Tag Archives: Germany

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!

 

Wunderbar super-rare Bavarian bier actually available right down the road … internet proves, again, I’m retarded.

Here’s a deep-dark secret about me that only you, and the rest of the English speaking world know — I named this blog, “Had a Few Beers” because I’d had a few beers.

Radical stuff.

I like beer and when I’ve had a few, sometimes the shit I think about during those moments seems funny or interesting to me and I want to share it.

Other times when I have a few beers I go straight for the porn, but that really limits the blogging topics doesn’t it?

Deutsch: aktuelle Markenlogo Bitburger

Mmmm good old predictable Bitburger. No surprises here! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But the thing is, when it comes to beer, I’m boring.  I have Plebian tastes. I’m like a person in a restaurant-sampling club that constantly wants to go to McDonald’s.

Restaurant Club Member #1: Next week we should sample some Malaysian cuisine.

Restaurant Club Member #2: That sounds fun, but I’d really like to try that new Somali restaurant everyone’s talking about.

Me: You know the fries at McDonald’s are always fucking delicious. We should totally go there.

When it comes to beer I’m a creature of habit. I want that redundant experience. I want the same taste, I want the same flavor. I’m not looking for the next great summer wheat ale brewed in a virgin’s slipper high atop Mount Beeralvania.

No way, fuck that shit. I want my shitty, redundant, predictable beer experience thank you very much.

That said, much like wine (which I never drink), it doesn’t stop me from learning a bit about different beers or from wanting to understand the differences, the nuances, the complexities and varieties out there. I’m interested.

I know I’ll never be anything close to an expert, and who cares.

Which leads me to Germany and the multitude of different beers this part of Europe offers. They got everything from boring pilsners, to smoked beers to the strongest strongest beer in Germany. I’ll give them all a try.

We moved here in 2007. Almost immediately upon arrival I began to hear about something magical brewing in Bavaria. A beer that was only available in certain parts of the region. It was dark in color, yet somehow light in taste. It left you refreshed while somehow seeming to be thick. It cured cancer, blindness and, if applied directly to the genitals, can issue in an era of world peace.

It was good stuff, or so I’m told. I’m a lazy fucker when it comes to my taste in beer remember?

Winkler Bräu it's made from the tears of beautiful virgins or something ...

Winkler Bräu it’s made from the tears of beautiful virgins or something …

It’s called Winkler Bräu and among a certain set of Americans here in Germany, its a legend.

Soon, among almost any group of Americans I worked with, a business or pleasure trip to Bavaria automatically meant you were obligated to bring back Winkler Bräu. It was as if you were mandated from a higher-power. Should you make the 3.5-hour trip one way, it was your job to return everyone’s empty racks of Winkler Bräu and bring back full ones.  Failure to do such was an affront to all that was good and just in the world. 

I’ve literally stopped on the way home, tired after a long business trip, and Googled the nearest location that carried it. Sometimes I would end up driving miles out of my way to secure the many racks of beer I was expected – nay, mandated by God – to return with.

Bringing back Winkler Bräu is just that important. Forgetting a rack of 20 beers for a buddy can end friendships, wars have or should have been fought over it. You just don’t fuck around when it comes to bringing home the golden nectar.

Because my wife loves it too I picked up a case for her when I was there last week and when I heard a friend was going this week, I dutifully passed on the EUR 20 necessary to purchase another case.  Because apparently you just can’t have enough Winkler Bräu in stock.

And again I don’t even drink it, I just understand that people love it.

Turn to this week. One of my co-workers has something called the “internet.” I don’t really know what that is or what it does, but he seems to have a fine command of it.

During the exchange of euros with those fortunate enough to travel to the promised land in search of Winkler Bräu, he belts out the following:

“Hey, you know that they sell that shit right down the street right? Look right here on Google. You just punch in your address and it shows you where they sell it. They sell it right next to my house, why do you all drive four hours to get it?”

Summer is here and you winter people can suck my sunshine …

Summer is here and I want to thank some people. Mainly, the ladies. You girls are 98 percent of the reason summer rocks in the first place.

Take the most beautiful woman in the word and dress her up for a ski trip. She’s got nothing on the allure of a woman in a summer dress.

Cover of "Summer Lovers (Full Screen Edit...

Mmm summer. (Full Screen Edition)

Sorry, it’s like a scientifically proven fact or something — a woman dressed for warm weather is always sexier than a woman dressed for cold weather.

Basically, without ladies summer is just sweaty man balls and body odor. To deny this simple fact is to say that water is not wet, birds don’t fly and this blog is funny.

If you don’t believe me please choke on a giant box of cold weather.

Another reason summer rocks is Germany!  Have you been to a park in Germany when it’s nice out? If not, you’re missing out. Germans are cooped up in a frozen box of international rain, hail, snow and sleet for like 90 percent of the year.

