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Ah Sunday, relaxing Sund … A lesson in reading your spouses insane side.

Are you the early riser in your house?  If so you and I have something in common.

Go us!

You and I look forward to the few peaceful moments that come with getting out of bed early and enjoy the  precious few quiet moments we have in alone in the house.   If you watch TV in the morning you’re careful to monitor the volume.  You might even be selective about which lights you turn on in order to not disturb the other sleeping people in the house.

You’re, like I, am trying to milk every precious second out of the serene, tranquil morning that you can.*

I like to turn the coffee pot on, tip-toe into the living room and, because I live in Europe and get the American Forces Network on my TV, watch yesterday’s evening news – this morning, while surfing on the iPad.

Weekdays I get a half an hour tops.

But on weekends I typically get a lot more.   So much so that I might even, don’t tell the wife, take a quick 15 to 30 minute nap.   Because life in the 40’s is just that fucking exciting!  Don’t tell the kids …

Then two hours later she wakes up and berates me, while wiping the sleep from her eyes, for not having done ‘anything’ for the past few hours.

Read that last bit again, I’ll wait.

I, fool that I am, thought this Sunday would be like all the others.   True my suspicions should have been ‘hyper-level 10 million level’ when she not only woke up at the same time I did but literally ‘feet hit the floor’ before mine.

Still though no cause to worry, right?

I drifted down stairs to find her brewing tea and the coffee pot already on.

Full-disclosure, though I am awake earlier it does not mean I am in any way capable of making a decision more important than, “should I scratch my crotch or not” for at least 4 cups of coffee and/or 30 minutes.

But not Dagmar, oh no, not her.

She can go from dead asleep to let’s go run a marathon.  Literally, let’s go run, put your stuff on, screw it lets just run in our pajamas, come on let’s go, let’s go!

Her, and you people that are like her, scare me deep, deep inside.   I cannot understand you and I’d be sympathetic if I wasn’t so full of rage toward you.    Slow the fuck down Sparky, we got the whole day ahead of us.

Normally after this many years my morning ritual, when she sees it, is

Well who needs coffee now?

My mornings are … wait huh. Okay I had a point when I start … boobies. Photo shamelessly ripped from Newscorpse.com

respected.   I’m afforded an opportunity to drink coffee, blow my nose, scratch my crotch and make sneering gestures at Fox news anchor Sheppard Smith (an unfortunate consequence of AFN is that during the 6 to 7 a.m. time period it’s him or Piers Morgan – even in my foggy state I pick Sheppard over Piers because Piers just sucks. Plus side note, I predict it’s only a matter of time before Sheppard is caught having dude-on-dude sex somewhere embarrassing, like Florida.  Side note to the side note if you Google “fox news anchor” and select images (if you’re a guy) you’ll thank me … hello ladies!).

And that’s how I overcame my addiction to methamphetamines using nothing but a case of motor oil and a stick of butter.

See what I did there?  I used a joke about getting off track to refer back to the getting off track so we could get back on track.   I’m a geniou … maybe I should just get back on track?

So there I am on the couch yesterday morning, hot and first cup of coffee in hand and there Dagmar is with her cup of tea (when did you become British for the love of God?).  Typical morning really only she’s up of her own volition and the sun isn’t – which tells me something is afoot.

Then it happens, then the statement is made and it is matched by action.   Slamming the footrest back into the sofa without regard to ‘quiet time’ rules at all she jumped to her feet.  Her eyes were wild and her muscles seemed, at least would have seemed, were I awake, to swell.

She became Hulk-Dagmar and there would be action this Sunday morning, quiet time and coffee be damned!

It got much worse as the day went on but I couldn’t take any photos because I was holding televisions up, or something

There. Would.  Be. Action.

I think she was also wearing a green t-shirt which likely led to the hulk analogy, also I was almost asleep.

There are certain ‘thoughts’ expressed in this house that are vocalized but never really acted upon.   For instance in all our years of marriage we have never ate ‘rice and beans’ the entire month even though I’ve been told she’ll do it, she totally can do it, and if I don’t watch out, we will do it.

Hint:  She won’t but it’s fun to hear.

