Dear Friends of German Comedy,
I’m on the train back from Edinburgh and let me tell you, reading the Scottish sports pages now that Rangers went into administration requires a degree in business studies. It’s all CVA, PAYE, HMRC, VAT, EBT, and the Companies Disqualification Act…. The Huns’ poor supporters are so busy getting their heads round the economic jargon that Celtic manager Neil Lennon hasn’t had a bullet in the post for days.
By the way, neither Rangers’ insolvency nor my current tour is the reason for the late sending out of this newsletter. This month’s excuse is that I got burgled and I temporarily didn’t have a computer to write the bulletin on.
Police say it’s professionals and there’s only a slim chance of them being caught. And even then, as every Daily Mail reader knows, they’ll only get a slap on the wrist and are free to reoffend in no time. It’s PC gone missing.
Particularly ironic is that only days before the burglary I was handed a questionnaire by the local bobby as to how safe I thought the area was and what sort of criminal activities I was most concerned about.
Stupidly I said that I felt perfectly safe, him and his boys were doing a great job, and everything was in best order; thereby not adhering to the most basic rule of human interaction: never ever praise people!
We’ve all heard the nonsense theory that praise gets the best out of people as they feel valued and motivated. This approach might work with goody two-shoes types. But most people, once praised, simply take their eye off the ball. Just look at the England rugby team post-2003. Or Fred Goodwin. Or, even worse, my local police force, which I am convinced has started a burgling spree purely to justify its role in society and keep itself safe from cutbacks.
Praising people also leaves you with nowhere to go. If something bad happens you’ve already absolved them of any blame – but criticize them heavily at all times and you can always go “I told you so.”
And on the off chance that you really haven’t got anything bad to say, just play the aggrieved girlfriend: “Listen, Plod, there’s a lot of things not right around here. And if you really don’t know what’s wrong then I’m not telling you.”
What I AM telling you about are my upcoming tour dates. It would be great to see you at one of those. Tickets to all shows on www.henningwehn.de
Also thanks to everyone who came along to one of the BBC Radio 2 recordings. The episodes will air from March onwards. More details when I have them.
Have a great month (or what little is left). And if you see a policeman with a nearly-new Mac, tell him you know what his game is.