Honey, why did you give away my beer fridge?

An open letter to my wife.

Why did you give away my beer fridge? No, really. Why did you do that? If I was some degenerate and we were broke and needed money, I could kinda understand it. Only, I still don’t understand it because you gave it away.

My beer fridge magically produced chicks that served me beer.  Fuck you, it did.

My beer fridge magically produced chicks that served me beer. Fuck you, it did.

At least if you had sold it we’d have sweet, sweet money. But we (I) have nothing now except a long walk to the basement from the backyard to get a cold beer.

To be fair, the beer fridge was given to us by friends, so, yes, the initial investment was zero. Had you sold it for $20, that would have been like a billion-percent profit or something.

But you didn’t sell it, you gave it away to some fuckhead you work with who lives in an apartment.

Now sure I have some culpability in all this. I agreed with your decision at the time. But that agreement was akin to confession under torture considering my circumstances. I wasn’t in a frame of mind where I could make such a decision rationally you see.

You took advantage of my weakness but more on that later*.

The fuckhead you gave it to, the one living in the apartment — he’s likely never more than a room away from his kitchen in which, I presume, there is refrigerator. That’s like 30 steps in order to get a beer. I bet he’s placed my fridge in the room he likes to drink beer in. Now he only has to take like five steps in order to get a cold one. Lazy bastard.

Me though? I have to mount an expedition to get a beer. While I should be basking in the few rare months of warm weather in Germany, I’m instead hiring Sherpa’s, plotting desert (aka living room) crossings, descending steps into the basement and then repeating the process in reverse, as if I’m some schmuck who doesn’t have a beer fridge.

Because I am now a schmuck who used to have a beer fridge before you gave it away. Sure it was an absolute piece of shit, I know this. It raddled when it turned on, it was banged up and it had those weird hooks in the back that were once used to attach it to a kitchen countertop.

But I didn’t insist that our guests come look at it. I didn’t keep it in the dining room, guest bedroom or bathroom (except for that one time and I admitted I was wrong). No, I kept it in the garage out of sight.

The beauty of it was that is kept beer cold and handy, which I think is everything anyone could ask for in a beer fridge. Google turns up exactly no results for “beautiful beer fridge.” Go ahead check that, zero links. The temperatures this week in Germany have been in the 90s. That means by August the temperature outside will be “death in a fiery ball of heat.” If I had my beer fridge I could at least endure “death in a fiery ball of heat” with a cold beer. But I can’t. You gave away my beer fridge.

I know you hated it. You did, don’t lie. I know this because of that one time I came home and discovered you had unplugged it and exorcised it of its empty beer shrinkwrap, unopened beers and large chunks of weird-smelling freezer ice. You think I forgot that shit? Well, I didn’t. It’s filed away under “Weird shit wives do,” right next to the file about the time you cleaned out my toolbox.

Yeah, you hated my beer fridge. If we owned a shotgun, (and this is the reason we do not own a shotgun) you would have blasted a hole in it. You always hated my beer fridge.

The aftermath

The aftermath

Sure, we’ve agreed I can buy a “new” beer fridge, but that beer fridge will probably suck. You see, a proper beer fridge is something that isn’t fit for “fridge” status anymore. A proper beer fridge is one that works beautifully, but is ugly as hell and, in an epiphany, gets transformed into an amazing beer fridge. Anyone reading this who bought their beer fridge new agrees with me. If we store baby formula and food in our “beer fridge” we know instead that is a refrigerator and not a proper beer fridge. Sure it’s capable of storing beer, but it’s not a beer fridge. A proper beer fridge always smells vaguely of mold, has innumerable dents that are like notches in a headboard measuring the years of good times, and is never, ever a clean reflective white. Why did you get rid of my beer fridge?

Sure if you're fucking Ned Flanders

Sure if you’re fucking Ned Flanders

* To be fair you asked me if we could give the beer fridge away when we were in the fucked-up stages of moving houses that involves me carrying a lot of heavy shit up and down stairs. Movers put your weight set in the basement and you need it on the top floor, OK honey. Movers put the TV you like to use in your workout room in the subbasement and you need it on the roof, OK honey. What’s that, the movers put your collection of lead-filled lifelike statues of Henry Kissinger busts in the neighbor’s basement and you want it moved to the second story only to decide after I set it down that it really looks better in our basement? OK honey.

If you’ve moved a lot you know this stage. It’s the “you mean I won’t have to carry that up/down or sideways” question. It wasn’t fair and I resent it. My muscles overruled my beer brain and concluded that the beer fridge was 40 fewer pounds they’d have to cart somewhere so they agreed. Fuck you muscles, I always hated you too.

Impossibly (un)Rotten Tomatoes

Every spring I get a giant garden boner and start obsessing about plants.

Yeah,  that’s what I’m going to write about, gardening. No one is coming here for Kim Karsashian wedding news so there shouldn’t be any complaints about my garden boner.

I blame my love of gardening — or more truthfully — thank, my mom. Her love of gardening rubbed off on me. In my youth, my family and I lived in a modest home in a middle-class suburb of Phoenix and despite the lack of “farmable land” Mom always made a go of gardening. She even enlisted me in my teen years to dig up and till parts of the backyard in a desperate attempt to scratch out a few fresh vegetables from a meager 15-by-15 foot plot of land under an unrelenting Arizona sun.

While I toiled away, I pretended I was busting sod like some 1823 explorer in northern California,  and she enjoyed cheap labor. It was a win-win.

It mostly worked. Despite my father’s insistence that whatever was planted was just another obstacle to mow around, a decent bit of veggies could be harvested and I always found that cool.

