This Metzger has some saucy things going on. Quickies? Really?

What’s going on down in the Allgäu? Place used to be so respectable.

I’m sure there’s a perfectly good explanation for this, but until I hear it?

I’m assuming this butcher is a front for a sex club.

Scharfe Stange? I’m sure there’s more than meets the eye going on here.

Five things to harass the Dying

thoughts of mortality are understandable especially when one’s on a Greek island like Astypalea (photo from 2010)
Recently, I was handed a German article about five things one should or could say to the dying to help them in their journey to the afterlife.
Never to pass up an opportunity to take the piss, I’ve decided to write my own list. Here are Five things to harass the dying:
  • Remind them what they’ve done or what they did
  • Point out to them that this (their life, their family, everything good and bad that they’ve done) will eventually be forgotten
  • Whatever palliative medicine they’re receiving, take it away and no matter how they beg for it, don’t give it back
  • Invite each of their enemies over (unexpectedly) for one last little chat
  • Make as many references to your plans once the dying person is finally gone

Now, I realise this isn’t the nicest of lists, but I have one very pointed question for those of you who may or may not be offended.

Why are we trying so hard to make things easier for the dying?

Certainly, if they’ve had a good life and made some sort of peace with everyone in it, then the above list will be useless. It won’t touch them. They’re immune from my machinations.

Lucky them.

Please don’t think I’ve done any of these things on my list. I’m actually quite pleasant and caring to the people in my life who’re at death’s door. I learned quite a lot while watching my father slowly die of complications related to his diabetes.

He died six years ago last week, and lately my thoughts’ve been swirling around topics of mortality. It’s actually quite understandable.

So, what’d possess me to make such a heartless list of cruelty like the one above? What’s wrong with me?

Well, I’ve got a simple answer for you in the form of a few questions.

Why? Why should I forgive what’s been done to me? What benefit does it serve?

I know a bit about Buddhism, and I know the tenet that carrying around such bitterness is akin to taking poison. Not only am I aware of this, but I even try to practice forgiveness. And most of the time I’m pretty good at it. Most of the time.

But like an irregular French verb, there are always exceptions. And what to do with those? Aren’t there some things that’re unforgivable? I believe that the jury’s still out on that one.

The Rejection Collection

melancholic patriotism at Munich’s Amerikahaus

Went to a show of support for Munich’s Amerikahaus, which was a last minute attempt to save this organisation that’s been at this location for more than fifty-five years. Perhaps it’ll continue in some form, but the American-Bavarian cultural centre will never be the same. It’s a sad moment in the history of the city.

But one of the nicest aspects of this place’s existence (did I mention it probably won’t exist much longer? I did, didn’t I?) is that you’re never quite sure what you’ll find there. Today was a perfect example of this. As I was leaving the event, I saw some posters for an exhibit.

Turns out the show was upstairs and I was there during opening hours. I had time before the football was to start. Why not take a look? Am so glad I did, and I think you will be similarly pleased.

What was it called? ‘The Rejection Collection: The Best Cartoons the New Yorker Never Published‘. I am here to tell you, this was much better than you might expect. They were not kept from publication due to lack of hilarity. There was some pronounced hilarity. Some of it was dark and a tad depraved. Am I going to shield you from that part? No. No, I am not.


I don’t know how to tell you this, but I’ve found someone new


Those perverts from National Geographic are filming us again


A whorehouse? Tomorrow? I wanted for us to go to the Guggenheim


I came as soon as I heard


Zen litter box


(Wonder why they didn’t see fit to publish this one)


I’m looking for the necktie that says, “I don’t wear underpants.“‘


(I’m crying with laughter at this one. It’s sick and twisted and dark. And I love it.)


Grandpa, what’s going on here? Didn’t they have colour film at Auschwitz?’


Hand over the sandwich, or I’ll shit on your parents


(Some of these cartoonists have some potential aggression when it comes to cats)


Perhaps my biggest influence was Pollock

I’ve known quite a few percussionists. Some of whom played in an orchestra. I assure you several of them can sympathise with the fellow holding a pistol to his head. Enjoy:


All Things Goat

no photos please...goat experts don't deserve all this attention

I know it’s been mentioned here before, but I have somehow backed into being some sort of authority on goats. Stalling for time, I posted a photo of me with some goats and slapped the title ‘You Can’t Always Expect Goats‘ on it. Little did I know that after I pressed ‘publish’ I would be forever linked to the world of Capra aegagrus hircus. In case you haven’t been paying attention, that Latin for domestic goat.

There was swooping down from the hills and collapsing to the ground where I talked about fainting goats, and even before that was the above-mentioned blogpost that was buying time for a longer, more detailed blogpost. A bit like what I have here on offer today.

Having said all that, I can offer you just a bit more goat-related. For some reason, I found myself entering ‘goat‘ and ‘controversy‘ into a search engine. There was quite a lot about a goat controversy that made my eyes glaze over, but when I scrolled down far enough, I found All Things Goat, which I have to say is quite a sight for sore eyes.

These are my people. Imagine how much more influential I’ll be in goat-related topics now that I know I can lend all my useful expertise to the people over at All Things Goat: Exploring the world of Capra aegagrus hircus.

You can hardly wait. I can tell.

fast food

Sometimes when I want to write about something, I search through stock photo websites for the perfect photo to go with my thoughts. Often, the visuals remind me of a photo I’ve taken, so then I go manically  through my library to see if I can use one of my own. It’s then that I realise there are so many little videos I’ve filmed over the years and never bothered sharing.

I’m pretty sure the one above is one I made for one of my corporate clients. The exercise is that you’re randomly given a topic and after a few minutes to collect your thoughts, you speak for a full minute about it. It can be a good opportunity to teach fluency, and often the more comical ones are when the person has absolutely nothing original to say about the topic.

Like me and fast food.

If you watch this short clip, it sounds like one of those book reports where the person hasn’t read the book. Or isn’t even entirely sure of anything about the book.

Animal Farm

‘Well, George Orwells seminal work on the plight of the farms where animals are raised and then tragically slaughtered. He takes you on a journey into the soul of the beasts that will one day soon be sitting atop the plate that is upon your table. And that’s why I can whole-heartedly recommend that you read Animal Farm. It’ll change the whole way you look at consumption and digestion, even.’

You get the idea. If it’s done well, you might know I didn’t read Animal Farm (actually I did, but it was the first example that came to mind) but still enjoy what themes and drama I create out of little, if any, actual details of the book.

So, this weekend I made a very half-hearted attempt at watching Game of Thrones on German television. It’s possible that I didn’t really know what was going on in the plot. But for posterity, as well as a sad attempt at humour, I made a running commentary on Storify while watching it.

[View the story “Calypso and The Station Agent” on Storify]

Say what you like, but I think I have a future in mangling plots. It’s a gift I have, don’t you think?