The weekend Aufsteierer festival just ended here in Graz. They do this every year. They shut down the city center and have a weekend celebration of their Styrian-ness. The locals wear lederhosen and dirndls and erect several dozen huts selling local food, wine, beer, hats, and other craft. Oh, and Sturm. They sell a lot of Sturm. aka "Youngwine" or "inadequately fermented proto-wine" that is dangerously easy to drink. They love warning tourists not to drink it too fast. Thanks, I said; I lived here for over 2 years.
Capitalizing on recent events, I made a protest sign urging Obama not to bomb Styria. I spent at least ten hours yesterday (Sunday) walking around the city center with my protest sign. I figured that the more observant and intelligent locals would be amused, and stupid curmudgeons wouldn't get the joke and be offended. Worked perfectly. I was even accosted in public by an old woman who bitched at me for "don't make politic here" because "this is our festival". Learning from other snotty people, I pretended I spoke no German and forced her into wonderfully catachretic convolutions to explain why it was morally wrong. I asked her if she knew the difference between Syria and Styria. Yes, she said. I switched to German and asked if she was sure: Bist du sicher? Note that using the informal tense on an older person is highly insulting. She began explaining this to me and I simply pointed to the sign, repeating again that it has nothing to do with politics. This amused me greatly. It didn't amuse her, but nothing would.
During my third hour of meandering with a protest sign in one hand and Sturm in the other, I ran in to some buddies of mine who work at the Steak Boutique. Like many locals, they were walking around with their dog. Their dog is named Kirby, short for kuerbis, or pumpkin. Good name, although not nearly as good as Flash Marvin. Unlike other locals, they dressed their dog in lederhosen. I was thoroughly upstaged. Nobody noticed my protest sign any more, instead losing themselves in utter shock and fascination at the "Hund mit Lederhosen." Everyone stopped and pointed. Everyone wanted a picture. Ah ha ha ha! Ho ho ho! Ji ji ji! (This is how they laugh here.) Ein Hund mit Lederhosen!
JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!!!!!!! You guys have been wearing lederhosen for hundreds of years. You're amazingly dog-friendly. You are great engineers and craftsmen. WTF is so novel and kreativ about a dog with pants?! Rich old bats in Santa Monica walk dogs with pants routinely. You can find dog-pants for sale all over the internet. None of you locals ever thought of this before? Have you ever heard of doghouses, dog chew-toys, dog collars, or dog shit? I became much less jealous after realizing that the li'l pumpkin was one hell of a chick magnet. I also felt increasingly sorry for Kirby, who obviously disliked his pants despite the attention they got him. They weren't even capitalizing on the opportunity. Kirby's pants had little pockets that were just the right size for business cards. If you're gonna be silly, why not be tacky too? I mean, look at the asshole in the blue shirt.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
It looks like the US is not going to bomb Styria. Mr. President, I am in Styria, risking my life to explore some of your faulty intelligence. Yes, I remember, you have to pretend you didn't personally ask me to come scout here, but we both know.
Here is what I learned:
1) I confirmed their chemical weapons stockpiles. They are truly horrific. I just got back from a public plaza called "Hauptplatz" where well over 1400 people were afflicted with some wicked concoction that dramatically affects the central nervous system, causing motor deficits, confusion, vomiting, headache, and the illusion of wit. They call it schilcher Sturm. The unleashed it on innocent civilians, many as young as 16 (or so their fake IDs say).
2) They do too have oil!!! They deny it. But it's called kuerbiskernoil. They seem to have it on the scale of trillions of barrels, and consume it casually. This alone justifies bombing them.
3) The media says the Turks will support an attack. I think your geography is a bit off, Mr. President; there are a few countries between here and Turkei. But they have established many bases here called "Doener kebab stands." Many Turks speak the local language and are resentful of perceived racism. They have already begun distributing their low-grade chemical weapons to the civilians. These weapons, called "Iskender Kebabs," cause lethargy, high cholesterol, and severe gastrointestinal distress.
4) They are racist against black people!! Their streetcars have signs that warn that Schwartzfahren, or "black travelling," is illegal. I asked if the rule applies to people who are half-black, thinking of course of you, sir, my president. Nobody knows. To be safe, if you ride any streetcars here, you should maybe put your legs and an arm out the window, ensuring that at most half of you is inside the streetcar at any time.
5) They are meddling in our internal affairs. They established a museum to some local guy who became the governor of California. His last name translates as "black plowman." I guess he is not allowed to ride the local streetcars either. Actually, he doesn't look very black. Liar!
6) I saw no evidence of any serious air defenses. Besides, we have Tomahawks and they don't.
7) We would get them by surprise. I am pretty sure they are not expecting an attack from the US. They seem totally unprepared for any naval attack and don't even worry about their navy. This might have something to do with the size of their coastline. And if they say it is not nice to sneak attack people, remind them that about 75 years ago, they [CENSORED]
8) I'm not a legal expert but I think that Styria cannot invoke article 5 of NATO since Styria is not technically a country in NATO.
9) Some citizens are eager to rebel. The whole region of Styria (which they call Steiermark) used to be owned by Steyr, which is about 2 hours north of here (or five by train). They are all marked men.
10) It would really distract people from that whole NSA - Prism thing.
In summary, Mr. President, most of your intelligence about Styria is wrong. It is almost like you are thinking of a totally different part of the world. Please Kerry on with your war hawkery. Better yet, the locals seem to be in the middle of an election. Maybe you could sneak in some of our boys and take Styria without bloodshed. I think the ex-governor of California is available and he speaks the local language (with a very bad accent). I don't think he would win, but maybe you send him to terminate some other candidates, or just disguise him as a small old woman with glasses.
I want a medal for this, Mr. President.