My German Neighbors

14 Aug

I can’t say that I’m ready to start writing on this blog again. Consider that I don’t have any pictures of anything that I’ve done since leaving The States (I might have one or two pictures), and that Ian Douglas-Moore has been on deck without me for so long (writing interesting and often humorless entries about silent composers and bustling Chernobyls). And beyond our quaint blogicile are the countless other online-readeries with far more interesting lives and perspectives (and pictures). My favorites being:

  • Brendan’s WeatherBrendan Heberton keeps me up-to-date on weather events in the U.S.
  • CounterPunch – IDM turned me on to this online version of a contemporary muckraking newsletter. On you’ll find commentaries from people like Ward Churchill (Colorado love, Colorado pride), Ralph Nader, the Noam Chomskinator, and Fidel Castro.
  • 12 Bottle Barpossibly the most enticing and rewarding blog I’ve ever read. Their stated purpose remarks about “making classic cocktails accessible to the home bartender,” but I’m a faithful reader that has yet to tear himself away from an entry to actually make the drink I’m reading about. Suggested Reading: Admiral Russel’s Punchyou probably won’t make it, but you’ll meet people like Edward Russel, 1st earl of Oxford, you’ll travel with St. Augustine to the year AD569, and you’ll even kiss under a mistletoe with the Druids.
  • Al Jazeera BlogsI’d describe it in three words: fascinating, terrifying, accumulating.
  • Solus Rex Brad Kloewer’s “most amazing blog ever.” And it is. Burn your passport, sell all of your books, lock your doors, and maybe get some eyedrops ‘cause these entries are sad, hilarious, riveting, and incredibly long.

Luckily, it’s not a competition… Right guys? But it could be, and would be, if only the preceding list of blogs somehow syphoned readers into the SuperKuhlWunderBlog realm. On second thought, it is a competition.

And it’s more than a competition. It’s a virtual shout-out to everyone I’ve neglected for the last several months. You can have this blog, but I still won’t call you. Nora, if you’re reading, please tell Will I say hello.

So let’s get right into it with some questions that I think my friends might ask if they could talk to me. First: Are you still crazy? Yes.

I have spent five weeks teaching and living with German children. In the picture above you might notice a “crazy” look in my eyes after a makeup molestation activity called “pimp my counselor.” I’ve gone to sleep with legs freshly washed in mosquito welts, burning and aching, only to dream about a fictional Japanese camper named Grammar who wouldn’t stop drinking grape juice. I’ve woken up, day after day, at 7:30am with sleepy questions in my head. For example: “fat girl near the door, she wants candy. Candy near the fat girl, it wants pizza. Why can’t a candy bar get a divorce or order a pizza?” Now let’s look at a list of things I know for sure-tainly:

  • Bus drivers are always driving
  • Autobahn is unlimited
  • My attention goes wow when traffic signs dance to the music in my headphones
  • Breaking it down is safe
  • Up, down
  • Parties are better with balloons
  • We’ll always be together
  • I’ve “been there”
  • Crying sometimes sounds like laughing
  • Wind turbines aren’t choreographed
    • They’re birds. Long legged. Sometimes they get up and go.
  • I know what it is
  • German kids are vampires looking out of camper windows
  • Swimming is a different type of walking
  • Fuck
  • Being in a coma changes you

Next question: What do you mean “parties are better with balloons?”

I would like it best if this response was accompanied by the following song: The Berlitz language camps I’ve been working at end each week with a disco party. My first thought was, “what could be lamer than a disco party with children?” The answer: a disco party with children without balloons. Balloons are great in social situations because they’re so playful. Not pushing at the ceiling with helium, but bumping around on the floor. You can step on them or squeeze them or poke them with something sharp and BLAP! a little bit of someone’s breath escapes into the room, into other lungs. You can grab them by their tails and spin them around, don’t let it touch the ground, bonk someone in the face with it. Their eyes get locked up by a collapsing face and nostrils flare. Nothing asks “do you want to dance” better than a balloon to the face. Another thing to be said about parties with balloons is their safety factor. Goodbye stab fights with glass shards, hello balloon fights of laughter! Not a good dancer? Square shoulders and cement-block hips? Grab Mr. Balloon for a dance partner, see how your step quickens. He lifts you up. Toss him high up into the air, twirl beneath the barrel chested air-egg and bounce him just in time back into the air. Do another pass below him and then reunite with a spin and a shuffle. The girls will go wild for your balloon moves. All the while, listen to the 12 year-old DJ playing “I Just Had Sex” featuring Akon.

What’s the best part about teaching English to children?

The stories I make them write. My favorite lesson involves having the children draw an exquisite corpse character and then drafting an exquisite corpse story for that character. Enjoy a few samples (sorry, no pictures):

“Pedo Bär – his vagina was very wet, and very fat, and then he go to bed, and go to sleep… He is an ugly alien and he can do nothing but eat. He eats everything but his favorite food is pinapple.”

“It’s the end of the world and Josie is the last person alive. She is a fat person from Mars, and is a really good singer. She wanted to have her own world. And she wanted to have somebody to kill. So she went to a big city and started searching for a human. But she couldn’t find anything and cried sadly. But then she heard a sound of music and she began to dance and sing. It was an old radio that stood on a road and next to it there was an old man. The old man looked really scary and it seemed as if he would like to run away from Josie. She scared him very much, but… then they got friends.”

“It’s the end of the world and Blabla is the last person alive. The person live on a island in the south-pazific of the world with his friends, the animal Croopidu, a Papagei and her delfin Piggy. At one day of her loneliness she built a big sand castle and remembered her family. She would build so big a sandcastle to hold all the clone people. That’s why she loves cookies. She can’t get enough. She lives in a house in front of a cookie. She one time ate it. She is a mearyoungwoman and swimming with Piggy and Coopidu in the meer of the world… later, she always eat fish and chocolate.”

“It’s the end of the world and Jason is the last person alive. He try to find food and some water, because he is in the rain-forest. He wants to stay alive and live forever. He wants to go to the Caribbean, it is beautiful there. He wants to travel around the world. He don’t like the mankind, he’s an Emo, so he’s happy to be alone. Now he don’t know what to do. So he decided to kill himself. He don’t know what to do! So now he live in a beach house in Malibu and is happy for the rest of his life. So he find a highway without a car, then he drive with a Ferrari, with 300 kilometers per hour, against a wall. The end.”

Any questions?


5 Responses to “My German Neighbors”

  1. tori August 14, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    i’m so glad to hear that little german kids have such… perverted experiences at english summer camp

    • jasonbox August 15, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

      yeah, the entire camp thing is pretty perverted. At night when the kids are made to go to sleep their rooms are literally stuffy with hormones. It’s scary.

  2. twelvebottles August 14, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    Thanks so much for the mention and the too kind words. We’ll try to keep things interesting.

  3. epancake24 August 14, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    I had no idea that those foldy picture things were called “exquisite corpses” and “These poetic fragments were felt to reveal what Nicolas Calas characterized as the “unconscious reality in the personality of the group” resulting from a process of what Ernst called “mental contagion.”” -your link

    Do small germans have mental contagions… and if so are you the key to their mental conatgion? Cause one of those stories was definitely about you.

    Please continue writing The Adventures of Jason Fox, AKA Mental Contagion


    • jasonbox August 15, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

      Well hello Mo, nice to hear from you. I couldn’t say either way if small Germans have mental contagions or not. If I had to guess, I’d say yes.

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