Friday, September 07, 2007


I've been cleaning all day, not necessarily because I want to leave the kids with a clean house, but more that I want to insist that I come home to a house that's as clean as I left it.

Cleaning allows plenty of brain space for a constant steam of silent thought, and one particular thought has been creeping into my panicky, oh-my-god-I-think-I-forgot-every-single-German-word brain.

It's funny most of the time, but today I feel much more sympathy for how my poor uncle must have felt when he uttered those words in some unknown Ratskeller in some unknown town in Germany sometime in 1957.

It seems that my uncle, a 50's American through-and-through, wanted to show the innkeeper that he could speak German along with the best of them.

As the big juicy venison steak was brought to my uncle, he proudly asked, "Haben Sie das selbst geschissen?"

The waiter turned five shades of red and was completely speechless -- and deeply insulted.

What my uncle intended to ask the waiter was, "Did you shoot that yourself?"

What he actually asked the waiter was, "Did you shit that yourself?"

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Rositta said...

That's my greatest fear also, not finding the right words in German. I just asked my husband if he has the same problem with Greek and he admitted, yes, all the time although
not quite like your uncle...ciao

Dixie said...

Poor fella! He must have been mortified.

It's like when I first moved to Germany and I'd say "Ich bin heiss." instead of "Mir ist heiss." - telling everyone that I was horny instead of too warm.

Jen said...

This was very funny. I was once giving a speech in the FSU when it was the SU, and told an audience of teachers that smoking was less of a problem in the US among teens than in the SU because American teenagers knew the dangers of... chickens.

Related Posts with Thumbnails