them realizes how serious the situation is and thus not only works at a hundred per cent of his or her capacity but at those implicitly demanded a hundred and twenty per cent of said capacity! Because this was the only way, Dr. Tuchweber admonished the assembled listeners with a stern look, for Germany to master this gigantic task of channelling the streams of refugees in an organized way.

In the face of the high spirits unfurling all over the meeting room after this intense appeal of the management, Carl did not dare to ask the question if the concern heads themselves, too, were thinking about a contribution of their own by providing extra hitherto unplanned money for this so great national task. Instead, he just whispered the question into the ears of the person responsible for underwear sales, his neighbour Miriam Braun.

But even as Miriam Braun shrugged her shoulders several times with a helpless smile, Carl already became quite convinced that both the concern heads and the managing directors, just like the members of the Federal Government, were not to be envied for their quite well-filled money bags. Instead, the one thing they were to be envied for was the fact that they were all ’blessed with having no idea whatsoever’. This cluelessness has been created and guaranteed by a hierarchical order and command structure that removed everything not meant to be heard or seen ’in the upper regions’ through a precise and well-oiled filtering system!

Yes, even the production of such a banal thing as underwear followed this pattern.

Since, however, Carl had no intention of being subjected to this blessing, in fact he even started suffering from an unexpected case of sickness that might well threaten to befall the other persons in the room and even in the country, he spontaneously jumped up, shook his head and left the room, to the surprise of the other participants of the meeting …


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 November 13th, 2014

Blessed be the Unhappy…

Carl and Gerlinde (XXXVII)

Oh my God – why did it have to happen after this heavenly steak with champignons and broccoli of all times? Even the Riesling had been exactly the right temperature. Which was not a matter of course with Gerlinde. But today: perfection – the temperature! And then this…

Well, it all had started going wrong as soon as Carl had returned from the office: totally unexpectedly, Gerlinde sulked and pursed her very red small mouth after the fleeting welcoming kiss, remaining in front of him and not uttering a single word. The demanding stare she gave him during this mute gesture was actually a little embarrassing. Eventually, Carl ended this grotesque prologue, pretending he needed the restroom!

However, he was well aware of the fact that the culmination of the drama still lay ahead…
Mind you, this was on a day when the company, too had been catastrophe city! To be sure, the ever-enthusiastic sector leader Dr. Osterkorn had initially shown the seventeen Power Point slides with their display of permanently decreasing orders in all sectors of the TRIGA underwear sector without comment, but then he had continued by without any warning projecting in the most brutal way the full dimension of the ’Russian Underwear Catastrophe’ on the screen like lightning had suddenly struck!

After all, since Putin had decreed an import, production and sales ban for all lace underwear in the entire Eurasian Economic Zone earlier this year, there had been practically no more orders from the two Russian underwear wholesalers ’ARMED’ and ’Suwen’! The entire business exchange with Russia had broken down from one day to the next. And all this just because Papa Putin believed he had to take care of both the Ukraine and the health of his compatriots! After all, those non-perspiration-absorbing lace panties and satanic high-heels gave his already terribly vodka-stricken people such unexpected suffering: basically, the fascist scourges of humanity ’inflammation of the bladder’ and ’foot deformity’ were even threatening to decimate the number of Russian females …

Carl hesitated!

Should he really start complaining about all this shit from the company in front of Gerlinde and thus spoil her mood? After the very strange stiffness when she welcomed him home, she was now actually again very lively, parading in front of him and teasing him with delicious snacks. And most likely she was also wearing one of her entrancing lace panties, such as Putin did not like at all – well, he was pretty sure…
No, he was definitely not going to spoil her mood!

He was far too tired and washed-out!

In fact, the most attractive idea at that moment would have teen to not utter another word and not have to share anything with Gerlinde – not even this delicious Riesling – and spoon up this superb meal while listening to Country Music… However, the red lace panties were unstoppable: Carl had only just given the tender steak its due between his teeth, added his saliva, moved it into his stomach and extinguished its fire with three glasses of Riesling, when Gerlinde assaulted him with the question: Are you Happy?

