Friday, January 20, 2017

Nurse the Hate: I, Barbarian

I was in Dresden Germany on tour with the Daredevils.  We had walked over the bridge that crossed the Elbe River and walked to look at the Zwinger, the palace which holds precious art and history.  It’s huge and very impressive.  I remembered from the previous year having looked at the vast art gallery with Rembrandt and Raphael well represented.  I was thinking about heading back in again and exploring the upstairs galleries.  Leo was walking next to me looking at the vast complex and said “Wow!  That’s really cool.”  There was something in his tone that suggested a wave of initial wonder.  I asked him if he wanted to look at a different gallery then last year.  “I’ve never been here before.”

Now I knew for a fact he had been there before because he was standing next to me while we went through the gallery.  Hey man, you were here before.  You were here with me.  You remember when we blah blah blah?  “Nope.  I’ve never been here.”  He was absolutely adamant.  It’s hard to explain why a man that has erased most of his short term memory function would be so sure he was correct.  We have had these sorts of disagreements in the van over the years and I have turned out to be correct 999 out of 1000 times.  The time when he was getting in the face of the guitar player of the Wolverton Brothers telling him “No!  We played with you in Columbus!” immediately comes to mind.  It turned out that Leo had never met this man and he had confused The Wolverton Brothers with The Gibson Brothers, and even when that was cleared up he only grudgingly admitted the possibility of a mistake.  Leo should really blindly trust me in these matters.

“I have NEVER been here before!”  I also knew that he had been there twice with The Cowslingers and on two Daredevils tours.  This was, in fact, his fifth visit to the Zwinger complex.  It is probably one of the most iconic sites in Germany.  It’s like not remembering if you saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  I reached into my pocket for my phone.  After a quick search I found pictures of Christoph, Leo and I standing in almost the exact same spot a year earlier.  Leo looked down with a squint.  “Huh…  Well, I DON’T REMEMBER being here before!”  With that he felt vindicated and we resumed our walk back across the bridge.  If I had been him I would have been really concerned that four previous days of noteworthy sightseeing had been blacked out from my memory, but he seemed quite unconcerned.

When we got across the bridge I decided to see if I could scare up some food.  There were some touristy restaurants available with obscene prices on subpar food.  I am pretty sure they were like the German version of Chili’s, but instead of baby back ribs they swapped out herring.  No good.  Then, like a beacon, I saw one of those awesome German sausage huts.  Germans like beer, bread, and sausage.  They like to serve their sausages from huts around any large public space.  You put a bunch of Germans in a crowd, and it won’t be long before one says “You know what would be good now?  A sausage!”  That sausage hut is a lifesaver.  The food quality is usually really good and, God willing, they will also have beer.  I made a beeline for the sausage hut.

One of the things not covered in the German guide books is how a particular sausage is to be eaten.  The most common move is to put the sausage on a flimsy paper plate and place a hard roll next to it.  This sort of flies in the face of what I consider to be the German virtue of logic and function.  Why they don’t slice the roll and place the sausage inside it was never clarified to me.  Instead your fingers get greasy picking up the sausage and then you have to chomp on the roll.  Sometimes it is OK to put the sausage into the roll, and sometimes it isn’t.  I have no clue as to what constitutes a “roll insertible” sausage situation.  If Christoph was around I would ask him, but I was flying solo on this one. 

I decided to just go for it.  I ripped my roll open and put the sausage inside it.  I had made a nice little hamburger looking thing with my roll and sausage.  It was truly American ingenuity in action.  Far off I thought I heard “America the Beautiful” as I brought the sandwich to my mouth.  I will admit that I did not show the most amount of grace in eating the food.  I had the basic table manners of a Labrador retriever.  I just went for it.  It was then I noticed a very well dressed man in a suit staring at me as he walked by my round high top table.  He sneered at me and said only one thing.  “Barbarous” 

Let me stress this.  It wasn’t only the devastating word choice.  It was his crushingly effective delivery.  He really drew it out in his deep baritone with Germanic accent.  “BARRRBOURUSSSSS”.  He looked like a million bucks in a finely tailored suit.  I was in jeans, cowboy boots, and a punk rock t-shirt.  He was absolutely repulsed by me.  I was barely human in his eyes.  I don’t know to this date if it was my faux pas with the sausage inside the roll, or if it was my savage eating style.  Maybe it was both.  I won’t ever know.  I do know this.  He made it very clear where I stood.

I was watching the Inauguration today.  A small group of ski masked protesters got really crazy and smashed up a Starbucks.  Revolution.  Thank God Banana Republic was safe.  A small fire was lit on the street by 6 people.  217 journalists recorded it on video.  Cops maced a bunch of worked up college kids in the face.  It felt like a bad version of 1968 without anyone having a real moral high ground to stand on.  Everyone is divided.  Fear and bad news.  In the back of my head I heard that voice pop up out of nowhere.  “Barbarous.”  Then again even slower.  “BARRRBOURUSSSSSSS”


At January 29, 2017 at 10:37:00 AM EST , Blogger kk said...

Brilliant. LOL


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