I didn’t want to eat any of them, mind you. God no, they might interfere with my diet of Big Mac and weed.

My mother’s love of plants never left me and for that I’m thankful and always look forward to springtime. That bug has long since also bitten Dagmar and it’s become a mutual labor of love.

Because we move around a lot, Dagmar and I plant our gardens in containers. Over the years we’ve amassed a fine collection of pots and every spring we dutifully drag them out to the backyard and carefully discuss the planting options for each container.

Then we go to the gardening store, collectively lose our minds, buy a shit-ton of plants we hadn’t planned on along with some potting soil and come home.

Once home, I unload the plants from the car while she lines the backyard with plastic bags explaining to me that this is how Martha Steward gardens. I then call Martha Steward a fucking retard because who cares if potting soil gets on the lawn. Dagmar then storms inside the house mad at me for debasing the benevolent Martha Stewart and I’m left to pot my plants in peace for three minutes.

Page 27, "Use a trash bag to protect your lawn when potting a new plant."  Seriously look that shit up. Actually while captioning this I asked her and now she claims she saw it "somewhere".

Page 27, “Use a trash bag to protect your lawn when potting a new plant.” Seriously look that shit up. Actually while captioning this I asked her and now she claims she saw it “somewhere”.

Once I admit that Martha Stewart isn’t an idiot and Dagmar admits that potting soil isn’t bad for a lawn, we get down to the serious business of arguing about root balls. Specifically, how much you should fuck with a root ball.

I think that our new family member should be introduced to their new home by gently loosening the root ball of the plant. Dagmar prefers some sort of “fuck your roots, you’ll grow new ones” approach.

So while I gingerly shake the soil from the new plant’s roots, Dagmar prefers the “kill the old soil and roots with fire” approach.

rootsoutside

We’ve had mixed success stories obviously.

One of our recent plants never looked good, not even the morning after we planted it. (She planted it, of course.) Throughout the week it looked worse and worse. When I finally checked on it I discovered she’d separated the plant from the roots. Physically broken them apart and hadn’t realized it.

Point mine, honey. Point mine.

Back to the story.

I bought one of those gimmicky tomato plants sold in gardening stores that already has a bunch of cherry tomatoes on the vine. Some are ripe, most of the tomatoes are still green, and fuck, why wouldn’t you buy one of those?

They’ve got tomatoes you can eat right now!

They’re perfect because they’re so easy. But yeah, nothing good is really ever easy is it?

When you garden you can expect failure. Some plants don’t get enough sun, some plants get too much water, some plants have their roots molested to death by Dagmar and some plants can’t handle being peed on a few times by some drunken ass from the house.

You know, failure.

The gimmicky tomato plant was a failure. Inside of a week, the leaves looked like hell and the branches drooped. Although the tomatoes themselves looked awesome, the plant was in that, “well that’s going to die” phase anyone who’s been around a blade of grass longer than a week can recognize.

Dagmar and I debated the plant’s root treatment. She accused me of just pulling it out of the plastic pot it came in and sticking it directly into the ground. I accused her of violently attacking the roots like a vicious tomato plant hater.

We unceremoniously ripped it up from the stem because neither of us knew why it was dead. It was an impulse purchase, it was a gimmicky impulse purchase and yeah, it was almost dead.

Dagmar cried, I said a solemn prayer and … who am I kidding, I just took the mostly dirt-free root ball plant to the back of the yard behind the shed where I dump all the failures, ash from our BBQ and urinate when I’m drinking outside.

The dead plants are all piled up behind the shed. I like to call it composting and not dumping, but really, it’s just a pile of dead plants. I occasionally poke the pile with a stick, sometimes I pee on it and rarely do I give it a second thought.

The gimmicky tomato plant went to join the natural order of things in that ungodly pee-infested “compost” pile.

End of blog post right? I made some fun jokes about how my wife and I differ in our methods of gardening; you now know I pee in my backyard;  I worked in a Fuck-Martha-Stewart reference; and shit let’s crack open a beer and high-five, blog is done. Fuck those tomatoes!

But it isn’t — because that shit happened like a month and a half ago and look at it now.

See, root ball destroyed

See, root ball destroyed

OK, OK, I’ve since hung the “dead” tomato plant on a tree branch, but shit, after like three weeks back there (I pee back there more often than I’ve let on), I started to wonder why the tomatoes weren’t rotting.

I’ve tossed tomato branches from normal tomato plants (started from seeds or bought as starter plants) into similar piles and the fucking tomatoe’s rot right along with the rest of the plant.

This is some weird Chernobyl shit right here. Why (and this photo was taken last week*) do those red tomatoes still look delicious? The leaves and vines are withered and dead. Why do the green tomatoes not rot and fall off or more importantly look exactly the same as the day I tossed them back there?

What the hell is going on in my garden … what kind of madness is this?

* Okay since writing this, the tomatoes have started to rot. They’re getting kind of gross now in fact. I’m not at all sure what the point of this whole thing was, I thought the tomatoes weren’t rotting, but it turns out they are? Fuck, no idea. Let’s just all forget this and move on okay?

Traffic wardens, meter maids and mayhem

I’ve learned something today — something valuable, something that is meaningful and something that most of you already know — parking enforcement officers are utter dicks.

I like to call these officers “traffic wardens” because that’s what they call them in Germany (0r I’ve watched Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels a million times too many and whenever I see one this clip comes to mind).

Regardless, I’d be a shitty traffic warden if only because I’d always default to the line of thinking that goes, “Well, she’s pretty, I’ll let her go.”

Let me explain.

Dagmar had an appointment in the city of Weisbaden recently and because she can’t drive I had to take a few hours off to drive her there.