Carl toasted her, trying to appease her and ignore the question! In fact, he – regardless of actually now being absolutely incapable of swallowing another bite – even went so far as to ask her if, maybe, she still had a ’Little Something’ to surprise him with by way of dessert.

”Of course”, Gerlinde impishly said, “I would like to know if you are happy, Carl”?.

“Does that mean my dessert is something to bite into? Meaning the question ’Am I Happy’?“ Carl was now intrigued.


”Whatever makes you ask such a thing?“, Carl irritably said.
”Well, you know, I just would like to know? In fact, Hannelore is not happy!“
”But then, this is hardly a surprise with this eccentric cow“! Carl enthused.
”Why are you so aggressive all of a sudden“?

”Because I suddenly get the impression that, again, someone wants to plant disharmony somewhere! It would not be the first time, would it?“ was his acid reply.

”Carl, you must not be so supersensitive! Can I not even ask a simple question?“

”Ok, Gerlind. Fine. Ask as much and as long as you like to about ’happiness’! But please do not expect me to literally drown in ’happiness ’ while you go on about it! To be perfectly honest, I would find it a pity in view of the wonderful steak inside me. In fact, I actually do not know what this ’happiness ’you are inquiring about is supposed to be, or not to be?”, Carl was now annoyed.

”Maybe you could be a little less theatrical?“

”Of course! Yet I truly have no idea what you mean with ’Are you Happy’?”, Carl said indignantly while in vain seeking consolation with his now room-temperature Riesling.
”How should I know? But then, in adverts, all people are always happy, too, aren’t they!“

”Do you mean this heavenly ’purgative happiness’ of the no-longer-quite-young blond woman whose intestines are de-knotted ’giving her happiness’ in each one of her advert appearances?”, Carl provocatively asked.

“Yes, that is one of them!“

”Or do you mean the beaming grandmother who, thanks to Voltaren, suddenly re-discovers her grandchildren, because now she is able to go down on her knees?”, Carl continued.
”Her, too…!“

”Well, I am sure you are aware”, Carl went on, “that in all these examples, it is always women who become spontaneously happy – never men?“

”Carl, as always, you tend to simplify! In fact, there is actually ’happiness ’ beyond adverts which also very much concerns men?“

”I am all ears …?“ Carl pointedly.

”For instance the often thematised happiness of love?“

”Hm“ grumbled he.

”Or, to put it bluntly: are you now happy with me – or are you not?“

”Oh my God – Gerlinde, now what is this about? I assumed this topic was one we really had dealt with once and for all?”, Carl lamented.

”Then why don’t you just say ’Gerlinde, I am happy with you’!“

”Certainly! Don’t you know this by now”, Carl was getting bored.

”In that case, you actually know the meaning of ’happiness ’?“

”I probably have a vague idea, Gerlinde! And I am sure it has a lot to do with security and contentedness, if you like the sound of those words”, now Carl’s words sounded almost ceremonial.

”Does that mean that you are at least content with what I have to offer?“

”Yes – if that is how you want to call it! But then, I am content with everything around me, my dear Gerlinde”, Carl added sentimentally, “among other things also how nicely you keep everything clean, also with this half-empty bottle of Riesling which will soon be empty, and, of course, also when we will afterwards go to bed… “

”Are you saying it in that order – cleanliness, Rieling, bed – randomly, or is that something you chose very deliberately?“

”To be perfectly honest: I rather like this order”, Carl was now surprisingly self-confident, “somehow or other, it is just correct and also important for me if I am supposed to feel something like ’happiness ’!”

”And do you think your order could cope with a slight variation?“

”What variation do you mean …?“ Carl hesitantly asked.

