October 29, 2013
Hermann the German: Merkelphonegate.
My friend Hermann, still braving Berlin after all these years, notes that "Germans Push To Introduce Espionage Etiquette Manual". Excerpt:
Folks in Germany are always very anxious about social etiquette and behaving correctly in public. The "Knigge," for instance, is a famous book about social rules and how one should behave in practically all situations. When it comes to seating arrangements at table, for instance:
1. Couples that aren’t married always sit together.
2. Married couples normally don’t sit abreast.
3. Not until the homemaker wants to sit on the table the guests are allowed to sit, too.
4. The dish rests on the table until the last guest has eaten his meal.
Now, in the wake of all this undue excitement going on about the Obama administration’s benevolent “Merkelphone” eavesdropping program, Germany has decided to take the initiative when it comes to etiquette in certain private (or private eye) matters, too. During a two-day summit in Brussels, the Germans have suggested the introduction of an internationally recognized Espionage Etiquette Manual to be followed geflissentlich (studiously) by all superpowers on earth.
The "other" Herman, or Arminius, was a leader of Roman Auxiliary Cavalry in the 9th Century AD. In the three-day battle known as the Varus Schlact, which took place in a dense forest, he switched sides, led the destruction of three Roman Legions (about 10,000 in number) and stopped Roman expansion into what is now Germany.
Posted by JD Hull at October 29, 2013 10:47 PM