Through an unusual set of circumstances that I won’t describe here we ran into the wife of one of my coworkers who opted to join me for a quick drink while my wife went about her business.

My coworker’s wife was parked illegally because she was responding to a semi-legit emergency and assumed she’d be in and out of the area in minutes. Then I threw a monkey wrench (or in this case a screwdriver) into the plan. But parked illegally or not, she wasn’t blocking anything, she was just parked in one of those spaces that inexplicably have stripes running diagonally. The adjacent bus stop wasn’t terribly impacted by her parking job, though it would have been less affected if she had stayed there for only the anticipated five minutes and not the entirely optional and entirely awesome 30 minutes to have a drink with me.

My coworker’s wife is awesome, good looking and a really cool person. While we had our drink, her illegally parked car was in our sight as we sat at an outside table of a cafe. She’s a grown up, I’m a grown up, and well, my car was parked legally, so there’s that.

Then the traffic warden showed up, and my coworker’s wife ran out to try to prevent the inevitable. But pretty/cute/nice wasn’t enough to overcome traffic warden douchebaggery.

Eyes were batted, smiles were smiled and a ticket was issued. Not blog worthy I admit. Cute lady is issued citation despite being cute, yawn.

With traffic citation in hand, my friend’s sad wife left and I almost turned back to my Kindle book about nothing, but the warden stuck around and holy shit just watching that guy was an education.

I guess it must be a thing that happens to even the most kindhearted traffic wardens — overtime they become jaded. In this guy’s case, he must have been on the illegally parked vehicle “case” since 1083 A.D, ’cause this fucker was jaded with a capital J.

I watched as this guy just relentlessly handed out ticket after ticket. He was like  a ticket-issuing ninja.

Little old lady delivering a quick gift to her grandchildren? Fuck you, move faster next time, that’s a ticket! Repairman dropping off heavy tools before parking the van? Fuck you, they should hire stronger guys, that’s a ticket! Deliveryman quickly running into a shop to drop off a package? Fuck off, scofflaw, that’s a ticket! Super hot (and I mean SUPER hot) German chick running inside and then moments later back to her car? Yeah, take your titties elsewhere, that’s a fucking ticket!

thats-a-paddlin-30027

The dude was relentless. If Santa stopped there on Christmas eve this dude would’ve stapled a ticket to Rudolph’s nose. Dude would’ve faulted the Pope if he’s have stopped and washed a poor man’s feet.

I want to call out German efficiency here, but I’m sure the same shit happens in Paris, New York, Hong Kong, Moscow and countless other cities in the world.

Jaded mothers be jaded and such.

A quest for common ground …

I’m not really sure how to write this and not destroy the noble and righteous name that is Had A Few Beers.

Really, the words I’m about to write may collapse the walls insulating our heroic, and might I say “inspired” blog as easily as the Roman siege engines ripped apart Carthage’s defense during the third Punic war.

Stoic really ...

Stoic really …

Was that reference obscure for you? Well then strap in, because it’s about to get worse.

Be sure to check for liquids that might, if spilled, damage the device your reading this on. When you discover the dark secret I’m about reveal, in a fit of panic, rage or orgasmic joy, you could knock that drink over and cause untold millions of dollars in collective damage?

If you haven’t checked for said liquids you should. Please remove them from your immediate reading area now.

Thanks. Did you also wipe up that little water sweat ring that forms when you put down a cold drink on a warm surface? If not, you should do such now. (That directive has little to do with this blog and everything to do with my having lived with a clean-freak for the last 600 years.)

Now, onto the revelation. DRUMROLL PLEASE …

My wife played Everquest with me!

No one was held at gunpoint, the lives of kittens did not hang in the balance.

She willingly agreed to play Everquest with me.

This came about because of reasons.

Like many couples, we try to do something together that’s just us once a week. Also, like many couples, that quickly devolves into, “Let’s sit our fat-asses on the couch and watch a movie together because that’s easy.”

One particular Saturday she suggested I watch some “chick flick” with her and I jokingly said something to the effect of “Only if you spend the same amount of time next Saturday playing Everquest with me.”

She, to my befuddlement, agreed. I spent the next two hours watching a movie about a couple who were clearly meant to be together, but who were separated by circumstance, then eventually come together, break up and then, and this is the shocking part, get back together to live happily ever after.

I did this without making rude comments or pointing out the absurdity of the situation. I don’t know how I did it either. I think I did it by thinking about how I would introduce her to online gaming while appeared to give a shit about the upwardly mobile woman in the movie and her romantic interest.

I do remember thinking, “How the hell am I going to do this?”

When I asked her what kind of video games she had played in the past, she said Pong. That was the last, and it turns out, only video game she’s ever played.

Pong, as in two pixilated sticks batting a pixilated ball back and forth across a, presumably, black and white television that used actual vacuum tubes.

I considered reminding her of her short stint with “Words with Friends” but thought better of it.

Evercrack, World or Dorkness, and all of these role-playing games are not that complicated, at a basic level. All online games are routinely mastered by legions of racist/homophobic 13-year-olds, as any online gamer can attest.

I don’t know if I should have set her down with a large white board for a 45-minute class about computer gaming in general and online gaming specifically or what, but I did realize that my wife was not so much a gaming partner as she was a gaming student.

Like this?

Like this?

Look, like it or not, most online fantasy-type games can be linked to Dungeons and Dragons. For those not familiar with the concept of Dungeons and Dragons, let me give you the Reader’s Digest version.

Dungeons and Dragon’s founder Gary Gygax basically read a crapton of fantasy novels and then physically had sex with all of the books. Really, Gygax carved a hole into each book and made sweet, sweet love to each of them.

