Alt title: worst-writer lessons in un-understanding Deutsch
There it is again, dear worst-reader (see pic above). Although it’s happening less than it happened, say, twenty years ago–on account there was a time I was, let’s say, more hopeful, wishful, dreamy, etc., it still happens now-n-then. Like a grain amongst a ton-bag of salt. I mean. Language is a bitch, dear worst-reader. Let me not even start on how my German better-half can sometimes forget that she’s not talking to a native. She certainly knows my facial gestures or body signals when she starts rambling on about this or that and I’m like… “Did you just make up your own German? Cause I don’t understand a fcuking word you just said.” Of course, she attributes my inability to understand her language to my ageing ears. And that may be the case. Although I think my hearing is better than hers and she does, sometimes, have the cutest but highly distracting lisp. #Nomatter. There’s still a whole bunch of German out there that I don’t get–which is the reason I’m currently re-reading Kafka’s Der Prozess. But one thing I do get is when a German is being sarcastic, facetious, teasing, low-down, or, as the Brits might put it, taking the piss out. The thing is, that sort of stuff ain’t really in the German mentality. You know. Order. Train schedules. Achtung! That may or may not be the reason Germans ain’t very funny. But. Again. #Nomatter. It might also be why so many Germans are simply incapable of smiling–unless they’re a blonde, blue-eye looking for a husband/wife. Again. #Nomatter. So here’s the thing, dear worst-reader. I passed by my local bus stop the other day and have long since trained myself to NOT pay much attention to its advertising, which is usually for cigarettes. But this time… Damn. It caught my attention. Why? Well, get this, baby. Could it be that the Germans are fcuking with me1? You know, that maybe, somehow, they know that I’m a failed writer that has long since giving up on being published, discovered or even paid a dime for my efforts. Yeah. They know that I have a few novels sitting around just waiting to be finished (or burnt). And considering the state of theatre in this country since it never accepted any of my plays…? So when I see an advert at a bus stop telling Germans to write your book, I’m like… Oh really! You mean. Just sit down and write, like hundreds of thousands of words, pages, and nonsense and then use some company to become Salmon Rushdie? Please.
Ich kann mich doch selber verarschen.
The German word Verarschung is tough to translate. But once you understand the language–as I do, even though some of the stuff my wife says doesn’t ring a bell, then you don’t bother translating at all. And so. To come across such an advert like this… as a failed writer… as worst-writer… well….
Rant on, baby.
- My translation of the German word “Verarschung”. ↩︎