Donnerstag, 10. November 2016

Germany's shell-shocked, but Stars and Stripes just about saves the day

When German newspapers start running headlines in English you know they're gearing up for another shit storm.

On the day after the election my colleague from Texas comes into the staff room looking as miserable as the gloomy November sky. “Ooh my Gourd!”, he groans. For a moment it sounds like he's suffering from Muskelkater, those awful aching bones and limbs which Germans so enjoy complaining about.

I know it's not funny, but I almost choke on the brezel I'm chewing. As you might do when you want to laugh but suddenly find something's in the way. Because that’s the very headline on most of the day's German newspapers: "Oh my God!" And, underneath, as if some sort of afterthought, following a long editorial discussion whether readers would understand the foreign language expression – "Geht's noch?”. Yes, that lovely expression which Germans mutter when showing the middle finger.

Anyway, typically British, I simply reply “Oh dear”. My colleague, you see, had been worried what to tell his students. Even though I’d reassured him that the disastrous result was not entirely his fault. But now he’d really gone and added fuel to the fire: “I played them HIS Acceptance Speech, and one girl started crying. I’ve come to get some tissues for her.”

Not a brilliant start to any lesson. But deep down inside I know I'm not going to have an easy lesson either. After all, we Brits used to rule the USA too. And we weren't very popular rulers either. No wonder they kicked us out.

Suddenly however, I have a Geistesblitz - a brilliant idea. I’ll make the lesson topical yet totally avoid having to talk about HIM.

I go in and show the students Why Americans love their flag, which takes us back to the very first U.S. president, George Washington, and how the Stars and Stripes was born.

We all learn something new about American history. And – I’m delighted to say – no one cries.

"Trump wants only one dollar a year in salary"
 "I'd give him twice as much just for him to quit". 

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