When the sun does finally come out, baby, the clothes come off.

Germans will strip down to skin the moment the mercury says its hot — and you really, really have to appreciate that.

Say what you want to about the unattractive men, hot chicks lay out naked in the park! What is not to like?

There aren’t even any downsides of summer.

“Oh it’s too hot,” you say? Well “fuck you,” that’s what I say. Summer is better and that’s a fact. I can even back that up with anecdotal evidence because nothing says “fact” like anecdotal evidence.

People who like winter must admit there are parts of it they don’t like,  such as shoveling snow, scraping ice off the car windows, driving on icy roads, Rudolf poop on their roof, or finding dead Santas in the chimney. It is inevitable that window lovers find something about winter they don’t like.

Not us summer lovers though! Nope. We love every last sticky bit of it. We even embrace that with summer comes the potential to die in the desert of thirst or sport a look reminiscent of crispy bacon.

You know why? Because its better than dying of hypothermia. Give me dying of heat stroke over that shit any day.

When I was in Iraq, my boss and I had a joke that only we found amusing. He is from Texas and I hail from Arizona. If anyone knows hot weather, we know hot weather. Thus, when the temperature would reach (literally) 130 degrees, while we were wearing body armor, we would say to each other, “It’s hot, but at least I’m not cold.”

And we fucking meant it.

If you think it ain’t that bad to be in 130 degree temperatures while wearing body armor and sitting in the back of a HMMVW where the metal truck bed is just cramming the heat into your eye holes, then undoubtedly you’re a summer person.

Summer is just better in every conceivable way. You people can go stick your frozen heads in the freezer and suck cold ice if you don’t agree with me.

English: Twin Peaks Summer Bikini Contest in 2011.

I have no clue who this chick is but, really, who cares. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I understand anything about the popular TV series Game of Thrones*, it’s that in addition to showing a lot of hot naked chicks, (just like summer) the characters die a lot which sucks because a Game of Thrones summer is four-years long or some shit.

That awesome if I don’t consider the alternate — a four-year-long winter. That would break me faster than the rath Gordon Ramsey’s rain down on me if I served him a flaccid souffle.

So again, all you winter people can suck it for a few short months. We summer people are happy. HAPPY I tell you, and if you’re a winter person here in Germany, have pity on us summer folks, it will be just a few-short weeks until you’re once again relishing in your dreadful cold and pale-gray bliss.

Until then, we people of the SUN will be out in it. In fact, why the hell am I typing this at all, I should be outside…

* Actually I don’t know crap about the series, I watched all of season one drunk off my ass and apart from a lot hot naked chicks can’t tell you much of anything about it.

What the #$%@ do you people want?

I bet this girl doesn't check her stats. She doesn't have to, what with her being hot and all. http://finsnation.typepad.com/

I bet this girl doesn’t check her stats. She doesn’t have to, what with her being hot and all. http://finsnation.typepad.com/

I quit. Really, I fucking quit. There should be a Blogging 101 class you’re required to take before you start this crap.  Lesson one, day one should read something like, “Stats are a fucking mystery to us all, we recommend sacrificing a virgin at dawn to ensure good stats.”

This blogging shit is hard because I’ve become addicted to stats. Fran (editor extraordinaire)  says I am a people pleaser. She claims I’m eager to do what ever anyone wants to keep ’em coming back. But I don’t even really know Fran. She’s just some broad in North Carolina who (brilliantly ~ Fran) edits this drivel into a fun easy read. (She hopes ~Fran)

I don’t know why I obsess about it.I get the same exact amount of nothing if one person or a million people read this, so my obsession is similar to following Justin Bieber’s career.  I mean, if his career tanks tomorrow, sure you’ll be sad (dork), but you’re not out much. Same here with this effort.

Still though, what the fuck do these numbers mean?

There was a big uptick in March. Why?  February was down — man, it was down!  Why did so few people come here in February?  Was it something I said? In December and January we were up, baby! We had a lot of hits then. What the fuck does all this mean?

It means jack and shit. Nothing. It’s as pointless as changing your profile photo in support of a political cause. Which should mean SOMETHING to some of you, but likely won’t because no one reads this shit that deep except Fran and Marni … Sometime Maggie, but usually not and — fuck, what is this about again?

What the fuck is interesting to read here? Really, what do you find interesting to read here?