That’s an example of a threat that, made during a ‘discussion about money’, will never happen.  I think it’s called a Paper-Dagmar Argument or something.   I should have paid a lot more attention in class.

Then there are the others.  They’re not threats, they’re warnings.   Things we’re going to do this weekend.  “We’re going to go hike up to the castle”, “we’re going to go to Ikea”, “we’re going to clean the house to within an inch of its life” and “we’re going to go to the blah, blah, blah.”

Any husband reading this understands that probability factors in to each of these ‘statements.’   Yeah maybe we’re going to the event this weekend but you dear wife might, you might blank-percent might, change your mind.   Most of us agree (at the time) that the plan is a good one and start influencing however we can the odds back into our favor.

Our ‘favor’ is code for those of you that are interested for, ‘staying at home, drinking beer and maybe having a fire.’

It’s in the married guy’s bible, chapter II paragraph 4.5.  Look it up.

The one that scares the shit out of me though is the cleaning one.  I can’t predict it, I’m helpless when the cleaning beast rips out of her chest ala Aliens and I know it’s going to hurt me.    The cleaning one is brought up a lot but it’s usually just a light, once over the house, nothing heavy.  But once in a while I find myself moving furniture out of a room and fear for the cat’s life.

So yeah it was the cleaning one.

This is the woman that makes me lift the TV up so she can dust UNDER it.  This request is made and granted during ‘normal weekend’ cleaning.

Can you guess what deep-cleaning consists of?

She once vacuumed a large area rug then turned it upside down and vacuumed the bottom of the rug because German-Puerto Rican people are inside.

This woman once cleaned out and reorganized my toolbox because she wanted me to start a blog or because she’s just that nuts.  You pick.

Truth be known, between moving furniture and polishing the undersides of things I was allowed to listen to podcasts and at about 1 p.m. or so was authorized beer.  The warden has a heart.

To anyone, and yeah I’m looking at you, that says, “You’re the man of the house you do what you want” well I guess your situation is different than mine.   Maybe your dynamic isn’t the same as mine.   To me when she really, really fuck really, wants to do it I’m not going to stop her and I’m going to be a dick if I don’t participate.

Besides I’m too busy holding up the TV so it can be dusted under to really argue and have you MET Dagmar?

*  I have no idea how this works with kids.  I just assume they wake up, poop on themselves, set the pets on fire, eat sugar and yell.    I’m not far off am I?  I forgot only barfing right?  Oh and the cartoons.  Never forget the cartoons.

Rodney King’s autopsy shows we’re all idiots again, of COURSE he died with drugs in his system

The medical report’s in.  Turns out Rodney King died in his pool with a shit-ton of drugs and booze in his body and we as American’s suck, I’m not even going to add insult to injury with a phrase like ‘we American’s suck balls,’ it just sucks.

Why did we make fun of him, of his response to the situation into which he was thrust?  I know I did it too.  “Can’t we all just get along?”

Can’t we?

Fuck, really can’t we?

The simple answer is, “We can’t.”

We’re collectively too behind much of the modern world to look past the color of a person’s skin to do such.

Rodney saw it and said it.

Screenshot of footage of King beaten by LAPD o...

Holy crap sir, there is a bee on you! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Look the guy got his ass beat by the police, whether that was a ‘just’ ass-beating or an ‘unjust’ ass-beating does not matter, it’s what happened next that matters.

Riots broke out, across the country.  Riots about racial inequality, riots about police brutality and riots that we are still largely a nation of bigots broke out.

A repressed underclass took to the streets to voice their displeasure with ‘American Justice’ and what did the man that was the spark that set the riot to flame do, he asked us to get along.

He said, “Can’t we all just get along?”

And we mocked him for it.

No Mr. King.  We’re too busy saying your skin color is too black for my liking and yours is too brown for my liking and fuck all … we can’t do what you ask, we can mock it to no end but we can’t do the very simple thing you ask.

We can’t just get along.

I just deleted a few paragraphs because they were an attack on the political right, it may or may not have been a valid attack on the right, we’ll never know because I deleted them.  Anyone with any political brain at all can Google “voter registration” and form, what I feel, is a logical opinion.   It’s not a problem that needs fixing, it’s a problem the right needs to solve to serve their agenda.