”What I mean is the slight variation: – cleanliness, bed, and then Riesling! If you chose that order, I could actually also find a little happiness once in a while!“

”A-h-a“, Carl moaned. This was the moment when he started regretting that the meeting about the poor TRIGA ordering situation was no longer under way…

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Wednesday November 5th, 2014

Festive Advent Concert

So here I am again, advertising the wonderful sound of the Arcis-Vocalisten choir. Let me cite:

arcisBeyond all the pre-Christmas turbulence and hectic, Evelyn (EG) and the Arcis-Vocalisten München under Professor Thomas Gropper, who are well-known for their expressiveness and creative power, this year again invite you all to come and experience a musical event. You will witness how the contemplative advent charm and the pleasant anticipation directed towards Christmas awakens.

The range is from traditional tunes and works by baroque composers such as Michael Praetorius, from chorals of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and festive choir pieces from Handel’s “Messiah” to trips into romanticism as in the “Gloria” of the mass for eight voices in E flat major by Josef Gabriel Rheinberger.

With their advent concert, the Arcis-Vocalisten present a selection of impressive works all of which have established their reputation as “classical” advent and Christmas vocal music with just cause. The music reflects the formative emotions and the charm of this very special time of the year from hopeful and trusting expectation to joy about the Christmas miracle.

(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Tuesday May 20th, 2014

Almost Alone in Bed…


Carl and Gerlinde (XXXV) What a fantastic idea – at long last, Carl had the entire weekend to himself! He was free to do – or not do – whatever he wished to, without having to hurry after some Gerlinde who wanted to go shopping or take Saturday afternoon coffee or drive to Frankfurt in the evening for a visit to the cinema! Or to the theatre, or the opera – or even to a concert. Basically, the only thing that brought solace was the glass of wine afterwards.

But then, those glasses of wine were also responsible for his headache when he had to exert himself on the bike competing against Gerlinde on the next morning, because, after all, exercise was healthy, wasn’t it? Even when it rained, you were only permitted to dismount when the softened skin around your bottom started getting wrinkles. Blessedly, at least, it was the e-bike he dismounted from! ”At long last, you will be left in piece by me”, Gerlinde had playfully twittered when getting out of his car on Saturday morning at the railway station. There was just enough time for a quick kiss before she disappeared in the middle of her gabbling ’Girly Group’: they were going to Cologne in order to take a look at God knows what nonsense …

Unbelievable! Now he actually sat all by himself at home on the patio! Just he and his beloved bottle of beer! They both contentedly peeped into a garden that almost seemed to jubilee as it blossomed. What wonderful calm. There was nobody who constantly pestered him. And nobody foulmouthed his beer. He even heard the birds singing: he had never noticed them, except when they lay next to the rhododendron bushes minus their heads because the neighbour’s angora cat Stuppsi had again been on the warpath. However, with their heads attached to their necks, their singing was definitely impressive, even if Carl could not identify any of those industrious miracles of sound. Come to think of it: wasn’t it a pity that he was so ignorant about birds. In fact, he would have loved to know more about them.

Perhaps the varieties were as many as there were beer brands – and there were certainly quite a few of those. Actually, it was a little hot and humid this morning! So much the more did Carl enjoy the nice cool shade on the patio. Totally relaxed, he permitted gulp after gulp to just flow into him. However, it did not take long for him to notice that this bottle, too, was already empty. If that was not speedy progress he was making here! The bottle might well not have been really full: these days, you never really knew, did you? … ”So what are we going to do now?“, Carl asked the hibiscus in front of him while doing some inner contemplation in order to be able to optimally prepare his next steps. There was no way he going to lift even a single finger doing anything in the garden! That was a given! The ’Gerlinde-free time’ was far too precious for that. Today, he was going to really ’let the soul swing free’, as his friend Kurt would call it. At least, it was now ten o’clock and the morning still looked spotless and fresh! Oh my God – the newspaper! He had almost forgotten about the newspaper. That was definitely the solution to his problem! Along with a wonderful espresso – and since today no punishing sideways glances from Gerlinde could send him straight to hell, he could even indulge in the occasional ’Davidoff–small cigar’! The stupid espresso machine was unexpectedly clumsy this morning! But after three ’coronary-arrest-threatening attempts’ and a rather significant flooding in the kitchen, he finally managed it. However, directly afterwards, the next Nobel-Prize worthy task was waiting: he had to identify and take hold of exactly the one capsule out of Gerlinde’s thousands of colourful ’Nespresso Capsules’ that would make him slide into the Espresso blessedness cultivated by her! As it turned out, Carl found a surprisingly pragmatic solution to this challenge! He drank two glasses of Schnapps, closed his eyes and then just took the next capsule, before, thirty minutes later, already standing on the patio with a wonderfully aromatic Something!