I didn't make this. I actually found it on a blog about gutters. A gutter cleaning blog by a gutter cleaner. He also wants people to read his blog. http://www.sparkle-king.com/

I didn’t make this. I actually found it on a blog about gutters. A gutter cleaning blog by a gutter cleaner. He also wants people to read his blog.
http://www.sparkle-king.com/

I think we need a poll. A good old-fashioned honest to “jebus” poll.  A poll that not only says, “This is what I expect out of this retarded blog, but also, this is what I would like out of this blog,” because if stats have told me anything it’s all about you, and I’m fucking all ABOUT you, or at least making you happy.  That sounds funny but it’s really, truly, honest. (See, I told ya. ~Fran)

I want to write things you will enjoy and read.

So, in an effort to figure out the whys, we can and shall — I decree — take a no-shit poll.

It’s right there above this paragraph, can you see it?  For the first time in the history of “Had a Few Beers” we have an real poll. You can’t vote 12 times, you can’t vote for “I like ponies.” You can’t do anything but vote.

Like a good ol’ I-love-God-and-Country American, we’re gonna vote.

I’m curious to see the results. So please vote.  Or leave a comment, comments are also good.

Trash Can Wars Part 2 … Crossing the Rubicon

I can’t do this anymore.

Rebellion, open and honest rebellion, is my only option. The oppressed must rebel.

I have no guns, mind you. No weapons, save a bayonet I bought for like $5 in Iraq years ago. But desperate times, my friends, call for desperate measures.

I speak, of course, of my wife’s retarded – I mean insane, I mean full-blown weird – decision to remove the trash can from the house.

Moar Boobs!

I honestly just blogged, twice about a fucking trash can. Everyone deserves some boobs.

I talked about it here. But if you don’t want to read that, let me sum it up quickly.

My wife decided, for reasons that escape any known or sane definition of logic, to do away with the trash can. The MAIN trash can, mind you (the one in the kitchen), has been removed from the house entirely. In the trash can’s place we are currently using – and I couldn’t make this up if I tried – convenience store plastic bags hanging from the door knob.

Don’t try and work through the “why” of this command decision. There isn’t any way to rationalize it. It is devoid of reason and without logic. There is no, it-helps-with-recycling aspect to it. In fact, I’m pretty sure it does the exact opposite since all trash goes into the same plastic bag.

Ease can’t be the reason for the change. The small bags fill up every time someone farts. The only purpose, I can surmise, is to annoy the living hell out of me. Something an actual trashcan never did.

A beer ad from Brazil! I was trying to find a trash can full of beer cans and instead found this. You are very welcome.

A beer ad from Brazil! I was trying to find a trash can full of beer cans and instead found this. You are very welcome. ~Fran

Trust me on this one – TOTAL pain in the ass.

Besides filling up at a rate of every second, my wife insists the handles of each plastic bag be tied before being removed from the house. Because obviously, an untied plastic convenience store bag holding coffee grounds, empty beer cans and egg shells is tacky as hell, or an affront to god.

Or something.

Anyway, rebellion, or something akin to rebellion, is brewing. Soon I’ll be meeting with like-minded individuals (the cat) to discuss in hushed tones the revolution.

We’re on the cusp of blood being spilled. Well, not blood exactly, but at the very least beer and that’s c0mpletely fucked up.

The following exchange just took place.

“Damn, Todd! If you would just take the trash out when it’s full, I wouldn’t get mad,” she said.

“You know what would make this a lot simpler, using a trash can,” I explained. “It’s an ancient invention that has proven its worth throughout the ages. Having little bags the size of a fucking coin purse to deposit our waste into is both stupid and stupid. It’s stupid twice. It makes literally no sense. Logic cannot be applied to the decision, that YOU made. It’s impossible to logically justify this decision from any firm standing.”

The Angry Eye

Your logic has logic in it. This makes me mad. (Photo credit: jcgoforth)

At this point she became pissed.

“I’m doing it because of beer cans!”

That was her answer. I can’t explain it. You can’t explain it either.

Her logic is that there would be  too many beer cans in the trash can if we used the actual trash can. There are too many, thus the trash can is no longer going to be used. I also might add that we have a newly purchased, fully functional trash can, that she banished to the basement some weeks ago.

Now… I’ll be fair, I’ll be honest, I’ll bare my soul here. This blog is called Had A Few BEERS for Christ’s sake, so yes, the receptacles that deliver beer’s sweet, succulent love into my belly are eventually in need of disposal. My love, nay, devotion to beer produces (gasp) empty beer cans.

In our last house it was verboten to even place a beer can in the kitchen trash (I used the one in the garage to dispose of my empties). So her argument holds no water, or trash, as the case may  be.

So I think I’m going to take a G-gank approach to this problem and

just put the fucking trash can back in place. When confronted I will tell her it’s there because it’s stupid to not have it there. I’ll also use phrases like, “Because I said so.” “Trashcans are not evil.” “Who has the penis in this house?”  And, “Please honey, can’t we have a working trashcan, please?”