The product of that coupling are today’s online games with racist/homophobic 13-year-olds somehow added into the mix.

Gygax basically codified the whole thing. He wrote down that Gandolf was a wizard, wizards are smart. Bilbo was a thief, thiefs are sneaky, Aragorn is a ranger, rangers are fast and good with bow and arrow. Trolls are on the internet making people angry. That kind of shit.

Yet, my wife has never heard of Gary Gygax and I’m pretty sure she’s slept through every one of my monthly drunken, “Hey let’s watch the Lord of the Rings until I pass out” super fun events.

There’s tons of better, more in-depth source material out there if you’re interested, but in a nut shell most (not all) online games have a variety of classes (think job or purpose) that a player takes on while playing the game. All players have to choose a class or their online character is unemployed and is forced to watch a lot of daytime TV.

My first task was to introduce my wife to the concept of “classes.” Everquest has a handy summary page that outlined what each class did and she, while rolling her eyes, read it. She decided on the enchanter. Which was great, until she decided that her race (yeah, these games have races like elves, dwarfs, trolls and ogres) was going to be troll. When I explained to her that certain races had restrictions on what class they could be and that trolls weren’t allowed to be enchanters she declared the game to a racist bunch of bullshit. Which still cracks me up.

An appropriate race was selected and a few moments later we were in the game!

I was excited and had like 87 nerd boners all at the same time.

She was in the game’s tutorial and she wanted to read every bit of instruction the tutorial provided. I’ve been playing this shit for years and quickly jumped into “facilitate her learning process.”

Are you laughing at that last sentence? You’re laughing aren’t you? If not you should be.

She later described me as basically a drill sergeant for dorks.

“Push that button! Move the mouse like this! There will be an inspection of your copper pieces at 0400 and control your DPS until the tank has positive control, no not like that, like this!”

Yeah, I had decided people who are paid money to think though the intricate and detailed process of introducing someone to a complex game were idiots and that I knew better.

The high points from my CliffNotes tutorial were that she equated her inventory with her character’s closet and, for her, the basics of movement in the game was like watching a drunk baby attempt to walk. WASD (the keys on the keyboard that control your characters movement) were lost on her. Even now, a few weeks in, her skill at using the keys is barely at the level of a toddler that’s had too much sugar and who knows … I’m really crappy with baby analogies.

When I asked her the next day if she had fun her answer was, “I don’t know.”

She explained that she had no idea what she was doing and was just following my directions. Nothing about what she did at my direction made sense. She had pressed the number 1 on the keyboard because I told her too, not because she understood doing so caused her character to perform an action that was associated with the number 1 key.

Crestfallen, I asked if she would be kind enough to give it another try later.

She agreed and I went back to the drawing board.

I asked my guild for help, because fuck you I’m in a guild. But they were no help. Most of their advice ranged from how effective the enchanter was at high-end raiding, to mocking me for mistakenly referring to another (male) guild member as “hun” several weeks back. (That’s fucking hysterical! ~Fran)

The next time Dagmar and I played she picked a Ranger and I let her read every damned thing the tutorial had to offer. If the tutorial talked about how you could load a CD into the computer’s CD tray in order to listen to music, I let her read it. Years ago Everquest had an online feature that allowed you to order a real life pizza through some national chain. If that was briefed in the tutorial, she fucking read it because I butted the fuck out. I was there for any questions she had, but otherwise I kept my too-clever-by-half mouth shut.

It seemed to be working. She understood that she needed to attack the monsters with little to no prompting from yours truly. She grasped, on a basic level, the difference between a melee attack, a ranged attack and a spell attack.

What I mean to say is that things progressed. In a month or two I could see her and I having adventures in Everquest together. Fighting against the evil side-by-side. Dagmar’s ranger, Lordana, and I would eventually be fighting side-by-side, questing, slaying rare evil beasts and amassing great treasures. It would be our thing you see, our little fun thing to do on Saturdays when the weather was shitty.

Progress had been made, she still had a lot to learn, but that would come with time. This plan was going great. She dinged level 14 and asked if she needed to get new spells. She attacked the monster I was currently fighting instead of dragging every other monster within a 50-mile radius into the battle. She understood that the blue pants I have were better for her “Armor Class” than the green ones, even if she thought the green ones looked better on her character’s butt.

This was going great. I felt like we’d reached a common ground. I vowed to myself that any shitty chick flick she wanted to watch I’d try my hardest to enjoy, because clearly we had much more in common than I’d thought. After all, here we were, 17 decades into our marriage and she’d tried and liked, and was becoming skilled at something I enjoyed for the first time in the history of Toddmar.

Until this Sunday when I overheard her talking to our daughter on the phone.

“Yeah, we’re playing the game together,” she said.

Mumble mumble, I heard from her daughter through the shitty iPhone held to Dagmar’s ear.

“No, what? No, it’s fucking stupid. What? No I’m only doing it because he loves it so much when I do.”

So, anyone want to play Everquest?

Draw on my face, no trust me, draw on my face

Remember the contest to draw on my forehead? Yeah me either, or at least I’ve been trying to forget it.

Well, this is one of those good news/bad news situations.

The good news is that people read and participate in this blog. Hooray for us!

The bad news is that most of us can’t follow simple instructions, don’t own any sort of photo-altering software more complicated than MS paint and we collectively are obsessed with …

wait for it …

not dicks.

I fully expected a lot of dicks being drawn on my face. Maybe that’s all 2010 and magic-marker-on-a-passed-out-person’s-face nostalgia, but that’s what I expected.

