A Charlemagne what?!?

Look carefully at the picture below:

Charlemagne, A. Dürer, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg

Keep that image in mind.

Back in June, my folks and I stopped at an Autohof on one of the Autobahns. These are combination restaurants, convenience stores, coffee-shops, sometimes gas stations, news-stands, play-grounds, and always, places to use the restrooms. Continue reading


Cheap Filler

I have final exams to inflict, er, ahem, administer today and tomorrow.

The shepherd is yelling “No mercy, my children!” Gnade (grace) also has some theological meanings as well, which can make the cartoon really funny if you think about how John the Baptist is usually depicted in medieval art. Or the Good Shepherd.

Yes, I have a really odd sense of humor. Continue reading

Witz before the Treppen

There’s a wonderful German term, Treppenwitze, which means the great retort, comment, or joke that you came up with… as you left the party and went down the stairs (die Treppe). I’m a master of that art. But every so often, my wits work on time.

I was standing in line at a fancy buffet dinner, one of those where they carve slices off a roast beast as you watch. The carver had finished with one slab-o-meat and was waiting for another to arrive, and so his carving board was bare.

Alma: Oh! [smiles with excitement, points to empty carving board] Is that the roasted unicorn loin?

Carver: [split second of hesitation, roar of laughter] Yes, Ma’am, it most certainly is.

I’m certain that exchange had nothing to do with the thick slice of roast with extra juice that appeared on my plate a few moments later.