My German BFF

I finally landed the interview of a lifetime. After following the career of acclaimed German psychologist Dubist Ein Esel for many years, I found him behind the drive-through window at a Dairy Queen in Clearwater. His hair remains as wiry as Einstein’s, his shoulders scrawny like Justin Bieber’s, the bulging eyes akin to Betty Davis’s, a tuft of gray chest hair flowing upwards atop his uniform like that of Anthony Hopkins’ in The Silence of the Lambs.

The author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Projectile Vomiting As Displaced Aggression Among Capuchin Monkeys,” Herr Esel evidently gave up the lucrative lecture circuit to go into semi-retirement in our humble community. Armed with my trusty Gazette-monogrammed notepad, I breathlessly coaxed the grizzled meister to step outside for a few minutes. We settled comfortably onto one of the fashionable Dairy Queen concrete seating slabs.

Forthwith appear my brief interview and his most respectable answers, which hopefully my limited knowledge of German translates correctly.

(Editor’s Note: Not that we don’t trust Doug’s accuracy, but it’s the Gazette’s policy to double-check all copy. Accordingly, the correct translations follow his in parentheses.)

DK: Mr. Dubist Ein Esel, are you in good health?

Esel: Viel besser als du. Du sind fett und hasslich.

DK translation: Yes, I’m doing quite well. You look to be fit and healthy too.

(Correct translation: Much better than you. You are fat and ugly.)

DK: Can I come visit you and learn from your teachings?

Esel: Ich wäre wahrscheinlicher, Selbstmord zu begehe.

DK translation: It would be a rare honor to tutor someone of your high intellect.

(Correct translation: I would be more likely to commit suicide.)

DK: What do you think of the people in this country?

Esel: Amerikanische Männer sind faul und jede Frau will mit mir schlafen.

DK translation: The men have extremely good character and the women are noble and chaste.

(Correct translation: American men are lazy and every woman wants to sleep with me.)

Herr Esel abruptly stood, nodded at the backup of cars and retreated into the Dairy Queen. I remained seated, my eyes fixated on the drive-through window that glowed like an arch encompassing a deity. How ironic to witness one ordinary wretch after another ordering from a Pulitzer Prize winner such trivialities as an Oreo Blizzard or a waffle cone with two scoops of vanilla dipped in chocolate without nuts.

I’m still aglow with the reflected glory of being in the presence of Dubist Ein Esel. That he returned my respect during our interview with such wonderful praise is something I’ll always treasure.

Soon after that memorable encounter, I drove to the Dairy Queen window and with a beaming smile said, “Auf wiedersehen.” Dubist Ein Esel appeared stunned to see me, and then in his typically measured manner replied, “Raus, du Idiot,” which means, “I hope to see you again.” (Correct translation unnecessary.)

Doug Kelly, a resident of Clearwater, is a book author and freelance writer.

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