It is not what I got.

I got a lot of “bitch” comments. As in, simple drawings on my forehead saying I’m a “bitch, “UR a bitch” and something I couldn’t read that ended in “itch.”

And scratchy maybe?

And scratchy maybe?

I like to pretend it said, “Well ain’t this a bitch,” which would have won because that’s a favorite phrase at the moment, but it didn’t.

Beyond the actual photos sent back, there were also comments left on the blog or others that were emailed to me.  One comment offered the following, “Todd, this is a great photo. You actually look young. This looks exactly like you. I don’t know why it makes me laugh so!”

But my forehead wasn’t big enough to handle all that text. I asked the guy at “Oh God my Wife is German” how much it would cost to expand my forehead in Photoshop and he guessed the time it would take could quickly reach four figures.

So, I was left to pick the winners from my email and Facebook instant messages.

There were – I think – four or five entries, Whittling it down to one wasn’t that hard thankfully. Posting a photo with the words “U SUK!” on my forehead, while mildly funny, isn’t very funny.

This entry by Nova did tickle my funny bone, however.

Trust-Me

So, its as simple as that, Nova wins.

And the winner has elected to receive a beer stein because look at this photo …

Hadafewbeers

Blumen zum selbstpflücken continues to baffle

There are lots of things that make living in Europe, and specifically Germany,  awesome. Bier gardens, students dressed as pirates floating up to your bier garden drunker than you are at three in the afternoon, the autobahn, mixed-gender nude saunas and did I mention mixed-gender nude saunas? These are all awesome.

I was hoping it would be a sauna photo too.

I was hoping it would be a sauna photo too.

But honestly, living in Germany is pretty much just like living in the U.S. If you make a stupid move while driving, you’re likely to get flipped off. Recycling is a mandated, but necessary, giant pain in the ass. The mail comes every day. Not every German frau is a blonde-haired, blued-eyed, buxom Bavarian farm girl asking you to “churn” her butter, and I’m constantly disappointed at how few times I can call someone a “kartoffelfopf.”

Which is sad really.

But, there is still one aspect of living in Germany (or hell other parts of Europe for all I know) that still, these many years later, continues to baffle me.

Now, I’ve talked about this before, and if you’re a fan from way back when this blog started you may remember — but one thing unique to Deutschland are the German flower fields. These are fields where you pick your flowers and then, with no one there to keep you honest, y0u slip the money for the flowers you just picked into a locked box.

Seriously, that’s it. You can pay by spitting into the coin slot, you can pay by waving your dick at the coin slot, you can pay for your flowers by yelling angrily, “No, Germany I won’t obey your rules!” Or you can pay by calculating the price using a guide posted next to the garden and then inserting that amount into the lock box.

I always insert the money, though I was tempted once while drunk to pay by shaking my dick at the box.

Point is, I am always shocked that this system works. True, you really — lacking a welding torch — can’t steal the money, and there’s probably a lot to be said about the honesty of a population that says, “Wow look a bunch of flowers raised by a person who trusts me to pay for what I harvest.”  What’s the theft rate? I’ll bet it’s close to none. I know I pay more than is required each time I stop and pick flowers for my wife because I’m just too aware of what’s expected.  I always pay a bit more out of some nervous feeling that I might just be on some German hidden camera show where the German version of John Quinones ambushes me as I try to slide into my car asking me why I underpaid for the blumen.

Yeah, I do stop at these fields to pick flowers for the wife from time to time. There are exactly zero husbands laughing at me right now because all of you have brought home flowers for your wife at one time or another. You’ve done it, fuck you, yes you have. If you haven’t you’re a filthy lair or a disgusting wretch.

And I don’t just mean flowers for Valentine’s Day, or a birthday or because you’re hoping for a blowjob that night, I mean flowers because you know unannounced flowers for no particular reason are automatic plus symbols in the ledger of life. They also sometimes lead to blowjobs.

Flowers to a wife are the universal sign that we, the man, think about you, the woman, even when you’re not around. In this world of LGBT enlightenment I’d further guess bringing home flowers for no particular reason is just a way of saying to any significant other, hey I was thinking of you.

I also like to bring home flowers because nothing says I’m sorry for that $400 Visa bill from “showyourtits.com” like flowers do.

Germany makes bringing home the posies just too fucking easy with these fields. Would that sort of thing work in America? I wrote long ago that I thought the fields would have been destroyed by freeloaders stealing flowers and/or teenagers doing donuts in the fields because, I dunno, thrashing flowers with your car is fun and/or teenagers are idiots by and large?

It likely wouldn’t work in the U.S. I grew up in the 70s and 80s on the outskirts of Phoenix. A part of Phoenix sadly now known for its bigoted asshole sheriff, packs of feral Chihuahuas and not much else. One thing I do remember growing up there as a kid, though, is the flower girls, or orange girls or fruit girls wearing short shorts and a bikini top hawking their wares at various intersections.

Even though I was only a prepubescent little shithead, I remember thinking “Holy crap, look at the hot chick wearing a bikini top.”

I don’t ever recall my father stopping at one of them, but a few of my friend’s dads did. These girls, 18 years or older, sold fruit, veggies or flowers along lonely intersections on the outskirts of Phoenix.

It was the pre-internet-days version of a savvy marketing plan and that meant tits. Still though it’s the closest thing I can think of to the German version of roadside flower pick up, and it’s still not very close at all. Sure, the German one lacks a rack in a bikini top, but I still maintain that their system is just as good.

Of course my solution to most problems is boobs. World hunger? Boobs. Our nation’s debt? Boobs of course. Russian aggression against the Ukraine? Boobs. I get voted down a lot in staff meetings at the office for reasons that are unclear to me but damn it boobs!

