Like most American honkies (or “bleachbloods,” as Chris Rock once coined), my ancestry is really just a Euro-mutt Smörgåsbord. Delicious, yes, but indefinable. However, my dad’s side is mostly German, so I run with that, since it gives me an excuse for the basement concentration camp. (So far it’s just some stray cats, a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses who didn’t see the trapdoor, and a woman I made out of Hefty bags and hamburger meat. But, y’know, baby-steps.)
Plus, by claiming Germanity in specific, it gives me an official Ethnicity/Nationality I’m Allowed To Make Fun Of In Any Cirmcumstance. Stuff like this, for instance, which I pilfered from the Onion years ago:
And the fact is, there are things that are just best said in German. Which is why I desperately need someone to tell me how I can get a copy of this book of “conversational German”:
A few of the amazing quotes given:
Bitte hören Sie sofort auf, so zu tanzen.
“Please stop this kind of dancing at once.”
Das ist eine sonderbare Mischung von Verbrechen und Satire, die noch dazu reichlich mit Erotik gewürzt ist.
“This is a very strange blend of crime and satire heavily spiced with sex.”
Humanitäre Gesichtspunkte werden wohl stets den militärischen Notwendigkeiten weichen müssen.
“Humanitarian considerations will probably always have to yield to military necessities.”
Es schmerzt mich sehr zu wissen, daß man ihm nicht helfen kann.
“It pains me very much to realize that he cannot be helped.”
That last one, of course, should be spoken with a hint of a smile, standing in stock-still repose, with one arm folded across the chest and the other holding a cigarette.
Those excerpts remind me of a book I picked up about ten years ago called “Wicked Spanish for the Traveler,” which I used for the part of the Astronomy 101 final presentation where I (as Johannes Kepler) engaged my co-presenter (as the ghost of astronomer Tycho Brahe) in a kung-fu battle subtitled in Spanish and dubbed over in Danish. But that’ll be another entry.
(For the record, I found that phrasebook link in the archives of defective yeti, a blog far funnier than this will ever be.)