501 German Oddities: Observations from an Innocent Abroad

Hermann Observer
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Do you often feel the uncontrollable urge to drive at ridiculously high speeds when out on the freeway? Does that constant, nagging struggle between the opposing sides of your inferiority-superiority complex keep you up at night? Are you brutally direct, painfully precise and sometimes feel like you’re speaking a foreign language because no one seems to understand you? Vorsicht (watch out)! You might be German. In that case you won’t have any use for this book. Have a nice day.

If, on the other hand, you have always been puzzled by odd German Attitudes, Behavior or Cultural practices, then this is the book for you. You are not alone, you see. Nor is there anything wrong with you reacting that way. Your puzzlement is a perfectly healthy and normal human response to the cognitive dissonance and other psychological disrruptions that often dissonate and disrupt when foreigners make unprotected contact with high-grade Germanness. Or at least that’s what a specialist in Vienna told me.

As Winston Churchill once said, “Germany is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” Actually, he said Russia when he said that but I’m pretty sure he meant Germany. He was Winston Churchill, after all, and he had been around a bit. I certainly would have said Germany. And I wouldn’t, much less couldn’t have said it better myself. Germany and the Germans are indeed enigmatic and, well, really weird sometimes. This collection of random personal observations and unsolicited opinion is an attempt to document just that. I cannot guarantee that this list of German oddities is complete, of course. I can assure you, however, that enjoying these oddities in the privacy of your own home is a relatively safe and effective way to partake in the German experience without any of the harmful side effects. Viel Glück dabei (and good luck with that).

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Hermann Observer
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Published on
Nov 25, 2018
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Foreign Language Study / German
History / Europe / Germany
Humor / Topic / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional
Travel / Europe / Germany
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Much like Chairman Mao's compilation of hilarious witticisms published during Communist China's zany Cultural Revolution back in the day, this little red book is an uproarious collection of pointless nonsense and senseless drivel dedicated to the countless enlightened leftists still annoyingly omnipresent in our present era.

Filled with pun-ridden put-downs and wise-ass wordplay, this remarkable anthology offers unenlightened readers like yourself a refreshing alternative to the more conventional fare of lowbrow humor you are undoubtedly accustomed to. It will tickle your fancy with jeering jibes and sarcastic swipes taken at the expense of those who would rule over us as they relentlessly pursue a more progressive and enlightened new world order. 

But just who are these enlightened leftists of the enlightened left, you ask? I’m glad you did. Enlightened leftists are those who believe that man is “perfectible.” Woman, too! Oh brother. They believe in equality in a world in which equality cannot exist. They are the ones who have the “solutions” to all of our problems. Oddly, many of these problems are the direct result of earlier failed enlightened leftist solutions but they adamantly refuse to admit that there is any connection here, of course. 

The enlightened left are “the too optimistic” and “the too naïve” with the all too good intentions. Tragically, they are also unaware of their inherent limitations as individuals. They refuse to see that individual human beings are simply not able to fully understand all the ramifications of the ambitious enlightened leftist reforms they repeatedly try to introduce. They are rationalists whose reason is not sufficient to point out the limitations of reason. 

The enlightened left are those who refuse to leave the rest of us alone. They are the nannies, the pro-collectivist, the anti-self-reliant, the redistributors and interventionists who have become so intrusive in our lives today. Incapable of accepting the idea of government as an evolved and systemic process producing results indirectly, a system of negation within which an individual can develop and think freely on his or her own (a “don't do this, don't do that” model), enlightened leftists insist on actively intervening in the lives of their subjects instead, with ever new solutions that never manage to deliver the results they were intended to (a “do this, do that” model). 

Enlightened leftists are paternal. They are autocratic. They are above the law, or at least certainly headed in that direction. They are the people who say “we are from the government and are here to help”. 

Although generally not known for their sense of humor (telling others how to live their lives and what to think is no laughing matter), enlightened leftists nevertheless provide us with a near endless source of comic delight. Well, they do me. This little red book is a modest attempt to tap into that vital source. I hope you will enjoy reading it. I also hope you will remember to buy a few additional copies for your friends and family. I am told it makes a wonderful gift idea, an ideal present for the any perfect or near-perfect stranger you might bump into unexpectedly. It is a small book and very easy to carry on your person. I carry three of them with me at all times. I am doing it now as I write these very lines, for example.

In closing, please try to keep two things constantly in mind while reading The Little Red Book: First of all, the enlightened left mean well. Honestly. They really do. Secondly, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

"Hilarious yet soul-shaking." —Black Enterprise, a "Must Read Book for 2019"

200 years ago, white people told black folks, “‘I suggest you pick the cotton if you don’t like getting whipped.” Today, it’s “comply with police orders if you don’t want to get shot.” Now comedian/activist D. L. Hughley–one the Original Kings of Comedy–confronts and remixes white people’s “advice” in this “hilarious examination of the current state of race relations in the United States” (Publishers Weekly).

In America, a black man is three times more likely to be killed in encounters with police than a white guy. If only he had complied with the cop, he might be alive today, pundits say in the aftermath of the latest shooting of an unarmed black man. Or, Maybe he shouldn’t have worn that hoodie … or, moved more slowly … not been out so late … Wait, why are black people allowed to drive, anyway?