 

The key to life, a happy wife … where’s my beer

As you know my wife is the organized one.

She keeps our life organized.

If Dagmar ruled the world.

If Dagmar ruled the world.

Bills are paid, obligations are met and we’re solvent because she’s organized.

I, on the other hand, consider it a good day if I remember to wear pants.

That said – into the lives of even the most organized among us a bit of chaos must occasionally fall.

My wife spent several hours Saturday in a semi-controlled panic because she misplaced her house key.

Due to the fact that I’m currently our household’s only driver, she hasn’t had to use her house key once since early November.

Literally, every time she’s entered our house since that day I’ve used my key to open the door.

Really, since Nov. 5 our house’s key hole hasn’t been penetrated by any other key but mine, which is about as dirty as I can make that sentence.

To add to this story’s build up, I need to mention that she also has some weird obsession with not keeping more than one key on a key chain. Really, it’s fucking weird. There’s the key ring with the house key on it. A separate key ring for her now unused car key and a third key ring for her (gasp) two work keys.

Her logic regarding her strict key segregation is that circa the 1920s or something her mother had a lot of keys on a key ring and this extra weight, pressure or, for all I know, “space alien black magic” caused her mom’s car’s ignition to function without a key. You could just turn the key receptacle and it would start.

The extra weight, pressure or whatever certainly could’ve have caused the problem with her mom’s car. I don’t pretend to know. (Todd, Dagmar isn’t crazy. You may have been stoned at the time, but that was the big myth going around in the 80s. A heavy key ring damages your ignition. I scoff at it and continue to lug around my 25-pound key ring with no adverse effects. But Dagmar’s mom’s-ignition-switch story seems like a good reason for her to be cautious. Case in point. So get off her jock. ~Fran)

Considering that Dagmar’s car starts not with a key, but with a plastic disc that she inserts and never twists like a metal key, I find her logic regarding key rings on par with someone refusing to use an umbrella because it scares horses when you open the umbrella.

I mean, it might be true, but it’s completely irrelevant.
It’s just one of those married things you just eventually ignore about your partner. Sure it’s a bit weird, but we’re all a bit weird, and if that system works for them who are we to argue?

My wife’s key habits are important because I’d be a few hundred words short of a blog post without them and because they factor into the lost key story.

On Friday, for the first time since Nov. 5, she had to let herself into the house. I had to go on a day-long business trip and wouldn’t be home until late that evening. A friend agreed to give her a ride home. I came home at 7:30 p.m., let myself in and found my wife in bed with a satisfied look on her face, two margaritas deep and a half pint of some chick-flavored Ben and Jerry’s ice cream utterly destroyed in the trashcan.

Interesting to know I can be so easily replaced actually.

Fast forward to the next morning and the ritual of grocery shopping.  In the driveway she discovers not only that she forgot something inside the house, but that her house key isn’t in her purse. She borrows mine while I impatiently wait in the car in the driveway — grocery stores are such a pain on a Saturday if you don’t go early.

I’ll spare you the details, but through the course of several hours, the key search escalated into one of those “holy crap where is that important thing I really need,” moments for my wife, and admittedly, not at all for me.

Elgato Smart Key: Trackable Key Fob & iPhone app. We're nothing here at HAFB if not informative. http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Elgato/10027500/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=shoppingengine&utm_campaign=googlebase&gclid=CNrB4Maov70CFUtk7AodrD8ABA

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I misplace my wallet, keys, passwords, dignity and whatever all the time. I call that shit Tuesday. I do it so often I’ve become very good at hiding the fact that I’m looking for something from my wife.
She, on the other hand, never does this, so the shock of it tilted the axis of her world view.
It’s anarchy for her and not the good kind that Johnny Rotten sang about either.

Let’s review.
1. While she keeps all her keys separate, they are all on a key ring of some sort. This one has a little beer opener attached to it.

2. She hasn’t used the key for almost six months, but she did use it the day before when she was dropped off after work.

3. This doesn’t happen to her. She’s anal retentive to the point that she would literally keep the keys in her ass if that was physically possible, along with her wallet, her phone, our bank account holdings and you can see the logistical problems this sort of storage system would present.
And finally.

4. Her husband is of no help in this situation.

Let me explain four.  See I’m of no help because I know where I would leave something like my keys — in the beer fridge, on the ironing table in my closet, behind the foot powder in the medicine cabinet, in the backyard on the self where I keep the hatchet next to the woodpile — these are all real places I have left the important, yet mundane, items we all use to function from day to day.

What she would have done with them, I have no clue.

All I can offer her in way of assistance is, “Honey they’ll turn up, or they won’t.”
Not really helpful I know, but it is a realistic approach.

Also I was sitting in the backyard drinking beer and key searching just was bumming me out. I mean, really, this is the first nice Saturday we’ve had since last fall and you want to spend it searching for keys?

A few hours of her frantically searching for the keys and me enjoying some wonderful spring weather later she presents me with her missing key hypothesis.

This, friends, is where two minds that have been together for many years split radically apart. Each understands where the other is coming from, but each disagrees with the other about the idea.

Of course I was right.

Her theory? Someone stole the keys out of the lock after she inadvertently left them in the door when she came home Friday night. We live next to a family owned hotel and obviously mobsters had been stalking our place in hopes of this very thing happening.

See, crime and wine go hand in hand as reenacted here in this episode of Law and Order.

See, crime and wine go hand in hand as beautifully reenacted here in this episode of Law and Order.