I’d type a lot more of this, but I obviously have a tiny bag of trash to take out.

I have restored the trash cans to their rightful place in the Oliver Republic.  Much like Caesar I fully expect to be stabbed.   Oh well, the die is cast.

I have restored the trash cans to their rightful place in the Oliver Republic. Much like Caesar, I fully expect to be stabbed. Oh well, the die is cast.

Finally, to anyone reading this and thinking, but what about Germany’s recycling laws, I’d like to reply, yes.

A fast note to Had A Few Beers readers: Fran, the awesome person who edits this, recently had surgery for chick stuff or a rotten gallbladder, or circumcision, I wasn’t really listening. Seriously though, I hope everyone reading this takes a moment to wish her a speedy recovery. (Fran you’re awesome and I hope you feel better, sans gallbladder).

I have glitter on my hands and I smell like hooker — stay out of your coworker’s desk

I smell like hooker.

In fact, I have glitter on me.

Don’t tell my wife okay?

Thanks.

Why I smell like hooker and have glitter on my body is best described with a photo …

There were issues … I still smell like coconut chickness and I’m starting to like it.

Yeah that. That right there. That’s the issue. Coconut Carmel Whip hand sanitizer and girly girl co-workers are the reason.

They’re at fault. Not me. No sir.

Earlier in the day I purchased two bags of “Bigs” bacon-flavored sunflower seeds because they’re flavored like bacon.  How anyone can pass them up in the store remains a mystery to many of us.

Anyway, after happily munching bacon-flavored sunflower seeds at my desk all damned day long, I’d worked my way thought every drink I had at my desk. I drank an old can of Citra found in the desk drawer, the Gatorade I bought with the sunflower seeds, a carton of old milk in the office fridge (bad decision). I was contemplating collecting the dew off plants outside when I finally broke down and went to the Shoppette.

The Shoppette, for those of you unfamiliar with military life, is basically a convenience store.  They have lots of convenient products, it’s never very clean and the cashier only has like $20 in the register.

An IV for my tongue (Salt fucks a tongue up!) was what I wanted. I considered buying a bag of ice and just sucking the cubes, one after the other.

I don’t understand how something so manly, with the name BACON right in the title, leaves me feeling so very, very dirty!

After asking my co-workers what they wanted, because I’m an awesome guy, I struck out on my five-minute endeavor. Because I’m quite the clever guy, and because I am basically a lazy bastard, I decide to also buy some beer for later when I get home.  I bought two Gatorades, a bag of chips for the boss and two, four-packs of Bitburger because nothing says you have shitty taste in beer like Bitburger purchased in Germany.

Proudly, I step up to the counter and engage in small talk.

I am fine today sir, just fine and you? Ah that’s splendid.  Busy?  No?  Well sometimes that’s good, my friend. Yes, yes I would like to hear about your special …. Wait, what’s all this fucking liquid.

Thankfully the store was empty, because as the cashier bagged the beers up it became obvious that one of the beers had a hole in it. It was obvious because there was fucking beer everywhere in little tiny puddles.  All over the counter, all over the bags, and a glistening trail on the linoleum leading up to the register.

I can only assume the cashier also has a long history with beer. Perhaps he has a blog called Ilikebeer.com, we may never know.  We both immediately sprung into action trying to locate the culprit. (To discover which beer can has the pinprick hole in it, one must firmly squeeze each can.)

Can you see where this is going?  Yeah, me too.  NOW I can.

I, of course, located the wayward can and when I gave it a firm squeeze, a pressurized stream of beer shot out all over my arm. Actually, it was worse than that, it shot back into the aisle and covered not only my arm, but my shirt and hands in the process.

I replaced the four-pack, paid for my order, then desperately looked for something to clean up with. The search proved futile. I’d have to stay beer-soaked until I got to the car where I had a bottle of, I’d soon learn, empty hand sanitizer.

A good 45 seconds of cursing later, I said fuck it and drove back to the office covered in drying beer.  Which, I think most of you know, smells like ass.

Throwing my boss his bag of chips, I looked for and located what appeared to be a bottle of hand sanitizer. I plucked it off my (absent at the time) coworker’s desk and applied a liberal dollop to my hand and to my arm and commenced with the sanitizing.

But in addition to the alcohol-smelling, germ-killing goodness, I was treated to stripper glitter, coconut and caramel whip, whatever the fuck that is.

So male friends this is the lesson. You can grab anything off a male coworker’s desk and use it for any manly purpose you so desire, but reach into your female coworker’s desk and come away smelling of strippers, bad decisions, and coconut.

Finally, damn it, is humanity just breaking down? There was a time that hand sanitizer just contained alcohol, some gel shit and it smelled like dead germs.    Who is the asshole who started adding glitter and coconut to this stuff?   Used to be that prisoners would take this hand sanitizer and light it on fire during riots, what are they doing with it now?  Exfoliating …

German driving tips … you can do it naked, while merging and while peeing. Just don’t pass on the right.

