As my cousin John used to say: It is not that aunt Denise is mad. It’s just that her tongue is connected differently to her brain than with ordinary people. Alas, cousin John is no longer with us – whereas aunt Denise continues to thrive.
Here some of her gems.
My aunt Denise: “Listen. Listen! Something absolutely weird happened to me!
… Oh wait. That wasn’t me… it happened to somebody else.”
How much did you pay for that mixer?
About a hundred bucks.
A hundred bucks?! You can buy a vacuum cleaner for a hundred bucks!
Yeah, but we didn’t need a vacuum cleaner. Besides the mixer came with a lot of extra stuff, funnels and beakers and so on.
What do you need those for if you vacuum the house?
The dog kept on having sex with my knee.
My husband, your uncle, was so mad at me, he locked himself in the upstairs bathroom for an entire week.
Really? How did he survive?
He ate the toothpaste.
At least he had enough to drink.
I turned off the mains, and that forced him come out.
Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Sing praise in the name of the Lord ! Truly Oi! The face of Maria Magdalene in my eggs, sunny side up. An experience of biblical dimensions !
And ain’t Mary an eggstraordinary cutie?
I love eggs in all shapes and sizes – but I am biased towards the ovums from chicks that have at least some moving space and that are, for eggsample, not pumped full with antibiotics (Interested in my diet? Read more here).
Today a Chinese restaurant (“Peking Duck”), but once upon a time a very infamous man had his residence and offices behind these doors. Can you guess who?
The truth behind the duck: Mr. Mengling Tang from China is the owner of a Chinese eatery in the Voßstraße in Berlin, exactly on the spot of the entrance to Adolf Hitler’s “Neue Reichskanzlei” – the new chancellery. The building didn’t survive the ravages of war, within a few years after completion, the home of the brutal, and weirdly mustachioed dictator was destroyed by allied bombs. Adolf probably wouldn’t have clenched his little fists with pleasure, if he would have known about the re-purposing of the spot where his ugly government building (designed by his favorite architect Albert Speer) once stood. But then again, maybes he is, in purgatory?
Interested to learn where Adolf Hitler ended up, after his suicide? Ge t a copy of my novel CELETERRA, e.g. in iTunes:
Years ago, during a visit to a Disney movie, my youngest son (10 at the time) accidentally referred to popcorn as cockporn.
I haven’t been able to order a bucket of popcorn in the cinema since, as I once copied his error. Now I am afraid to mention cockpo… popcorn in any public situation.
Worse yet, I had a marketing colleague who continuously mixed up YouTube with an infamous porn channel of a very similar name. To bypass this embarrassment, he started posting all marketing videos on Vimeo.
During my many stays in the Middle East, I also visited Doha, capital of Qatar.
Some background: Qatar is tremendously rich from the abundance of natural gas. As a result, it’scapital Doha hasdeveloped into abusiness and conferencing hub. It is a very strict islamic state, leaving little space for fun and games. To everybody’ssurprise they will hostthe 2022 World Cup (I always wonder about thethings money can buy). Soccer fans best bring a book.
The movie below I made on my way from the airport to the hotel. The links direct to photos I took and more details about country and capital.
Doha has been hailed as one of the most boring towns in the world, and there is considerable truth to this rumor. The town has very little history left, it is new and fully focused on business. There is no extensive historic center. The town is very car-centric (many, many SUVs) and as a pedestrian you quickly feel very lonely on the broad boulevards; you do not meet many other people on foot, and windowshopping is severely hampered by the absence of, yes, shopwindows (there are many malls, if you go for that sort of thing). The Souk is a tiny market, completely new and unwelcoming, with stores that sell tortured exotic animals and mini-dogs. The climate is hot and humid: a stroll is only possible after sunset. As an Islamic country, there is no (or little) alcohol for sale – but even I as a teetotaler can only say that the town is absolutely underwhelming; I can’t blame the absence of alcohol for that deep feeling of loneliness and despair. I was visiting on business with a calendar full of appointments and I was preoccupied enough, yet during my quick tours through the city I was, well: disappointed. Perhaps some of you readers have different experiences to share. Perhaps an interesting museum or cinema that I missed? Pole dancing? A hidden bar? Table tennis tournaments?
The boycott by Saudi Arabia was in full swing, but it didn’t seem to have affected the Qatari much. They even imported 4000 Friesian cows from Australia and put them in an air-conditioned hall, to make sure enough milk could be produced, which they got from Arabia up to that point.
Women stay mostly at home (probably playing with the mini dogs), and the men tend to take their SUVs out for a spin at night; driving endless circles through the town. I got bored just watching them occupied with this non-activity.
Citizens (men only) giving the four wheels a lackluster spin. At least the weather is in their favor.
Before turning to PURGATORY, below a painting of a camel, created in the nineties. The background is acrylic paint, enriched with natural pigments and desert sand, the camel itself is in oil. The motive suggest heat, and a pyramid is visible in the hump. I painted this shortly after our trip through the Libyan Desert.
Talking about heat: lately I have been thinking about the principal of purgatory. Although this concept has come out of fashion in both the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, it is high on my radar. Purgatory: I remember books from my youth in which, in graphic detail, naked sinners sat in metal cauldrons, faces distorted by pain. No wonder: flames flickered around their bodies, and a red devil (carrying a three-pronged spear, see my novel Celeterra) tested their flesh.
Wouldn’t purgatory be a suitable, after-death punishment for some unsocial fellow human beings? I am not religious, so the argument is moot, but in my mind I sometimes assign a few days of purgatory to people who behave anti-socially:
Four days of purgatory for people that hit a neighboring parked car with their car door.
One day of purgatory for the couple that pushed past 25 fellow passengers in an attempt to get out of the plane first.
One day for each person that borrowed but didn’t return a smart phone cable
One day in a cauldron with melted led for all drivers that blocked our driveway with their parked car, being too lazy to walk a few extra meters.
One day of purgatory for all hotel guests that have loud conversations in the hotel floor between 11 pm and 7 am.
Half a day of purgatory for restaurant guests that have a dispute with the waiter, and try to pull other guests (me) into the argument. I don’t care about your problems, live with it. One day of hot cauldron, if this happens in a train or plane.
Two days for expressing an opinion about blogposts, without having read the entire text.