Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

The place: Bordar House Cafe, Masham, North Yorkshire.

The year: 2003.

The time: 11:00.

Sunray and I are both enjoying a 10 000 calories belly-buster.  If you want to eat well in England, eat cooked breakfast three times a day.

brekkie

A random stranger walks in, decides he is God’s gift to comedy.

Looks like you two are enjoying that!  Is that your third one of today?

I look at Sunray.  Sunray looks back at me.  He nods and winks to me.  Mr Comedian wants to have some fun at us.  We’ll have some fun with him.

I am wearing my DDR (German Democratic Republic t-shirt).

DDRtop

I speak:

Wie bitte?  Ich hab’ überhaupt keine Ahnung was Sie sagen.  Tut mir leid.

Mr Comedian:

Oh, you don’t speak English.  Foreigner, yeah?

I point to my DDR logo:

Ja ja ja!  Bear-leen, Cher-mun-ee, ja.  Sorry, my English ist not gut.

Mr Comedian:

Oh right, bloody krauts, yeah?

G in G:

Ja, ja, crowd of chermans here, ja.  Big crowd at ze market place, ja!

Our man finally leaves us to our maple-cured bacon, baked beans and black pudding and sup our tea in peace.

Two minutes later…

Mornin’, Sunray!  Mornin’, Ginge in Germany!  How are you doin’, fellas?

Ron, one of the locals, had just walked in to order his Saturday bacon sandwich and had decided to greet us.

Sunray replies:

Morning, Ron!  Good to see you.  Come and sit down with us.

Mr Comedian hears Sunray, me and Ron chatting away (in English).  He realises the laugh is on him.  He scowls.  He purses his lips so tightly, that they look a cat’s anus.  He curses us as he leaves the cafe.

You two tw*ts think you’re so clever, don’t you!

Sunray and I laugh uncontrollably.  Ron asks:

Er, what’s the joke, fellas?

Have a Teutonic day, won’t you!

 

 

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On the Pious and Glorious Twelfth

Today is the Pious and Glorious Twelfth of July, on which the Laurel and Hardy Fan Club Orange Loyalists parade in their bowler hats to celebrate Good King Billy’s victory many years ago.

bowlers

To mark the occasion, I bought my mate from East Belfast a wee rubber ball. Every time it bounces on the ground, it goes, “Boyne! Boyne! Boyne!”

Have a bouncy day, won’t you!

 

Machmallauter: Boney M

I was always a fan of of Boney M.  I had no choice really.  When I was pads brat living in Wolfenbüttel, Germany 1975-78, their music was on BFBS all the time.  Every hour.  Every day.

This was my favourite Boney M number: 137, to be exact.  Psalm 137, otherwise known as…

By the Rivers of Babylon

Have a psalmodic day, won’t you!

Let’s lighten things up…

I’ve recently been writing about death and dying an’ all that.  Today I’m going to lighten up the mood with a joke or two, albeit with a Soviet/DDR flavour.

Here comes number one.

***

Stalin reads his report to the Party Congress.

Suddenly someone sneezes. “Who sneezed?”

Silence.

“First row! On your feet! Shoot them!”

They are shot, and he asks again, “Who sneezed, Comrades?”

No answer.

“Second row! On your feet! Shoot them!”

They are shot too. “Well, who sneezed?”

At last a sobbing cry resounds in the Congress Hall, “It was me! Me!”

Stalin says, “Bless you, Comrade!”

***

Have a blessed day, won’t you!

I’m not eating here!

On a lighter note…

November 1998.  Northallerton, North Yorkshire.  I’m on a visit to Sunray.   It’s Wednesday, market day in Northallerton.  Sunray and I have walked the whole length of Northallerton High Street and have bought at the market:

  1. Ten cheap’n’cheerful thank you cards
  2. Four packs of AA batteries on special offer
  3. Ten pairs of socks

Bargains, all of them.

By now it’s gone 13:00.  I’m “Hank Marvin,” starving, wasting away…

Dad, shall we stop and eat somewhere?

Oh aye, yeah.  Let’s do that.

A few metres along from the greetings cards and watch batteries stall I spot a burger van, the fine aroma of friend onions wafting over to us.

As we walk past, I suggest:

Shall we eat here then?

It looks clean enough, not a salmonellaburger van.

Sunray, at about 100 decibels, takes one look and exclaims:

I’m not eating here!

Within a nanosecond, the owner leans out of the hatch in horror, swivels her head 180 degrees, left to right, looking very upset.

Sorryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

Spotting me crying with laughter, bent double as if punched in the stomach, and then recognising Sunray, she adds furiously:

Aye, I might have known it would be you, having a dig at my place!

Sunray and I continue walking on to the nearest fish and chip cafe.  Sunray has a spring in his step.  Who wanted a cheeseburger with fried onions, anyway?  For me, only a Big Kahuna Burger will do.

Have a fussy day, won’t you!

kahuna

The shock of capture

In January 2000, as Lance-Corporal GermanGinge I did a military interrogator’s course.  Three expressions are still embedded in my head:

  1. ICATQ (“I cannot answer that question.”)
  2. The shock of capture

The shock of capture is the “Oh dear, oh dear, oh f*ck!” moment when a prisoner of war realises the game is up: he has been attacking you, has lost the fight, and he is now hoping his enemy will not kill him.

Today Mrs Grasshopper went through the shock of capture.  Since her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer at the end of October 2017, Grasshopper (my old Klassenkamerad) and I have been in daily contact, swapping jokes, URL’s for corny 70’s songs and then interspersing with businesslike “sitreps” (“situation reports”) on Mrs Grasshopper’s progress.

Yesterday was another major milestone: another appointment with the oncologist.  The oncologist agreed with Grasshopper’s suspicions that Mrs Grasshopper’s increased self-dosage of oramorph, the increase in her tumour marker to 6000 units and several other symptoms were indicative that her cancer was spreading – despite ten sessions of heavy-duty chemotherapy.

This afternoon I phoned Grasshopper.  He was stoic.  He has been ever since diagnosis.

Pads brat banter. I pull his leg about being a policeman.  He pulls my leg about being a “ginga.”  We laugh.  The Germans in the Düsseldorf sit and try – as ever – to eavesdrop on our Anglophone conversation

Then the $64 million question.  Deep breath.

Grasshopper, now, tell me to f… off and mind my own business if you like.  How did Mr Grasshopper react to the oncologist’s prognosis yesterday?

Grasshopper told me she had had a major meltdown down the local cafe this morning.  The realisation that she does not have long will probably die soon.  The realisation that she cannot ask her enemy, the cancer, not to kill her.  The shock of capture.  The thoughts.  All the what-ifs.  Every single “why?” question.

Next time you are moaning about:

  • Your bus being late
  • There being no milk in the fridge
  • Your team losing their World Cup match

Please think of Mrs Grasshopper.

No picture this time, just a song.

Have a shockless day, won’t you!