It occurred to me today, while driving of course, that I’ve done a disservice to fellow blogger, nay friend, Oh God My Wife Is German*.   You see he just moved to Germany, from Seattle I think, to join his wife.   If not Seattle then from the U.S. anyway and I, having lived here for the past five years should have offered him some driving advice.

I’m sorry OGMWIG, truly sorry.  I hope this makes up for it.

So as a public service announcement to anyone reading this that might find themselves driving someday in Germany and to OGMWIG I offer the following tips for driving in Germany.

Tip one:

Always, always collect photos of funny words on license plates.  In the European Union, well in the German part of the EU at least, license plates always consist of three or four letters followed by three or four numbers.   The numbers are rarely funny.

But the letters, they occasionally lead to hilarity.

You’ll find a good number of ‘ass’ ones and the occasional ‘fuk’ or ‘fuc’ and I always laugh at the ones that say ‘shit’ because really how funny is that?

But the winner goes to a good friend and co-worker.

He found the “klit” and to steal his own joke.

Trust me, though fuzzy, it says Klit. I’m just shocked it was found.

“I found it .. I found the Klit!”

Tip two:

Never pass on the right.

Seriously, the Germans while otherwise an understanding and caring society lose their shit over this.     I used to do it, no more.  Really if it means I need to go 5 KPH in the right lane so that I don’t pass the retard doing 6 KPM to my left, I’m a driving 5 KPH.

I could tell my German neighbors that I am only sexually aroused by male puppies that have been ritually shaved by midgets that are then lit on fire… they would respond with kindness, understanding and tolerance (seems something bad happened here back in the 30s and 40s, I don’t know) but should I confess to a right-lane pass of a vehicle, BAMO – I’d be beaten with sticks in the road and kicked.

So don’t pass on the right.

Tip three:

If there is room enough, literally room enough, for your car to merge in front of another then merge away.

You’re going to have to develop some seriously attuned spatial-reasoning skills because Germans can park, merge or otherwise cram their cars into spaces the size of shoeboxes.    Which fits the National stereotype nicely I think but still baffles the American psyche sometimes.

We’re Americans after all.  We’re used eight ‘god blessed and usually backed up’ lanes of super highway outside of Los Angles for the love of god.   Our parking spaces would be cattle grazing fields here.  In American when I merged I demanded, DEMANED WITH CAPITAL LETTERS, two football (American football at that) fields in front of me and one behind me.  Further I expected the national anthem to play when I put on my turn signal on four miles back and usually anticipated that angels would sing too me as I slowly, ever so slowly, drifted into the other lane.

Not here.

Here it’s all

“Can I make it?”

“Go!”

Countless times on the Autobahn I’ve been driving a safe and sane 250 KPH approaching a semi on the right lane with a four-cylinder plastic car behind it.

Now that driver has to calculate, as I head toward him at speeds far exceeding my IQ, how long I will have to stop, can he jump into the left lane fast enough to give me enough warning and am I currently writing this blog on my phone while driving?

The fuckers always always do it.   One minute you’re rocking out to Lionel Richie’s ‘All night long’ and the next minute everything from the backseat is hitting you in the back of the head, the breaks are on fire and you’ve, again, pooped yourself.

Tip four:

The Germans are better drivers than Americans are.

By and large they are.  Get over it.  It takes like 20 years and costs the national debt of Greece to get a license here.   Also if you really want to have fun over beers some night ask an older German how Greece is doing.

Never mind, don’t do that.

Point is that, by and large, they are better drivers than we are because we learned from our dads and they learned from someone with a PHD in driving.

My dad:  “Son when someone’s riding your ass your best bet is to slam on your brakes and teach them people a lesson!”**

German PHD driving instructor: “Ven das car behind you ist too close you must maintain ze current speed und no vary your velocity!”

There are tons, tons and tons of antidotal stories I’ve heard about Germans being fucked-up drivers, most of them I can fully believe.   Can I believe a friend saw a German dusting the dashboard of his new car with an unused paint brush at 120 KPH?

You bet I can.

I think I can prove they’re better drivers, apart from the no-speed limit autobahn thing.

Let’s play ‘let’s pretend’ for a moment.   Let’s pretend the governors of California, Oregon and Washington State decided collectively that not only was a speed limit unnecessary on parts of I95 but that it should be declared an honest to shit race track.

What would be the result?

If your answer to that hypothetical was, ‘the 82nd Airborne division’ and ‘a state of national emergency,’ you and I agree.

