Feb 22, 2013

Lübke English

Heinrich Lübke
Heinrich Lübke was the second president of postwar (West) Germany, and he is remembered for only one thing, his English. He're an example of typical Lübke English:

A: "Hello, Sir, how goes it you?"
B: "Oh, thank you for the afterquestion." 
A: "Are you already long here?"
B: "No, first a pair days. I come not out London." 
A: "Thunderweather, that overrushes me. You see not so out."
B: "That can yes beforecom. I come out Frankfurt."
A: "Das hätte ich nicht gedacht, Sie sprechen ja ausgesprochen gutes Englisch."

So, why do we bring this up? Because of Godehart, of course, the fifth generation descendant of operatic composer Richard Wagner, one of the lead characters in our outrageous novel "Green Eyes."

Spoiler alert: our attempt to dress Godehart in true Lübke English came to nothing --- it's difficult to comprehend (even for Germans), and it wouldn't be convincing given that Godehart is an educated person from an international family whose English ought to be reasonably fluent.

Anyhow, here's a fragment from the Green Eyes, from Chapter 43, "Lets have congress while I explain," where Godehart initiates John to the secrets of Manhunt advertising (Manhunt, the internet dating service):

We've reached full afterplay now, which means we are resting against the chrome grill, not the most comfortable head rests, and I don’t know what to say. Gohard is stroking his dick again. “How about a re-run,” he says as he’s pulling his foreskin in all directions.
“It was great,” I say, “but I need to save some cum for Hunnsbruck.”
“Hunnsbruck,” he exclaims, “I almost forgot. Yes, let us save some cum for Hunnsbruck. Let us get pen and paper.” He jumps off the bed and returns with a Montblanc pen and a leather-bound, Wagner-iconed notebook, this one even prettier than Howard’s lawyer’s diary.
“Let us swap opinions about the right use of internet dating sites” he says, “I am of course a platinum member of Manhunt, so I can help you. How old are you?”
“Twenty nine.” He has opened the notebook, readied the pen, and scribbles my age pensively onto a virgin page.
“That’s clever,” he says, “that’s really clever. Twenty-nine. I didn’t think you would have it in you.”

(I sort-of agree defensively.)

“Twenty seven would be the self-evident choice, but not the best, on the same grounds. So that we are practically forced to choose twenty-six. But everybody knows that, or? So it becomes twenty-five. But everybody knows that. And so it goes on turtles all the way down, until one reaches the age of nineteen, where one meets uppity twinks who lie about their illegal age. But everbody knows that, or? So one is stuck. I’ve seen many good man stuck at twenty-one, it’s laughable, men practically two times my age. Whence the wise choice of twenty eight imposes itself upon us.”
“I thought you were talking twenty-nine.”
“That was just and added flourish, meant as a playful wink in the direction of the public. Always play to the public.” He intones the first bars of some aria beyond the range of his voice. Wagner? “Figaro, Figaro, Figaro giu, Figaro piu.” Wagner?

The number 28 is carefully penciled onto a virgin page of his diary.

“How old are you in reality?”
“Twenty nine.”
“Twenty nine.”
“You lie.”
“I swear, I’m twenty nine.”
“This is not the first time, or?”
“Well, sort of.”
“Sort-of twenty nine, that is better. Let us reflect over this, sort-of twenty nine is the only right age for the active homosexual. How old are you in reality?”
“Twenty nine.”
“Well, if you insist on it. I understand. In the end it is not so important, or? So long as you are sufficiently younger than he. What is his age?”
“He’s the youngest DA in the history of the world, or Georgia, or the judicial district.”
“Ach. Legal age, can we hope? Else could he get you arrested.”
“He’s 28 on his Manhunt page.”
“Twenty-eight, QED, twenty eight, Quod erat demonstrandum,” Godehard exclaims, “he must be a good fuck.” He’s overjoyed.

“Godehart,” I say, “we don’t have much time.”
“OK, let’s shortcut the corners. Your position.” He writes down ‘Versatile,’ so I can see it. “I don’t have to explain this, I presume,” he says. “Height: ‘Six feet two.’ Are you’re shorter than six feet, people will think you have issues. Penis size is correlated to body length. Built: ‘Defined.’ Yes, I know, you are nearso athletic, but we don’t want to awe a district attorney. Ethnicity: ‘Causasian,’ better don’t lie about your skin color. Hair: Tousled.”
“I think they mean the color.”
“Exactly, a sense of humor is always in the right place. Eyes. You have beautiful eyes, their oscillation between gray and ochre, but this is too complicated for Manhunt. You say ‘oscillating between gray and ochre,’ they think you are a schizophrenic. ‘Ask,’ we write, let them ask. Cock: ‘Seven inches.’ Seven inches is obligatorial unless yours is truly seven inches, when you say nine, or ten, naturally. Eight inches are very rare, and cause suspicious attitudes. Availability: ‘Sometimes,’ we say, else he thinks you’re a fast woman. Place: ‘Mine.’ How about your pictures?”

“I’m on my way to Jack, who’s a professional photographer.”
“Make sure they don’t look too realistic, your pictures, realistic pictures provoke suspicion.”

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