Some more reports of problems at City Hall. So according to the local news today they’ve found a storage closet on the fourth floor that’s just chock full of German-speaking academic types saying “peculiar”. Nobody knows why there’s this collection. For my tastes, just the great way they pronounce that central syllable is justification enough. But I don’t see why the city needs so many of them. Or really any of them at all. You’d think it was something for the community college.
Also in a waiting room on the sixth floor the audio system is always playing Kid Creole and the Coconuts’s 1985 hit “Endicott”. Like, the song finishes and then it starts right back up. It’s a fun enough song, but this is a bit much, considering the room doesn’t have an audio system. The leading hypothesis is the room is haunted by a fan of New Wave/Disco music but who just isn’t that adventurous, or has maybe been locked out of their iTunes account. Part of renovations would include just signing the ghost up for a new account already, one they have a password manager for.
Does that seem skimpy ? That seems skimpy. Well, how about this . I was reading Lisa Jardine’s Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance. In the last chapter she quotes a letter by the master artist Albrecht Dürer to one of his patrons. Dürer’s quoted as passing on his nephew’s thanks for two florins sent as Trinkgeld, money to get a drink. I’m delighted to learn that 16th Century German apparently had a perfectly legitimate word for “beer money”. Also that it’s adorable! I can’t imagine a more adorable term for this unless it’s whatever the Dutch version of “Trinkgeld” is. There must be a word for the joy of discovering an adorable German word for something. I bet it’s in French.
I was in the pet store and after spending enough time watching the guinea pigs (who just had a litter of six! Six! Can you imagine?) I wandered into the aquarium supplies, to get food for our goldfish. There they had a gadget for catching snails, which apparently people need to do every now and then.
The Snail Collect was labelled, in English, as a “snail trap”. Fine enough. It was also identified on the box as, in French, “piège á escargots”, which is maybe better. And then in German it was “Schnecken-Falle”, and I can’t decide whether the French or the German is more wonderful. I have got to find out what this is called in Dutch.