But the Germans, those whacky Germans, they gave us nurburgring and the less famous hockenheimring, stretches of actual road that I’m led to believe are used by normal 9 to 5 commuters and people that want to drive their cars to level 11.

Grandma taking the grandkids to a kid movie and a new Porsche owner really working the gears, on the same road … the mind melts.

Tip Five:

You can pee anywhere you like.    Well almost anywhere.

All those little parking areas along the autobahn, you know the ones.  The ones with the picnic tables no one seems to use that are always populated by trucks with truckers sleeping in them.

They’re basically open air urinals.

Weird I know.

You never see whole families at these places, using the bathroom or even using the picnic tables (because they smell like pee).  You just see truckers sleeping and men in suits peeing …

Tip six:

And I saved the best for last man.

You can drive naked.    You and the wife can tool around the German countryside naked as they day you were both born.   I look forward to the stories.

Seriously I heard it from a German friend so it must be true.   Seems a German man during the one hot day a year in Germany decided that air conditioning was for suckers and that he’d be cooler (metaphorically and physically maybe) driving naked.   It was a great plan until the popo pulled him over and gave him a ticket for, wait for it, driving naked.

Later though, to the judge, he argued that he had every right to be naked inside of his own property (like his house) and that his car was in fact his own property so what was the problem?

The judge let him off.   So go ahead and drive around naked, I’m 100 …. Well … 90 … well 60 percent … okay check with an attorney first on that one.

* Read this blog.  It’s about an American that married a German and moved here, HILARITY.  Oh God My Wife I German is too funny, if you don’t read it I hate you, a lot with like extra hate.

** My dad was actually a driving teacher so that never happened.  His actual advice at the time would have been more akin to “Son we aren’t getting home until you get this car going off this hill in first gear.”  It took three weeks.

Stop F’ing with me Germany … also I feel a bit paranoid. We should go to the sauna.

Germany is fucking with me.

Or maybe it’s the weather that’s fucking with me.

It’s likely best if you imagine me as a meth addict saying those two things.   A meth addict that’s been awake for eight days, hasn’t showered for 10, is covered in sores and this has gotten way off topic.

Look, I know, just as I know I will write another retarded update to this blog that the gray clouds and constant drizzle are about to hit us but, at of this mid-September point it is all 70-degrees and sunny.   If the easiest job in the world is

Brussels, Looking Hot

Like this only in Germany and crap. (Photo credit: clappstar)

Phoenix weatherman (It’ll be hot and sunny tomorrow) the second easiest should be a weatherman in Germany (bring an umbrella!) and its taunting me because you can feel the weather SLOWLY changing but without any of that normal half cloudy, half rainy crap that September usually seems constructed of.

But I’m VERY sure that in all the Septembers I’ve been here in Germany (five of them if I recall) I’m pretty sure I was wearing a jacket at this point.   But not this fall, not this September, its 70 degrees in the afternoon and I should love it.

I should …

You see I grew up in Phoenix, hence the weatherman joke a moment ago, where the sun told you to shut the hell up and get back inside on or about March 1st and didn’t stop flailing your hide until about December 15th.

Dagmar grew up in another hot … oh wait it snows there in the winter.   Half-credit only honey and really it never was that hot when we visited.  Warm yes.   Phoenix hot?  No.

The point is we both like hot weather.   We love it.   LOVE it.  We’ve actually told friends we love hot weather with capital letters.   “Hi, we love hot weather with capital letters,” we said.   It was awkward.

But it’s a good job here in Germany.   Good people, interesting work and I’ve since learned (being from Phoenix) that snow is just water, it can’t hurt you and if you put on more clothes the cold can be tolerable.

Who knew?

Which brings me to the German saunas, always a popular topic if the word searches that lead people here are any clue (perverts!).    Besides sweating while naked next to total strangers, during warm weather, there are ample places to lie out in the sun at the Sauna we go to.   There’s also a heated pool and sleeping rooms and there’s even a natural lake, and back in July and August when the sun was just ‘a-rockin’ it was awesome to jump into its cold water.

Point is we both like to tan and if you can tan in the buff why not do it?  We even seek out the nude beaches here in Europe when we go on vacation, again if you’re going to tan and you can tan in the buff, do it.

I’ll giggle like a school kid on my death bed if the cause of my demise is skin cancer, and I’ll ask for a beer and a smoke after the diagnosis.

We went there all summer long and it was awesome.    Dripping with sweat from the good old sun Dagmar would ask me if I want to go to the next special ‘honey sauna’ and I’d laugh and laugh.

No dear, I’m covered in my own sweat at the moment and when I get tired of that there’s an ice-cold pool right there to turn-off the heat.  Why would I subject myself to being in a super-hot box when obviously Mr. Sun is right here more than happy to meet my needs, and I’m getting tanned to boot.   You’re ice sauna doesn’t do that does it?