It’s more the political left that left me pissed off, yeah you see what I did there.   We’re all tired of that meme, I’ll drop it post haste.

Where were you?   Why did his “can’t we all just get along” become mockery and not an anthem?   I was too politically naive at the time to give a shit but really shouldn’t the answer have been, “no really can’t we?”

Homosexual men, lesbians, immigrants, union members, government workers, middle class voters … all of you, myself included, I call to you, why isn’t “can’t we all just get along” equal to “all men are created equal”?

Delete the word men feminists reading this and use the term it’s meant to represent, human, why didn’t we all rally around that phrase, why was it mocked?

Rodney King never asked to be thrust into the spotlight but when he was he took the high road and said, boiled down, we’re all humans … We mocked him for that simple point.

We should be ashamed and I pray the history books are kinder to him than our collective idiocy was.   He was in the face of overwhelming  pressure, calmer than most of would have been.

“Can’t we all just get along?”

No Rodney, we can’t, there’s still a lot of work to do.  Rest in peace though, you took the high road when we fucked it up, yet again.

Chicks are evil; a case study. Also I’ll go to bed when I want Mom!

Women are evil.

It’s because they are helpless little frail creatures unable to confront men that makes them evil.

If you ask a man married for more than 6 months if women are evil he will think for a moment and say, they can be.  Ask any man married longer than 6 months if women are evil and he will tell you stories.

This is a story.

As I just said women are frail creatures that like flowers, the color pink or purple and cats.  They like cats because cats kill stuff and that makes no sense at all when you think about it.

Men on the other hand are hulking brutes that invented things like guns, beer and playboy centerfolds.  We’re just smart enough to not kill ourselves at any given moment and sometimes we’re not all that smart then even.

Perhaps it’s not that women are evil it’s just that women are smarter and the ones that we’ve let into our daily lives (day after, after day, after day, after day, after … oh god I need a beer) they gain an understanding of how to manipulate our behavior without our ever knowing our behavior was manipulated until after the manipulation occurred and then damn, it’s too late, you’ve been manipulated!

Women are manipulating.

My wife’s under the impression that I stay up to late and, years ago, she was right.  It’s hard to use a brain at anywhere near functioning capacity when you routinely go to bed at 2 a.m. and have to wake up at 6:30 a.m. but lately, the last year or so, it’s been a reasonable, I think, 9:30 or 10:00 at night for me.

I’m old screw you and get off my .com kids.

Going to bed a bit earlier is a good thing but for her that means 8:00 p.m. because the cat needs milking in the morning and someone needs to feed the washer and dryer I guess.

Klause died a lot ... it's okay though we 'sexxored all the ladies' and were 'mad pimps" but we died a lot really

Klause died a lot … it’s okay though we ‘sexxored all the ladies’ and were ‘mad pimps” but we died a lot really. We were level fail mostly.

Truly I don’t need to be up until 1 a.m. reading scientific journals and … okay I was totally trying to get to level 78 on my super wizard on everdork, or worldofdorkness or you’re not my mom so shut up.

Anyway in my mind 9:30 is perfectly reasonable.  It gives me plenty of time to post “it is NOT” on Facebook and to like people’s photos of kittens.   I specifically do not share things that people say 99 percent of their friends will not share because I want to be in the majority for once.

So I use that time to NOT do things as well, pretty smart amiright?!?!?!

So last night came and at 8 p.m. the following (typical dialog) occurred.

Her:   It’s 8 and I’m going to bed are you coming?

Me:  Not yet I’ve got a lot of facebook liking about this whole Chickfila thing to do!

Her: What?

Me:  (with an eye-roll) Loser, are you new to the ‘net’ or what?  If you support gay rights you have to go on facebook and like all the Chickfila appreciation days posts you see … man go to bed, I have work to do.

Her:  Umm no, that’s not right Todd.  The folks liking the Chickfila appreciating day are supporting the company’s decision to give millions of dollars to anti-gay marriage groups.

Me:  No, that’s not … wait, they are against (quick Google) HOLY SHIT I HAVE LIKE 40 THOUSAND LIKES TO UNLIKE!
Her:  Come to bed soon.

I did go to bed is the point.   At 9:30 after a vigorous work out of my right hand index finger during operation ‘unlike’.

