Klaus Hnilica
Thursday December 11th, 2014

What Happened to Germany? – Has it Really Gone to Sleep?

Carl and Gerlinde (XXXVIII)

Looking at his crumpled visage in the bathroom mirror, Carl initially spent some time wondering if he should instantly slap himself or wait until after breakfast! But then, you could not do it on an empty stomach, could you? Those worn-out corners of the mouth and this mildew tongue were just too disgusting! Besides, he feared that he might actually throw up any moment. Was it the stomach? Or was it the Halloween-mask?

The hot shower brought salvation!

Feeling the water glide over his head, back and bottom was like a life-spending electric impulse. When the chest, the stomach and the lifeless worm were also treated to some warm rain, Carls wobbly cerebrum, too, developed new momentum. In fact, even a few memories started finding their way through the alcohol-soaked synapses. The acute headache was also suddenly gone. After all, the one-and-a-half litres of Pinot Grigio in his blood system and liver had to find a way out of the body through perspiration, didn’t they? And the same was true for yesterday’s verbal tirades from Dr. Osterkorn alias Bernie and Miriam…

Admittedly, the ’wine-induced exchange of ideas’ of yesterday evening at Bernie’s favourite Italian restaurant had not come totally unexpectedly for Carl: after the disastrous collapse of sales numbers caused by the ’Russian Beating’, it had, naturally, been totally foreseeable that the sector leaders of TRIGA would have to fire rapidly and loudly.

Carl vaguely remembered that Bernie had said something more or less to that tune while carefully lathering his smelly armpits – phew! – it was really high time…
Basically, you had to admit that Bernie, too, was only someone driven by circumstances! The same was true for the directors and the concern management: they all had to achieve the planned profit margins. Without profit – no premium! Neither for the directors, nor for Bernie and his sector sales head Carl. Let alone Miriam, the person responsible for underwear.

You know what – what we need is a completely new narrative for our underwear, Bernie had then spontaneously thrown in while toasting Miriam and looking like a young bull – upon which she only sceptically raised her eyebrows. Yes – we badly need a truly revolutionary idea in order to tell the story of our slips, tops and bras in a totally new way and convince our customers narratively! Well, and perhaps the tops might again reach the navel in the next few years. And the ladies’ knickers might actually again be knickers, instead of only covering the pubic hair and being bottom cheek dividers?

When this fragment of memory made its way through his brain while he was lathering his bottom and with horror imagining thong slips for men, Carl had to laugh so hard that his injured body shook vehemently enough to cause the showering water – what shock – to noisily splash against the showering cabin …

Well, maybe Putin was right after all, Bernie had said aloud in his monologue, when he started keeping the Russian ladies away from these ’knickers fragments” this summer and instead in a future-oriented way pointing them back towards knickers that actually deserved the name. Who can blame him for, in the same process, re-adjusting the scale of values for the ’New Russia’? After all, great, proud Russia can never be permitted to sink as low as the decadent West and pay homage to ideals the top incarnation of which is the embodiment of a ’Conchita Wurst’! Well, this is totally comprehensible, isn’t it?

And how do you propose we do this, my dear Bernie? Miriam suddenly became poisonous: are we now supposed to run around in underpants that reach up to the neck and hide underneath the cashmere caftan? Well, good luck to you, you who understand Putin. I am sure you only want us back in the nineteenth century in order to retrieve the Russian business! If that is so, let me know long enough in advance. I will be gone faster than you can say ’Indiana Jones’!

Carl, who by now had lathered himself down to the toes, had been rather surprised to see how spiritedly Miriam had snapped at her Bernie. That had really been good to see. In fact, it deserved an extra-strong massage spurt on his back and loins! Heavenly – true bliss. …

What lucky stroke that the meal had followed instantly, otherwise Miriam and Bernie would have started a really biting verbal duel. As it was, Bernie was able to bite into his roast lamb and Miriam to nibble on her baked gilthead seabream while he loaded himself hastily with his lamb goulash in lemon sauce. Actually, while doing so, he was forced to keep his mouth closed.

Since, apparently, Bernie was a stranger to such manners and kept talking with his mouth full, he allowed Carl and Miriam to participate in his tender roast lamb by spreading it on the tablecloth in small portions. On the other hand, this enabled him to seamlessly move from Putin to Merkel. From the latter, he repeatedly demanded a narrative for Germany similar to the one Putin had delivered for the ’New Russia’!

But I am sure, Miriam, also seamlessly continued in her acerbic tone while making short and expert shrift of her own gilthead seabream, Bernie, that you will not now demand the model of a radical ’underwear about-face’ from ’Mama Merkel’ after her ’Energy About-Face’, will you?

Of course not, Bernie munched, but ’Our Angela’ would be well advised to surprise the German People with a nice and usable ’narrative for Germany’, instead of permanently singing us a lullaby of empty words! We would certainly benefit from being more concerned with the rest of the world, instead of constantly agonizing under our own fears! Only ’German Angst’ is a little thin, isn’t it, Carl?

Indeed, that was something Carl, still showering, absolutely agreed with, before finally turning off this immensely satisfying massage spurt. Incidentally, after the water massage, you had to do some ’Cold Showering’! And in order to do that, you needed at least the same degree of discipline as for the development of a narrative for Germany…

But, lo and behold: it had not been possible to hold back Little Osterkorn. After Miriam’s reprimands and the roast lamb, he not only craved after an instant Titamisu, but simultaneously came along with narrative ideas. Or had it been Miriam? She thought that, in a new narrative for Germany, we should not only keep repeating the Second World-War, the Rebuilding and the Holocaust like a mantra. Also, we should not limit ourselves to talking about the East-West division and Europe, but additionally point out that Germany had lately turned into a very coveted immigration country. Neither should we forget to mention the fact that, for example, during the last two soccer world championships, it even was suddenly considered hip, multi-culti, joyous and colourful!

Well, this was the moment when Carl had had enough of the ’Cold Shower’! Shivering with cold, he jumped out of the shower cabin, rubbed himself with the beach towel moaning noisily and absolutely did not want to be reminded that he – perhaps he had already been a little tipsy at the time – had stubbornly wished to include the ’energy about-face’ into the new Germany Narrative after Miriam’s wise outline. His tongue had grown heavy when he insisted that such a procedure would actually practically by itself cause a fundamental change in paradigm for the underwear business: after all, warm underwear would inevitable also reduce the heating, which then would also affect the CO2 emission! Wasn’t this clear as can be?

And based on these facts, Frau Merkel would – through the warm underwear as massively subsidized by the government – probably easily be able to counter all sceptics with total serenity in her typical lack of precision that the country of the ’poets and isolators’ will actually fulfil its very ambitious climate promise made to the European Community! In fact, we might even end up far beyond those promises, providing the Great Coalition were – in violation of the coalition contract – to decide that now ’thermo underwear’ is to be subsidized as massively as insulation of buildings, as suggested by Herrn Siegmar Gabriel. Naturally, all these measures would have to leave the “black zero” as propagated by Herrn Schäuble untouched, which is something that, even if having no influence on the world climate, would be immensely detrimental to the CDU – which was the only thing that counted! If Frau Merkel never said this in Carl’s mental concept, it was still what she believed.

It must have been shortly after this that his personal memory broke down, because he does not remember Bernie’s loud rejoicing. And Gerlinde alone knew how he had returned home. She, however, did not wish to see him this morning, which in itself was a little strange, wasn’t it?

(Translated by EG)

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