We even talked another couple we’ve been friends with for years and years into coming with us by using phrases like, “look you’ve been in Germany for years, shouldn’t you at least try it,” and “wanna see my weiner?”

Cover of "National Lampoon's Vacation [UM...

Naked vacation with friends, we can invite Chevy Chase and make a movie … only it wasn’t. At all.

I had this whole idea that I’d blog about going to the naked sauna with friends and what that was like.  I even told Oh god my wife is German dude I would but in the end it was about as funny as unpacking the groceries.   Maybe even less funny, depending on what you bought.    They’re good friends, seeing them naked didn’t cause any bit of whacky-funny stories like you’d see in a National Lampoon Vacationmovie, damn it.

Friends if you’re reading this, thanks for nothing, assholes.

Dagmar’s going to proof read this in a moment and say something to the effect of, I thought this was about the weather?   And she’s wrong, because it is about the weather and the sauna because the two go hand in hand damn it.

Last week I scanned and scanned the weather.  I checked the iPhone weather app like I was expecting a call from my dealer, I hit refresh on weather.com and weather underground like a junkie.  I even asked the guy that empties our trash.   Everyone agreed, Saturday would be nice, clear with a high of 70 something.

So what happened Friday?   Sunny and 70 is the correct answer.  What happened Saturday?   Overcast with a 100% chance of rain on the way to the sauna?  Yes it was.  What happened Sunday?   Sunny with a temperature of 73ish you ask, yes it was.

Why are you fucking with me Germany?    Also I think the cops are watching from the retired German neighbor’s house across the street.   Yeah, I sound a bit paranoid.

So, what happened today after I drove home in the 70something degree weather with my windows down enjoying the clear blue sky?   Yeah, I Googled it.  There’s a dip on Thursday, with a chance of rain, but otherwise clear skies and 70s.

I’m totally buying tickets tomorrow, one more ride on the sun train.  Chase the dragon man  …

Spicy lemonade with a chance of hallucinations … guest blogger with a trendy weight-loss plan, what can go wrong?

This is part one of what I hope are many parts … Today another mystery guest (cause no one wants their real name associated with this thing) talks about day one a diet called ‘master cleanse’ or some such crap.

Here we go …

Today I kicked off day 1 of my 10 day Master Cleanse adventure. “What the F is that” you say? It’s pretty simple … and by simple I mean fucking-stupid crazy …

For ten days I will forego solid food for a “lemonade” mixture of lemon juice,

just lemonade, for ten days, what could go wrong?

maple syrup and cayenne pepper. That’s right. Ten days, no food, just spicy lemonade. You can get all the details here.

So how did it to come to this? I’m an American and I’ve lived in Germany for four years now. I really look forward to getting back home every year or so, just to take in some American culture: Shopping and eating.

Well, after two weeks of gorging myself on every restaurant chain in sight back home in the States, I’m at my heaviest. weight. ever. So what better way to follow up a two week saturated fat binge than to chase is with a crash fad diet? I mean, right … ?

Exactly. Which brings me back to day one. Weighing in at a depressing 192.2 lbs., this morning was my starting point and I’m now about to call it a day.

So far, I can report that I am fucking hungry as shit and I would gladly strangle a transient for the chance to chew on stale bread … Other than that, so far, so good! The lemonade is just enough to keep me from gnawing my arm off, but it is only day one. Apparently, day two and three are much harder … as are day 5, day 7, day 9, day 4 and 6, 8 and 10 too … God this is going to suck …

I’m looking forward to seeing what I can shed in just 10 days, though. Also any side effects that include hallucinations or the perceived ability to fly or see through walls would be sweet but I won’t count on it …

So anyway, if you ever wanted to watch someone live-blog eating their own arm, stay tuned …

Need help annoying your partner during long drives, this updates for you!

Summer’s here and like many of you Dagmar and I just spent a wonderful, relaxing and nightmarish 20 odd hours in the car together.

Oh what a joy, the things you learn when you’re cooped up in a car with someone are remarkable.

Yes, yes I DO think history pod casts are interesting even after 8 hours!

Yes, yes I DO think history pod casts are interesting even after 8 hours!

For instance did you know that while the someone is exiting an autobahn rest stop, madly working the gears, checking mirrors and judging whether or not that Porsche in the left lane, driving a reasonable and insane 200 mph, is going to suddenly change lanes, that’s the perfect time to ask them to hand you things.

“Honey I know you’re pumping the breaks like a madman because of another of Germany’s infamous stau’s has appeared out of thin air but hand me that water bottle.”

Perfectly reasonable request.

In her defense she was probably close to insanity at this point because I’d subjected her to a collective 15 hours of Mike Duncan’s “The History of Rome” podcast.