And slept like a baby.

I don’t know about you but I’m a one snooze on the alarm kinda person, sure sometimes we hit it twice but I try for only one personally.

The alarm when off, I smacked it, swore under my breath that someone should

I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.

I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.

legislate a 10 am start of work law or something and then at 6:40 a.m. did my duty and got out of bed.   Bathroom break taken care of I headed down stairs for a cup of coffee and scan of the headlines on the iPad only to discover some asshole invented a 5:40 a.m. and I was currently living in it.

If you don’t know what happened go but up and read the first paragraph again.   Part of her plan to get me to go to bed earlier is to start setting my alarm earlier.

Women are evil I tell you.

I fixed her though, I took a nap on the couch from 5:50 to 6:30 … it was a pretty good nap too.

Yeah, yeah the Olympics … yawn.

Kittens are cute, unless they're killing stuff ...

Kittens are cute, unless they’re killing stuff …

This is a Had A Few Beers Blog first.  This update is a confession, and its not going to be a popular one.  Most of you will exit out of this blog with haste, swear loudly for ever allowing yourself into being fooled into reading this in the first place.  

A few of you will vomit in revulsion.  Someone may in fact faint.

No. I don’t hate kittens (I love kittens).  I’ve never kicked a baby (I love babies) and I’ve never robbed an elderly person (more than once).

It’s just that …

The Olympics bore me.  

There I said it. 

Let the hate mail flow in. 

You see I was born without the sports gene.   I blame my Mom.   Dad’s side of the family has the sports gene, Mom’s side of the family clearly lacks it.

You see I’ll play your goddamn sport, I don’t care what it is I’ll go out on the field and utterly make an ass of myself trying hard and wrecking my body in the process but fuck if I care how professionals or Olympians (is there a difference) play it.   I’ll even enjoy playing (albiet poorly) it.  But I could care less about watching it.  

But I’ll play basketball with you and I’ll suck at it but I’ll try my best.  I’ll get creamed as in “OH SHIT THAT HURT,” by someone twice my size playing American football but I’ll at least get the ball a few yards closer to the goal before that happens.

But when it comes to watching any sport (pro or otherwise) on TV, here is my rating on a scale of one to ten of their importance to me.  Ten being more awesome than a topless beer drinking contest and one being equal to a math test.

College football:  1

Pro sports of any kind: -78

Army vs. Navy Football: 1.002

Army vs. Navy anything else: Who cares?

Baseball: My balls itch, I should Google why my balls itch.

Hockey: see next entry.

Boxing: Jesus, ouch!   Why the hell do they … okay 1.00000003.  No, no it’s like -1.0000001, screw that.

Golf:  I suck, and I had lessons too, GOD I really sucks -1,000,000!

Point is I don’t give a shit about most sports and surely don’t give a shit about the Olympics.   I don’t care if the Chinese swimmer snorted

What the hell do you mean the Chinese have six more medals than ... oh who gives a shit ...

What the hell do you mean the Chinese have six more medals than … oh who gives a shit …

performance enhancement drugs off the Olympic organizer’s penis, then looked into the camera and said “haha American I use ‘roids’ so f’ you”. 

I say load the bastards up on drugs.  We already KNOW what the limits of the human body can do and even if we don’t the difference is measured in like milliseconds.  

With dope these athletes will absolutely shatter the records.  The testing shouldn’t be a matter of ‘do they have performance enhancing drugs in their systems’ it should be do they have ‘enough performance enhancing drugs in their systems?’

Did competitor X from country Y just test positive for excessive amounts of feral-dog testicle extraction?  

Yes? 

This year's Olympic Games are sponsored by Anabolic steroids!

This year’s Olympic Games are sponsored by Anabolic steroids!

Great get them on the field and for the love of god let the fans know.

I’m also the guy that wrote to Lance Armstrong and recommended that he put a nitrous canister into his anus for added performance during the race’s final leg so I might just be outside the mainstream here.

My phone just buzzed and that’s means there’s an ‘important news update.’  This happened because I set my phone to only buzz when there are important updates.

Like you know when Madonna flashed her over 50-year-old ass at a concert in Rome ?   Those kinds of updates.   You know, important shit updates.

