Friday, October 22

A chance encounter with a German plumber (in a goth club)
Before I begin this tale of linguistic misunderstandings, broken urinals and fake spider webs, I just want to make one thing clear...I'm not a goth! Yes ok, my girlfriend is a goth, but that doesn't make me one, I mean look at me Do I look like a goth?

Right i'm glad we've got that out of the way...Now as I was saying...I was in this goth club in Berlin the other week....

It's called the Last Cathedral and lets give those German goths credit - they really went to town on the decor. Tables shaped like coffins, candles everywhere, spiderwebs, mist that kind of thing..it's impressive stuff.

So it's about midnight and i've had a pint or two of the local ale (Warsteiner perhaps? I can't remember), so now I need to go and have a slash.

I enter the toilet and it seems in a state of construction, there's stuff all over the floor and a large bag of tools lie close by. Undeterred I prepare to take a wee and just as i'm about to take aim and fire a large man in overalls enters and starts shouting something to me in impenetrable German. Whatever he says, it's got lots of long words and contains lots of Z's. 'Ja' I mutter in reply before returning to the task in hand.

Again he repeats himself and I listen to what he says (I don't know about you, but I find it hard to piss and listen at the same time). I still don't understand so I says to him 'I'm English, I don't sprecken Ze Deutsche (or something)'.

He suddenly walks over to me at the urinal, standing next to me. He's very close. He's got a moustache I notice. I think he's going to put his arm around me. I try and remember whether this bar was in the gay section in the listings magazine.

"You want big shit?' says the German
"erm no" I reply
"You don't want ze big shit?"
"No" I say
For some reason he finds this very funny - obviously that famous German sense of humour.
He then slaps me on the back several times...really hard
"Because if you want big shit you have to go to ze little lady room"

And then I see. He's a plumber and he's fixing the toilets and not in a Village People tribute act.

"I fix ze shitter" he continues to explain, before showing me his spanner (from his toolbag.

I quickly finish up, thank him and return to my coffin table, nerves slightly frazzled but with a greater understanding of German lavatory repair.