My usual goal

is to blend in

to the fabric of the scene-

just look like I belong.


But a Grateful Dead cap

overrode my Germanic features

and they were on to me.


I had trouble ordering

a weizen bier

committing the sin

of attracting attention to myself.


A drunk German (oxymoron?) approaches

asking slurred questions.


“Nicht sprechen Deutsch.”

I speak softly.


“Nicht sprechen Deutsch?”

He repeats mocking me.


He starts to hassle me

and his friends seem annoyed by him.

My poor language skills

have obviously offended him.


I’m hesitant but want

to diffuse the situation.

“Mein namen ist George.

Wie heißen Sie?”


It was a shot in the dark.

He was taken aback

And quietly gave his name.


“Ich bin froh sie kennenzulernen.”

I said extending my hand.


His friends started laughing.

Someone slapped me on the back.

After tepidly shaking my hand

my fallen adversary retreated.


I shook hands with his friends

and quietly returned to my stool

to slowly polish off my beer.


Author's Notes/Comments: 

tragedy narrowly averted or how to avoid conflict with besotten Germans.  

“Mein namen ist George. Wie heißen Sie?” = my name is george.  What is your name?

“Ich bin froh sie kennenzulernen.” = I'm pleased to make your acquaintance.

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allets's picture


That was funny :D



georgeschaefer's picture

I'd say back when I thought I

I'd say back when I thought I was German but that is close to half my ancestry. thanks for reading.