No the ‘news alert’ is about someone, and I assume it’s an American someone, won a gold in something at the Olympics.   You can be on a cereal box now, congradufuckinglations.

We are so doing this wrong.

Which leads me to the following statement;  fuck sports on TV all together.

Seriously fuck them, fuck the players, fuck the coaches and mostly fuck you, the fans.

What the fuck do they do?  Why did Joe Paterno have a fucking statue on campus in the first place?  Because he led a group of young men to better fight over a football than another group of young men? 

A football costs like what, twelve bucks, maybe twenty, I don’t know.  Maybe it’s a hundred bucks but for fuck’s sake please stop fighting over it assholes. You’re not heroes to anyone and the game is pointless.   It may be fun to watch, sure, but it’s fucking pointless.

Same with the Olympics, and oddly they piss me off more.  Let’s just play a thought game.   What if fucking Guam wins EVERY gold medal there is.  I don’t care what the contest, they win every gold medal there is in it.  

The day after the Olympics, Russia is still Russia, Germany is still Germany, China is still China and Guam is still Guam.  

I don’t get it, I never will.  

I see the appreciation for a talented sports figure, I do.  Anyone that has trained themselves to that level deserves a look; they deserve your ‘appreciation’ maybe but do they deserve the level of fame they achieve? 

Certainly they do not. 

The Roman’s got this crap right 2,000 years ago.   Gladiators, charioteers and actors were famous but they were the lower rung run of society and you wouldn’t be caught dead talking to one.  Okay maybe it shouldn’t be that bad but they’re not glowing examples of all that’s good in the world with the exception of Michael Phelps and the bong incident, which was hysterical and classic.

My boss reads this blog.   I know because he has had to ‘talk to me’ once, twice or every update about the content here. 

He love’s sports.

I don’t. 

One of the most interesting talks we’ve ever had (non-work related at least) is about the whole Penn state fiasco.   

Child molestation aside, and no you can’t ever put that aside, I’ll never understand why we elevate people who are basically either A: chasing something meaningless (the ball) or B: directing the chasing of something meaningless (the game result) to hero like status.

Why did we do that?  What beyond their ability to chase a ball around did they do to tell us they were good people?  Sure there are exceptions, but they prove the rule.  They chase a ball around a court for no purpose other than it pays well.  You followed the ‘ball’ well, why?  It paid a lot of money and/or fame and/or the attention it gets you that’s why.

The result makes no difference and my brain cannot swallow it.

You know an award I could get behind?  The award that thanks Guatemala, China, Japan, the U.S., Russia and that country we all hate, yeah that one, for putting a manned mission on Mars and returning them home safely.  That award means something.  

Not to you?   Fuck Mars you say?  I don’t agree but I can get behind your disagreement, let’s put it toward ending world hunger, disease, war or stopping me from ever blogging again.

Any of that is better than the amount of effort we spend on fencing, I don’t care what your nationality. 

Because seriously fencing, who the fuck fences?

Holy crap I’m naked and so are they!

This photo I found on the internet proves Germany is cold, ’cause the internet never lies!

Germany is a cold, wet, cold, freezing, cloud-covered, cold, testicle shrinking, shivering, cold country. But it has really good beer and food so, you know, it’s a balance. I’ve lived here with Dagmar since about 2006. I think I could go on and on about Germany and Germans. Their little quirks, annoying things, stuff that is just bizarre, stuff I wish more Americans did (myself included) … it’s obviously a country with its own identity and culture.

This is about the German, or at least a part of the German, culture that has absolutely no aversion to nudity. Let me refine that a bit. At German saunas the people, both male and female, mingle nude and it’s not as weird as you would think. Or it is as weird as you would think, but they don’t care, they’re naked.

As any 10-year-old with the ability to set Google’s safe search option to “off” likely understands, beaches in Europe are generally topless. Actually I can get rid of the qualifying “generally” I think. It’s safe to say that on any given beach in Europe, you will find topless women.

Someone recently asked me why I was still here in Europe. The above paragraph is the reason. It’s topless beaches and beer. I can drink a beer and see lots and lots of boobies. And I like beer and boobies. Together … well it’s a little like heaven.