This isn’t a new phenomenon. White people have been giving “advice” to black folks for as long as anyone can remember, telling them how to pick cotton, where to sit on a bus, what neighborhood to live in, when they can vote, and how to wear our pants. Despite centuries of whites’ advice, it seems black people still aren’t listening, and the results are tragic.

Now, at last, activist, comedian, and New York Times bestselling author D. L. Hughley offers How Not to Get Shot, an illustrated how-to guide for black people, full of insight from white people, translated by one of the funniest black dudes on the planet. In these pages you will learn how to act, dress, speak, walk, and drive in the safest manner possible. You also will finally understand the white mind. It is a book that can save lives. Or at least laugh through the pain.

Black people: Are you ready to not get shot! White people: Do you want to learn how to help the cause? Let’s go!

Mission Nemo simply must succeed. If the crew of the Super Small Miniaturized Nano-like Operations Wessel S. S. Minnow fails to destroy the inoperable anti-capitalist coagulum lodged in Morris Moore's progressive brain, how will General De Klein's Federal Department of Antidotes operatives at SUCFACE Mission Control find out if Leftylometazoline (aka LeftX) really works? Would this usher in the final stage of the liberal clerisy’s clandestine collectivist conspiracy to abolish our few remaining individual freedoms forever? That would not please President Thump one microscopic little bit.

Join Major Miles Stone and his disturbingly alluring crew on their miniaturized mission through the left and lefter hemispheres of the progressive brain. Their fantastic voyage is a race against time that takes them through such redoubtable regions as the Clinton Vortex, the Che Guevara Gray Area and the Obama Trauma Center itself. Here they bravely confront such anatomical monstrosities as the fantasist frontalis, the hyperbolthalamus and the dreaded pious aspiration node. Their progressive brain journey only gets progressively worse as they are repeatedly attacked by repulsive swarms of nanny neurons, doomsday dendrons, robin hoodlums and the formidable radical egalitarian bacterium. If not for the courage of the fearless crew, and their deadly arsenal of passing phasers, millennial mindset missiles, moral busybody antibodies and Condescendium®, the Minnow would be lost. The Minnow would be lost.

The tension never stops building during this thrilling tale of adventure, danger, suspense and romance. And lust. Will Captain Hanna Grenada's irresistible animal magnetism finally seduce the Major into experiencing something vaguely resembling basic human emotion? Can the all too communicative HAL 9999 super computer and his annoying eye drones really be trusted to operate the ship? And will the Minnow's political corrector deflectors and smug shields hold, allowing Stone and his crew to reach their target and ignite the liberal bombast bomb in time? I could tell you but that would ruin the suspense.

Not your everyday dystopian science-fiction erotic horror political thriller, this bombastic bombshell of a book knows no shame when it comes to overwhelming you with its serious silliness, wanton wackiness and forthright, flat-out farce. Purchase it now before it is too late or something. Soon to be made into a major motion picture. Or maybe it has been already. There is also time travel involved here, after all.
Have you ever ordered leather cheese? Have you ever told your cab driver that your hotel is located on One-Way Street? I doubt it. But English speakers trying to speak German say bizarre things like this all the time and I, for one, feel their pain. Acutely, even. They are speaking Dumb Deutsch. And they have no one else to blame but themselves.
It is not that those of us who speak Dumb Deutsch actually intend to say the embarrassing and dumbfounding things we do. It doesn’t matter what we intend to do. It is inevitable. And it became inevitable the moment we decided to start speaking “that awful German language” in the first place. And please note the fine distinction here: Although very closely related, German and Dumb Deutsch are two entirely different languages.

The German language is complex, treacherous and terribly difficult to learn. It has three sexes, for crying out loud. It has four or five or maybe even six cases (I forget). It is full of pitfalls, perils, strange idioms and ludicrous aphorisms. There are always one or two super-important exceptions for every iron-clad grammatical rule given. There are insanely long words and even longer sentences, compound words that get chopped up and tossed around indiscriminately and unimaginable word combinations that native German speakers seemingly construct and then discard again at will. Then you have those tricky nuances and complex distinctions, the false friends, the twisted Anglicisms, the weird breathing noises and all of those quaint expressions alluding to pigs and shit.

Dumb Deutsch, on the other hand, is relatively straightforward and can be learned in about fifteen minutes. This is because Dumb Deutsch speakers are completely unaware of all of those pesky German language complexities just listed above. And this is of course also why when it is spoken correctly, as in incorrectly, Dumb Deutsch is a never-ending source of confusion, mirth, shame, shock and horror for the German captive audience being forced to listen to it. 

So please sit back and enjoy this short collection of bloodcurdling blunders, frightful faux pas and grisly gaffes, all in the Dumb Deutsch original. Many of these were mistakes I made all on my own. Many more have been contributed by friends and acquaintances. Numerous others were found surfing the Internet and reading about them elsewhere. 

For the sake of fairness, a number of ridiculous errors Germans make when trying to speak English have also been included. 
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