Well, if he was in a tight spot, there was nothing he could not do! Unfortunately, a strong wind had started to blow. In fact, it also started raining lightly and Carl even thought he heard muted thunder in the distance. Naturally, with this weather, the small cigar no longer looked all that attractive. But still, Carl was not going to allow this to lower his high spirits. Taking his espresso, he crawled back into the house, closed the patio door and sat down comfortably on the huge, soft leather armchair. This was definitely not bad! And instead of the small cigar, he opted for a prickling Aperol Sprizz. And since it tasted so delicious, he let another one follow. Well, and then there was the newspaper! But when, still uncertain, he started looking for it, he suddenly felt something like a light feeling of hunger develop in his body. The small portion of herring salad Gerlinde sometimes served with a slice of dark bread around this time as brunch certainly would have gone down well about now. He actually had to admit it. But then, he could do without! In fact, he could very, very well do without.

Besides, who prevented him from warming up the asparagus risotto Gerlinde had prepared in advance – along with the salmon he would have to get from the basement. But was it really a good idea to go into the kitchen and actually do some work? Wouldn’t that have topped everything: you were not sending your ’household lover’ to Cologne for an entire weekend in order to roam around inthe kitchen yourself, did you? No way. Where would that have put him? You did not have to turn completely apish, did you? After all, being male today already meant you were the dumbass from morning to night, didn’t it? Outside, the thunder was really cracking! An actual thunderstorm had found its way to his place. There was no way he could ’quickly take a stroll to the Italian restaurant’! This deluge was worse than anything he had ever experienced during Gerlinde’s rain marathon bike tours!

Even Stuppsi was carried away from the last reachable bird’s nest and anxiously looking for protection between the rubbish bins. Gerlinde would have gloatingly smiled – she hated the bird killer! With worry, Carl made the pilgrimage from window to window in order to witness this apocalypse from all possible perspectives: he also saw how his magnificent silver birch mutated into a fearful ground-coverer with every new gust of wind and the neighbour’s huge spruce boldly touched his patio – with the wind one or two notches up, the top would actually be stirring around in his fourth Aperol Sprizz … Around 3 p.m., Carl was suddenly in the grip of such a ravenous hunger that he spontaneously decided to consume Gerlinde’s asparagus risotto.

Without salmon, because the stupid animal had, of course, forgotten to thaw in time! Well, you cannot expect more from fish, can you? And the risotto was similarly stupid and got itself scorched – but there was no help for it. Carl was so hungry that he pressed it through his gullet regardless. And it was definitely not his problem how said risotto was going to cope with the schnapps he poured after it. And the cutlery sitting on the table was also something he could not have cared less about. For him, all that counted at this moment was his soft bed in the darkened bedroom.…

When Carl woke up from his midday nap with a start, it was exactly 18.00 hours! This was touch and go! Another fifteen minutes and he would have missed the beginning of the sports program! He quickly threw on his dressing gown, took a bottle of beer and a few chips – and here he sat in front of the television set! Well, to be perfectly honest, he more lay than sat – because today there was nobody to prevent him from pleasurably putting the entire length of his uncovered, muscular legs onto the cool glass top of the side table. Whenever he lifted them for a short time – which actually was no small feat as far as the stomach muscles were concerned – there were some really dark spots on the freshly polished glass. Also, Carl voluntarily made do without the comfortable pillows he would usually put under his legs.