Between the time she arrived home at 5:30 p.m. and the time I arrived home at 7:30 the criminal masterminds struck. We would have to arm ourselves with weapons, buy a vicious attack dog and replace all the locks with retinal scanners because the criminals were coming, much like winter — or whatever the catch phrase from Game of Thrones is, I haven’t watched it yet.

My theory? The fucking keys are in the house. Chill out and have a glass of wine. They’ll show up or they won’t. Use the spare key in the unlikely event you need the key again anytime soon. If my theory isn’t good enough for your peace of mind fine, I’ll have the lock changed Monday. It’s a hundred Euros at best and if it puts your mind at rest all the better, but the fact remains that the key is in the house and we will someday find it.

My theory was mocked.

Living next to a hotel in wine country, we have groups gathering in the hotel parking lot on Saturdays to take wine-tasting trips on fancy wagons pulled by tractors.

This is an every-Saturday occurrence.

Dagmar pointed out the window to this Saturday’s group (parked closest to our house) and explained that they were the likely culprits.

“See, they’re changing their clothes,” she said.

I pointed out that if taking off jackets to enjoy a warm Saturday was an indication of criminal activity we were ourselves guilty at some point or another.

She was not convinced. They were sure to, at any moment on this wonderfully sunny Saturday afternoon, bust into our house in order to steal everything that wasn’t locked down, mock us for our poor key control and then they would violate the pussy …

… cat.

I again pointed out that a gang of criminals was unlikely to conjugate in broad daylight outside of their criminal target while drinking wine, carrying on loudly and boarding a fancy wagon towed by a tractor. If this was in fact an elaborate ruse, it was a stupid elaborate ruse and for fuck’s sake the keys are here, somewhere, in the house.

She was having none of it. It was part of their plan and she was serious.

Changing the locks Monday morning, as I had offered to do, gave her no solace.

Those criminal drunkards were to blame for her lack of keys.

I engaged her as much as I could for a laugh or two, she got a little mad every time I did because I wasn’t taking her innocent-wine-tasters-turned-home-invaders theory seriously and eventually she found the fucking keys.

They were in her purse the whole time.

They got stuck in a corner by some thread and she literally had to empty the purse, turn it upside down and shake it like a baby that wouldn’t shut up (was that too harsh) in order to free them, but for the rest of our days in this house I get to watch wine tasters boarding a trailer for a fun day of wine tasting and whisper to my wife, “be careful, they’re probably going to … ”

And that’s the kind of shit that makes life worth living.

Write on my forehead …

If you know my wife and me you know one thing – there are days that my wife is awesome and there are days that she would stab me in the eye with a butter knife because I sneezed.

This is a butter knife story.

As you know we live in Germany.  Living in Germany we have to keep our passports up to date.  Not a big thing, renewal for a passport only comes around …

Oh, to hell with it. I can’t bullshit you — this is a story about a “shitastic” passport photo of mine. I look like 12 kinds of “stupid” mixed with equal measures of “midlife confusion” and “anxious-scared guy in a jail” tossed into a blender where I promptly mashed the “whirl-together button.”

I mean look at the photo.

Police have asked for help ...

Police have asked for help …

It’s fabulous for all the wrong reasons.

This was taken at one of those photo booths where, after you put your money in, you cram five of your best friends inside and snap a serious of photos while as a group you look sexy, goofy, tough or whatever else was popular when these machines were in vogue in the 1040s.

These machines are the pre-internet version of a “selfie.”

This particular photo came about because my wife was mad at me for leaving her alone inside the machine to have her own photo taken (I was getting us coffee). The controls inside the machine were archaic at best and I wasn’t there to help.

So I took it without regard to my own appearance because I wanted demon wom … I mean, my wife, to calm the fuck down.

I showed this photo to Fran, my wife, a new co-worker and some hobo I met behind a bar and we all agree — it’ a funny photo.

Trouble is, we all agree for different reasons. Fran thinks my eyes look like the alien from E.T.; Dagmar concluded that someone was molesting my nether regions against my will; I think my forehead is visible from space; my new co-worker just laughed.

Separated at hatching?

Separated at hatching?

Oh, how she laughed.

I’m also just wondering what that little white blotch is on my neck. Is that cancer? Cancer isn’t a weird white blotch right? What the hell is that? Am I going to die? Also, why is my one eye a little droopier than the other … that’s a weird fucking medical condition isn’t it. Oh, god this whole blog was a terrible mistake.

This is the only pro bono work the Oh God My Wife is German dude has ever done. (www.ohgodmywifeisgerman.com

This is the only pro bono work the Oh God My Wife is German dude has ever done.
www.ohgodmywifeisgerman.com

Anyway, here’s the deal, you’ve hung in there this long — you deserve something. I want you to Photoshop, caption or otherwise alter this photo and post it in the comments … the winner (the one who makes me look the coolest) will receive a free Had a Few Beers gift of their choice because fuck my savings.

 

Had a Few Beers note: I’ve been away for the last three weeks on a secret mission that I can’t tell you much about.  I can tell you that most of it was spent on the couch, asleep, with one hand tucked into my waistband, the other holding a remote and a bit of drool oozing out of the corner of my mouth.

In all seriousness, I just took a break. No clue why. I just did it. All of your subscriptions have been refunded the appropriate amount … you can all expect checks for zero dollars and zero cents to arrive in the mail exactly now.

This laptop’s gone to heaven

Unless you’re here looking for “German mixed gender sauna porn,” and many of you are if the WordPress statistics for this blog are to be believed, you likely are a fellow blogger or you’re a friend of mine of Facebook.

 

Not a sauna blog ... this time.

Not a sauna blog … this time.

