Dear Friends of German Comedy,
Another month that wasn’t good for my blood pressure comes to an end.
24-hour drinking has been introduced, George Best and my uncle Heinrich both died, Turkey almost qualified for the World Cup, German parliament elected Angela Merkel as Chancellor and I’m turning more and more into a book-reading luvvie.
Did any of you watch Eurosport recently and thought initially “Blimey, now it’s definitely beyond saturation point. Showing Unibond League games live on telly is not on” before realizing that you witnessed Bahrain and Trinidad&Tobago playing out a ticket for next year’s World Cup? I now hope that Germany is one of the three lucky teams that can practise their attacking moves against the Caribbean side.
That day came to a brilliant end for German police forces when Switzerland squeezed past Turkey to claim their place in the tournament. Never ones to leave without a fight the Turkish players and officials showed determination and started their trademark rioting. The highlight was set by Turkey’s assistant manager Mehmet Ozdilek, who tried to trip some Swiss players as they ran off the pitch to hide from missiles thrown at them. German football has not seen such outbursts of passion and desire since Toni Schumacher floored Patrick Battiston during World Cup 1982.
Who am I to talk about football anyway? November saw the official start of my midlife-crisis. I went to only two football matches but four theatre productions. How sad and alarming is that? If anybody ever sees me in a North London wine bar downing some plonk whilst reading a book or pondering about non-existing problems – please come in and knock the seven bells out of me so that I can see sense again.
On a personal level I’m sad to let you know that my uncle Heinrich, a TRUE hero, passed away. He got up every morning at 5am and went to work. He would sometimes have preferred to sleep-in but he never allowed laziness to get the better of him. Not only was he a well-respected colleague in the insurance company he worked for he was also a devoted father, husband, friend and uncle. On entering retirement age he didn’t lean back but took on the captaincy of his skittles club. Uncle Heinrich devoted his life to his employer, his family and our society.
Compare this to George Best who played top-flight football for a couple of years before embarking on a 30 year binge-drinking session. Best should be ashamed of himself.
I take it we all noticed that November was a cold month. Particular at my place as the heater went and one couldn’t get hold of anyone at British Gas on the phone. Imagine my delight when I by total chance saw a bloke in a British Gas vest busy-bodying in our neighbourhood. On request he couldn’t help though as he “purely deal(s) with the meter-reading side of things.” I’m all for specialization but this society is taking things too far.
In the past I never was too bothered about Christmas but it is very different this year. Germany is Pope and I shall listen to every single word that comes over Benedikt’s lips. And so should everybody else. Have a great Christmas and a happy New Year.
Three World Cups and One World Pope !
Posted by Henning Wehn
on Thursday, December 1st, 2005.