Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Three Stories

I have a thousand German stories that I can tell....some historical....some financial.....some dealing with government idiots....and some are just examples of German society.

My three best short stories on German society:

1.  A work associate of mine made close friends back in the 1990s with a German couple.  My associate decided decided to invite the German couple (professional couple from Wiesbaden in their 30's, a guy and a gal) on a summer vacation drive through America.  It was to be a two week drive through Arizona, Vegas and southern California.  Attending to Germans is often a pain, and in this the third day, they were at Death Valley, in the midst of July.  To see what they needed to see....they needed six hours.  My associate tried in various ways to convince them to start early....around 5AM and be finished by the time it hit 112 degrees at noon.  No, absolutely day-trips ever started before 10AM.  As as 2PM rolled around and they were out to sight-see.....the heat was killing this German couple.  The misery of that afternoon took a tremendous toil.  By late extreme argument of sorts occurred between all parties.  The rest of this trip continued on, but my associate learned that Germans won't be pushed or acknowledge the necessity of changing schedules.  Hostility brewed each and everyday, and my associated vowed never to invite a German on any trip ever again.

2.  Around the Kindsbach area of Kaiserslautern, there's an upscale neighborhood that was built in the early 1990s.  One guy made the deal to buy the property, and then turned around to build dozens of upscale houses.  There's a certain level of profit you can make off this type of operation.  Well....he wasn't happy with that margin.  So at various points of construction....he would let go of his German contractor crew, and silently bring in Poles and various other 'black-labor'.  No one ever said a word during this phase, and the house sold....with his profit margin a bit higher than you'd expect.  This would be a great business story....except he had a girlfriend in addition to his German wife.  The wife found out about the affair, and found the book which detailed the true financial dealings.  The wife turned everything over to the Finanzamt (Germany's IRS), and they took possession of the guy, his wealth, and the book.  He ended up with a deal where he did jail time, and lost a fair portion of his wealth.  What remained?  The wife took most of that.

3.  Germans used to all use heating oil to heat houses.  I worked with an American who had a German neighbor in a older house....which had converted the decade prior to natural gas.  The neighbor had preached to the American that he needed to convert over and this was all a wise and economical decision to make.  Somewhere in the weeks after this intense discussion over heating oil and natural gas.....some heating oil truck pulled up to the German neighbor's house, and made a mistake over the house number.  Strangely enough....the German had converted to natural gas, but had left this one oil connecting pipe in it's original position outside the back of the house.  The heating oil guy found the pipe.....hooked his truck to it, and pumped.....and pumped.....and pumped.  Somewhere in the thirty minutes of pumping.....some neighbor sees this truck and is confused.....they come over and ask if this guy had gotten rid of his natural gas heat.  The truck guy suddenly flipped out and realized the house number might be wrong.  Damage?  It's safe to say that the whole basement was screwed up for weeks, and the oil company had to pay to make things right.  After this episode....the German neighbor never brought up oil to my associate ever again.

1 comment:

Don said...


When my eldest brother (now deceased) was a young man his best buddy was Louis
Gladwyn (or Gladwin) Kirk. After both of them had served in WWII Kirk became a forest ranger in charge of Death Valley. His wife, Ruth Kirk, later became a widely published author.

SEE: The “Paper Ranger” @