But back to saunas. Germans think there are health benefits to sauna going. I have no clue if they’re right or not, but I do know enjoy the sauna, particularly in the winter when the thermometer is pegging out at a high in the 20s.

This is what i will deal with for an eternity when I die …

The place I’m most familiar with is a water park named, oddly enough, Miramar. If you have kids I think you’ve been to a similar place. It has a giant wave pool, screaming children, water slides, screaming children, inner tube rides, screaming children and a snack bar/real bar occupied by, you guessed it, screaming children.

Why the hell would I go to a place infested with screaming children?. Because apart from the kids play area, they also have an area that consists of hot pools and quiet rooms and, most importantly, they have the nude side.

The Nude Side.

NAKED PEOPLE EVERYWHERE!

As you enter the nude side, the entrance to which is only sorta, kinda hidden from the clothed side (walking to one of the clothed pools you’re basically looking directly into the entrance of the nude side) you are immediately accosted by all shapes, sizes and ages of nakedness. Although there’s the line in the sand where you are expected to remove your bathing suit and stow in lockers any items you have like keys and wallets, there are, unsurprisingly, a lot of naked people.

After disrobing, because the Germans have a rule for everything (but this is a good rule), you’re expected to shower before entering the actual sauna and swimming area. Interestingly, or not, 99 percent of the sauna-goers don’t just walk around naked, they have a towel or more often a robe on between the saunas. This percentage drops considerably in the warmer months, but still, the general rule is if you’re not in a sauna or in the pool, you’re covered up.

To sum up the ‘textile free” or nude side, it consists of five indoor saunas, two tubs (one warmish and the other BONECHILLINGLY cold) two “quiet rooms” and a (’cause it’s Europe) snack bar/restaurant area devoid of any screaming children. Outside there is a pool, four smaller saunas, the “Sauna Maximus” (a HUGE sauna) and another quiet area.

Inside the non-special saunas, people come and go as they please. Some, like the Jagersauna outside, are super hot. Others, like the aroma sauna, have aromas like lemon or straw.

Inside these saunas everyone sits from toe to buttocks on a towel and … wait.

HOLY CRAP I’M NAKED!

I think this is the point where I need to address the naked part because some of you are thinking this is very weird, pervy or just fucking insane. You’re all wrong and you’re all right. Taking off your bathing suit is weird for the first time, for the first five minutes. After that you start to realize that the atmosphere in a German Sauna area is about as sexy as a hospital visit.

For a moment you think, ‘HOLY FUCKING JESUS I’M NAKED AND SO IS EVERYONE ELSE,” but then the discomfort fades because everyone is naked. You quickly realize that all men have a penis and when not erect it looks like, well, a non-erect penis. All girls have pronounced breasts and a vagina. Strip away (haha!) any hint of romance, lust or sex, and it’s as sexually stimulating as a medical text book. Besides there is a lot of looking straight ahead, lots of eye contact. No one, you can be reasonably sure, is checking you out** because you really don’t stand out, even though you’re naked.

Guys reading this might be thinking, but aren’t there some hot girls, hot naked girls?

Yes, there are, but again it’s simply not a sexual environment. I confess I have thought, “Wow, nice body,” but in a sea of bodies that’s akin to saying in a forest, “Wow, that’s a nice tree.”

(For the record, I’m rarely actually in a forest because it’s very hard to get a beer there unless you bring it yourself and then, what the fuck are you doing drinking in a forest retard? A bear is going to eat you.)

Every hour, on the hour, a special group sauna is held in either an indoor sauna or the Sauna Maximus outside. These group saunas are where it turns weird. Until now the saunas are basically sparsely populated. But during the special group saunas, it turns into a packed sauna where you will sit on your own towel, naked, shoulder to shoulder and leg to leg.

HOLY CRAP I’M NAKED WITH ABOUT 60 OTHER PEOPLE, ITS HOTTER THEN HELL AND SOME IDIOT IS MAKING IT HOTTER.

You have to get to the group saunas a good 10 minutes early or you’re going to have to fight for a seat or you might even be turned away. Contrary to what I said in the paragraph previous to this, there’s no actual skin to skin contact, but it’s close and yeah, you do bump into the person next to you. If you just said “Ewww!” swapping sweat with strangers, oh nooooes! Yeah it certainly happens but you shower immediately afterwards so …

It’s like this, only a lot bigger and with a lot of naked people. Also there’s no guy in charge of making even friggen HOTTER!