As my friends on Facebook likely know the old Had A Few Beers mainframe-roboawesome death laser shooting out of its CPU laptop went to the giant server in the sky last night.

Not in heaven

Not in heaven

So I’m writing this on a newly purchased (Toshiba satelittle S55-A5275 if you’re curious) laptop.

While there was a time in my life that purchasing a new computer was a monumental event, punctuated by furious internet searches for the best motherboards, fastest ram and easily accessed porn, those days have sadly passed.

These days it’s more of a, “Crap new computers are a lot of work” sort of event.

So here we are. I’m downloading 80 updates, reinstalling office, transferring precious files (porn) from the salvaged hard drive of the old laptop and not writing a quality update to post here.

Not to fear though I think I have something in the works that I hope to push out next week. Something a bit different and I hope everyone will find interesting.

To those on Facebook that followed along, obviously the computer is not an Apple.

Apple makes great stuff. But Apple doesn’t do what I want it to do.

For me buying an apple would be similar to using a Porsche to haul timber. Could you do it? Probably but what’s the point?

It’s also not an Alienware or similar gaming rig because I’ve been there and done that. The money invested isn’t, in my opinion, worth it. Those machines are just as out of date down the road. Better to go with a top end of the off the shelf model when replacement times comes around.  It’s like the Porsche model, gaming rigs are fun when they are new but just ugly when it’s time to send them off to the junkyard.

So in an effort to keep a promise to myself about updating this blog once a week here we are.

A flat apology for not putting anything of real substance out.

I’m the geek. Seven hundred or so words proving my wife is right

Do you want to know what addiction sounds like?

It sounds like this.

levelup

Weird isn’t it?

That’s the sound you hear in the online game Everquest every time your character advances a level.

Hi, my name is Todd and I am an Everquest addict.

I mean look at those boobs ...

I mean, look at those boobs …

Maybe I’m not (just) an Everquest addict. I’m more a computer gaming addict.

I’ll peruse the developer’s notes of an unreleased game for months. I’ll anxiously await news that I’ve been admitted (or rejected) for upcoming alpha or beta testing for a popular unpublished game. I’ll silently read every fan-based website dedicated to the game in a vain attempt to gain some inside knowledge.

If you’re not familiar with Everquest, I’d first like to congratulate you on having a fucking life. Secondly, I’d like take a quick moment to explain the game as a concept. Thirdly, I’d like to wish a fond farewell to two-thirds of my readers who just said out loud, “Fuck this little geek” and clicked the red X on their browsers.

I’ll miss each and every one of you.

Everquest is a massive online role playing game. Launched in 1999, Everquest was one of the first “online” games to attract a large number of players (arguably the first- of-its-kind award goes to Ultima Online – see I’m a fucking nerd).

Everquest features a virtual world with populations of hundreds of thousands (at its peak) of players cooperating to kill virtual monsters, solve quests and acquire in game items that make their computer characters “better.”

Are you still with me? (God, you’re dedicated, thank you.)

So Everquest, motherfucking Everquest, is my crack of choice.

Sure, I’ve been “Everquest clean” for years at a time. But something always happens to draw me back in.

As you’ve likely already guessed, I’m playing Everquest again.

My current relapse I attribute directly to the launch of the closed alpha EQNext Landmark. Without spending pages upon pages describing what  Everquest Next and EQNext Landmark are, suffice it to say that I consider them to be a game-changing, revolutionary in fact, next step in online gaming. Google that shit if you don’t believe me If Sony can pull it off, I think a new high-water mark is about to hit the online gaming community.

So, why am I typing this and talking about the 1999 version of EQ and not inside the closed Alpha as we speak?

Loyalty to you my readers and the subsequent discovery that my piece of crap, off-the- shelf, 3-year-old HP laptop delivered a less-than-stellar one frame of video per 20 minutes of game play during said closed alpha.

Yeah, I was woefully unprepared computer wise for the realities of tomorrow’s games.

I owe that failure — all my failures really — to beer. (All, Todd? Really? ~Fran)

But, I could still play the original EQ and hell that was the next best thing really. I launched the game, updated the patches and dove headfirst back into geekdom.

Everquest, unlike other games that I can usually turn off at a respectable hour or not obsess over, turns me into a raving ubernerd of the one-millionth level.

I become seriously obsessed. So obsessed I have two accounts and end up playing the game on two separate side by side laptops while looking up obscure game details on an iPad — which is how this particular post came to be.

Geek!

“Play Everquest on a disorganized well-lighted kitchen table,” Earnest Hemingway.

It’s an orgy of mouse-clicking, key-tapping geeking out.

Even now as I write this I’m a little bit agitated. Something in the back of my head is screaming, “Hurry up asshole, we have to log in and get to work on that quest…”

Jesus, pathetic I know.

So not satisfied with two computers of nerdiness I incorporated the iPad to answer basic question about the game like: Where is the best place to take my characters, what is the best piece of equipment I can find for this character and will any woman anywhere ever find me attractive again?

It was during this flurry of “geek” that my wife walked into the kitchen unannounced and unnoticed.

After studying my actions for a moment she announced, “You know how you’re always making fun of me on your blog? Well you should put this goddamn shit on your blog you fucking nerd.”

Touché honey, Touché.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I had a roommate many moons ago who was also addicted to Everquest. Said roommate actually met a girl from Indiana “on” the game and moved her across the country to live with us.

Things were fine at first, she seemed nice enough and he was madly in love, but goddamnit, she constantly did laundry and they took half-hour showers! My water bill was through the roof.

I had to give them the boot.

They did and went on to get there own place, then married and subsequently divorced.

But through it all, they still played Everquest. ~ Fran