After all, this would have been only half the fun for Gerlinde: the really crass prints on glass could only be produced by strong, perspiring men’s legs! Well, this was just a fact! But then, it was also a fact that Dortmund could no longer win against Leverkusen. Again, they played a tie. And it was also true that he was again hungry! Was it really possible that now he would have to get all the food by himself? On top of laying the table and afterwards removing everything? No, there was no way Gerlinde could have expected this of him on a work-free day – even she could not be that evil.

With energy, Carl pushed his uncovered legs from the glass top, grabbed the cut tongue-blood-sausage and dully, like an elk down for the count, made his way to the patio. After the terrible thunderstorm, the evening was surprisingly mild! Carl could hardly believe what he was seeing. With unexpected new energy, he only took a few minutes to take white bread, cheese, butter, two bottles of ice-cold Jechtinger Rivaner and the entire package of small cigars to the patio table.

And when the totally wet Stuppsi appeared out of the darkness and anxiously looked at him, he good-naturedly threw her one tongue-blood-sausage after the other. … Except – Carl could not even start to explain why eventually, when he shortly woke from his comatose sleep in the middle of the night, Gerlinde, too, had appeared. It was her, wasn’t it? Even if she was lying on the wrong side of the bed? After all, he had just given her fluffily wet curly hair a pat, hadn’t he? This is what Gerlinde liked. It made her purr – like Stuppsi… KH (Translated by EG)

Again, the Arcis-Vocalisten are going to sing!

And our Evelyn, who always translates the IF Blog articles into English for all of you, is part of it! On March, 29th and 31st, the choir she sings in will give you an opportunity to listen to what they have been rehearsing since the beginning of this year:

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) – Ein Deutsches Requiem – Nänie

FL_20131212b nphm Brahms 1b

Saturday, March, 29th, 2014, 5 p.m. in the Klosterkirche Schäftlarn
Monday, March, 31st, 2014, 8 p.m, in the Herkulessaal der Residenz München

Arcis-Vocalisten & 
Neue Philharmonie München    

Thomas Gropper, Conductor    

Hanna Herfurtner, Soprano    

Andreas Burkhardt, Basso

The piece is one of the most moving and powerful of sacred music ever written: Johannes Brahms’ ”Deutsches Requiem” (op. 45). Instead of using the classic Latin requiem texts, including the elements of threat and impeding punishment, the composer selected Bible passages from the Old and New Testaments where solace and hope predominate and made those the basic concept to spin his music around.

Using this material, Brahms created a powerful work full of dignity, seriousness and musical poetry, which will both upset and soothe the audience. Its breath-taking and forcefully designed arc of suspense and hope that constantly reaches beyond the limits of human existence is always at the centre of the music.

Along with the ”Deutsches Requiem”, you will also hear ”Nänie” (op. 82) by Brahms. It is a mourning and lamentation named after the same poem by Friedrich Schiller. Just like the ”Deutsches Requiem”, this work, too, substitutes confidence and consolation for despair and resignation in a musically brilliant way..

The Arcis-Vocalisten will present these two works to the accompaniment of the Neuen Philharmonie München, which is an ensemble that, after its foundation in 2005, grew to be one of the most noticeable young orchestras in the Munich region. It fully deserves its excellent reputation.

For tickets with free choice of seats in the entire church, please contact München-Ticket or the Arcis-Vocalisten (mailto:newsletter@arcis-vocalisten.de, no extra charge for early booking) for Saturday, March, 29th, at 5 p.m. at the Klosterkirche Schäftlarn for 25 Euros.

The same booking arrangements hold true for Monday, March, 31st, at 8 p.m. in the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residence where the following categories are available.

1st category 35 Euros
2nd category 30 Euros
3rd category 25 Euros
4th category 20 Euros

The Arcis-Vocalisten, and in particular Evelyn, would be delighted if some of the IF Blog readers are among the audience.

(Translated by EG)