At the scheduled time the sauna master comes in, closes the door and the fun begins. No shit, the place has people in charge of the sauna event. It is Germany after all. Usually there is a quick introduction, some joke I’m not likely to understand and then the buckets of water are poured onto the rocks cranking the heat up to 11. The sauna master, clothed in shorts and a T-shirt, then starts to wave a towel over his or her head while walking around the sauna in an effort to crank the heat up past the mystic 11 and into the unknown 12. They are successful. It gets up to “HOLY SHIT THIS IS HOT” temperatures in a short amount of time. Then, they usually do some sort of gimmick. Two of my favorites are the honey sauna and the salt sauna.

In the honey sauna they — no shit, I’m not making this up and I’m not drunk — pass out small cups of honey which you are then expected to rub on yourself. If you have never seen a room full of naked people vigorously rubbing themselves with honey while a clothed person twirls a towel over their heads, you haven’t been to a German sauna. I don’t need hallucinogens, I’ve rubbed honey on my naked body with total strangers. The purpose of this is to attract insects and/or to give your skin the ability to sweeten tea. Actually, I have no idea what the purpose is, but I’m sure it’s a skincare thing.

Mmmmmm honey, a super hot room and sweat!

My other favorite (well the honey thing isn’t a favorite it just cracks me up – who the hell thought of that?) is the salt sauna. I actually like the salt sauna. I’m a heterosexual male and I realize that what I’m about to type will make everyone reading this question that statement, but the salt sauna makes your skin super smooth. Halfway through this sauna, just when you’re thinking that your body can’t really be producing the amount of sweat it is currently producing , they pass out small cups of rock salt.

Rock salt, not just for de-icing your driveway, but for vigorously rubbing all over your naked body too!

Cup of salt in hand, you pour a bit on your leg, arm chest, everywhere and scrub. Words of caution, do not get this shit in your eyes and any little open wound (shaving nick, cut on a finger) is about to sting like hell. But the after effect is, (again I am a heterosexual male) really smooth skin. I find myself hours later going, “Why are my arms so smooth?”

Then, just when you feel faint, just when you can’t take another moment of heat, just when you think you’re about to catch on fire, the sauna master opens the door and everyone pours outside. Typically, they have some sort of refreshment available, a Popsicle or a glass of tea or a piece of candy.

This after–special sauna-moment is another one of those, “Am I really seeing/participating in this weird shit?” There you are, buck naked except for flip flops, a group of between 20 and 60 men and women sucking on a Popsicle, drinking tea and desperately trying to cool down. Immediately after a sauna Germans love, love, love to dunk themselves in cold water and there are showers and buckets everywhere for just that purpose. I’m interested in not having a heart attack or enticing my testicle to relocate into my abdomen, so except for a few experimental tries, I forgo this aspect of the sauna.

That’s the naked German sauna experience in a nutshell. After round after round of sweat like a man waiting on the results of the girlfriend’s pregnancy test, it’s time for a beer and maybe a bit to eat and then it’s over.

There is one other aspect of this experience that I’ll save for another day. That’s the two days a week that the whole damned place goes “textile free.” At 7 p.m. there is an announcement and magically everyone is naked … the transition is, to me at least, funny for its own reasons .. more about that next time.

* Yes. If you’ve known me more than 10 minutes, you fully understand that after the fifth beer I’m as likely to remove all of my clothing, regardless of the situation, as a 2-year old … I am unable, with beer, to resist nearly any dare. It’s a gift/curse.

** No one is checking you out unless you’ve done something that screams CHECK ME OUT. There is an older man, who Dagmar and I call “look at my penis man.” He is about 70 and I’m reasonably certain that he must have been a sailor in the 1970s as he’s covered in aged tattoos and, get this, has more piercings on his penis and scrotum than is reasonable or even sane. I have seen him engage with other Germans discussing his dick artwork (I assume, all parties involved were looking directly at his junk so I can’t imagine is a discussion about Greek debt). There are a few “personalities” at the sauna that Dagmar and I laugh about … more about them next time though.