A German and a Jew Walk Into a Bar . . .

Thursday, September 6, 2012 | 0 Comment(s)

I know this is a good story because of the amount of equivocating that i have to do before telling it.

I don't hate German people.  At all.  My wife speaks german fluently, and while it does scare me a little bit (in my ancestral spleen), i harbor no ill will or resentment to the country in general.  Oh, i'm jewish.  if you didn't know that.  it seems relevant.  i identify with said Judaism enough that i went on a summer teen tour that visited a number of concentration camps before heading to los holy land.

I do, for the record, harbor some ill will about the Holocaust.  NOT toward any individual German person, but towards "the country".  (I heart angela merkel for the record.)  The way i deal with this ill will is by rooting against German national sports teams.  The world cup.  The olympics.  I root against Germany.  I do.  I openly admit it.  I feel it fair and it really doesn't hurt anyone.

German people, however, i tend to love.  I have had german coworkers, friends, and colleagues.  Lovely.  The lot of them.  No problems ever.

(I hope you are getting a sense of how good the upcoming story is going to be)

Second equivocation.  Some things are both totally inappropriate and simultaneously incredibly and unarguably hilarious.  Many things actually.  To think that one precludes the other is to have never seen the Louis CK show on TV or heard Carlin at his best.  The trick of it is half content, half delivery and tone.  For example, Daniel Tosh works the inappropriate funny pretty hard, but his dickishness often makes people hate him for it, where as Gilbert Godfrey spouts some of the filthiest most offense funny foulness, and its amazeballs and joyous the whole time.

Because this story also explores this fun line, and i have very little control over delivery and tone via typey-type, im hoping you can just sit back and enjoy the show.  Which i swear actually happened.  There are witnesses.  Here goes:

I am working upstairs behind the bar.  It's the first Thursday in our happy Valley with all of the students back in town.  We are getting slammed.  In addition to the influx of undergraduates, there are at least three birthday parties taking place along with a large group of foreign exchange students.  Now, even in a packed and frenetic bar, bartenders communicate quite a bit with each other.  It should go without saying that when an entire group of people are not tipping, that kind of info travels faster than most.  The exchange students were the non-tippers.  And as non-tippers go, foreigners are not that bad.  If someones gonna stiff me, I'd rather be able to explain it as a cultural difference rather than regular ol college dickishness.

So life went on.  Drinks were drunk.  Time ticked.  And before we knew it (ok, we knew it, we were getting tired), it was 12:30am.  Not last call, but close.

And then one of the German student exchange students, a skinny tall blonde-haired fair-skinned gem, a little drunk and in full celebration mode, sauntered up to my bar.

(It is hard to write in a german accent, fyi):

Hans: "I'll have two VictOry Pilzssnahhs" (victory pilsner)
Me: No problem.

As I open the tap to pour the pilsners, the keg kicked, and when it did, it shot its foam spittle across my front.  It happens.  It sucks, but it happens.  I brushed the foam off, brushed the experience of being coated in foam off, and returned to the german to see what else he might like to drink.

Me: Is there anything else you might like?
Hans: mmm . . . ill have two Purple Hazes.

(quick tangent.  i was surprised to hear the german go for the fruit infused beer (raspberry).  There is nothing wrong with fruited beer, but generally speaking the beer connoisseur tends to shy away from those particular concoctions.  I thought this selection was strange particularly in light of his next statement.

Hans: "What happened to the Pilzssnahhs?"

Now, he knew what happened to said pilzsnahhs.  He watched that shit pop all over me, and I couldn't understand what the hell he was getting at, at first, so I replied as if it wasn't an asinine question.  which it was.

Me:  The keg kicked . . . we're out.

Hans: "In Geeermany we ah nevah ouwt of beer!"

Me: (immediate response): "But what about all those Jews!"

Hans: *stunned silence*

I walked away to grab his raspberry beers.

I'm not saying that i was in the right here.  nor am I saying that my reply was appropriate.  But, holy shit, was it funny.  Fat man in a little coat funny.  Ferrell doing Bush funny.  It was the funpocolypse. Somewhere between the exhaustion, lack of tipping, and telling this Jew of Germany's superiority just snapped me.  In truth, my wit is faster than my ability to censor, and on some level, even though it came out of my mouth, we all heard it out loud for the first time together.   We included the bar back, Liz, who was left in that space washing dishes as I retreated for beer retrieval.

Here is how I described the situation Liz was left in.  I walked in and took a huge verbal diarrhea all over the bar between them.   When I retreated, Liz stood there in the position of now trying to convince said German customer (with her eyes mostly) that it wasn't THAT big a dump.  But it was.  and we all knew it.  So, in form, Liz went with the "well maybe you should tip then" look.  Great call.

Only one other customer got caught in this amazing WWII cross-fire, and i knew her, so Hans, feeling shocked, put in his place, and flailing for some sense of what the hell just happened to his world, was left with no outlet for commiseration.  And what can you say back to that anyway?  What is the comeback to that comeback?

I do feel a teeny weensy bit bad about the whole scenario.  Next time he's in, the raspberry beers on me.

 And now, puppy poses of the week (last night actually):

The Mastercard
The Siamese Twin

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