Now I Love (yes, with a capital L) me some, “The History of Rome”, I love it so much I’ve listed to all the podcasts three times!   Yeah I’m dork so what, Cato the Elder would have said … oh never mind, sorry.  I should have been clued in though during hour 13 of the podcast when she literally started yelling at the radio, “Shut up, Shut up, Shut up!”

So maybe I missed a sign or something.

Also honey I give you a ‘C’ when it comes to bringing up uncomfortable subjects.    Sure you get an ‘A’ on subject matter, why WAS I flirting with that girl, but a ‘F’ on timing … I mean come on we were pulling into the driveway at that point.

Another point is that yes, maybe I am a male-chauvinistic pig but when I grew up dad did all the driving.  If they were both in the car, pops had the wheel.  I see it as the man’s duty, like mowing the lawn, re-shingling  the roof and looking at porn.   “No honey I can’t go to bed yet, this porn’s not going to watch itself is it?”

You, yeah you reading this, do you keep change in the car?  You know in the divider thing between the passenger and driver’s seat?  Maybe you keep it in the ashtray?  Do you?  If so never, I repeat Never, let Dagmar in your car.    This type of change storage is an affront to the very laws of our existence and it must be policed up, sorted and stored in a proper change receptacle (this little bag in her purse).    Loose change (both the kind in my car and the retarded September 11 2001 conspiracy movie) drive her nuts.  Makes no never mind that the next time I need 35 euro cents I’m screwed, everything has to be organized.

Which leads to another fun game I call, ’round up the trash!’  Now I’m all in favor of having a car that’s reasonably clean and who am I kidding, without anyone else in my car the interior quickly begins to resemble a public landfill.   But I’m not so stupid that I don’t pick up before she, or anyone else, gets in the car but it’s always amusing that during long trips she become litter patrol super captain of the world!    For instance, I’m a filthy smoker and yeah, yeah don’t smoke it’s disgusting and filthy (really don’t), but I’ll often put empty cigarette packs in a little cubby hole on the bottom of the driver’s side door panel.   Heck tons of stuff can go there, empty coffee cups, empty drink bottles, tissues whatever.

These are great opportunities for her to ask me to hand her things during my before mentioned attempts at passing a 1950s Winnebago while someone tries to park their Lamborghini in my ass.

“Todd can you hand me that empty cigarette pack?”

“Sure thing my love, just as soon as I’m done merging into a construction zone surrounded by Italian drivers.  I mean if we live that is.”

This is more of a suggestion in italy, I mean if you want to go right who am I to stop you?

This is more of a suggestion in italy, I mean if you want to go right who am I to stop you?

Which, unrelated to my lovely bride and her adorable passenger habits brings me to crossing international European borders.   Entering Austria from Germany is a yawn, like visiting a sibling, they’re the same as you but different.  Entering Italy from Austria is akin to visiting Charles Manson wearing a shirt that says, stab me please while handing him a knife.

Want to drive 70 KPH in the fast lane, go right ahead in Italy.   Lane changes need not be indicated by signal lights, just change lanes damn it, extra points if you cut someone off and then slow down.   Letting someone merge into your lane means you have a small penis and yes, yes you can slow down to check out the hot chick.

Crossing back into Germany it’s like everyone flips a switch and the rules count again.

“Holy shit, did you see that?   That dude just used his ‘blinker’ to indicate he was making a lane change.  Someone should tell the Italian’s about this!”

I think I’m going to get a lot of support from the men reading this next point.   If the start time, for getting on the road, is agreed upon, say 9 a.m., then 8:45 is not the time to start elaborate philosophical discussions.   See we were visiting our best friends (hey Maggie and Alex) and I guess, the fifteen minute mark is the time to start a discussion about ‘what it all means’ or ‘why are we here’ or ‘are Oreo’s better than Chips ahoy?”.   But Alex I do want to add that I’m in.  In  retrospect, I’m down with the Somalia plan but you’ll have to navigate because …

Listen officer, the GPS TOLD me to drive over this guy's lawn.

Listen officer, the GPS TOLD me to drive over this guy’s lawn.

I confession I suck at directions.  Thank god for GPS.  I failed land navigation as a young soldier at the (then called PLDC) Warrior Leader’s Course.  I failed it AND because of a crap-ton of snow we were doing it in garrison.  Those of you that know what I’m talking about are laughing at me right now, go ahead … dicks.   For those that don’t know what I’m talking about the instructor basically told me, “go four blocks that way, turn left two blocks and tell me what the sign there says.”  Yeah, I fucked that up, repeatedly.So YES honey you DO have a better sense of direction than I do but that’s like me saying I’m better at golfing to a retarded, physically handicapped 5 year old.  It’s not much of a victory.