Then I asked the physiotherapist, 'If medicine can use these things to get muscles to contract, and to get hearts to start beating, why not put these electrodes on my bald head to jump-start follicles into growing hair?' And he made a gesture with his fingers suddenly spreading out as if overnight a person sprouts a full head of hair. Sounds good to me--unless it KEEPS growing at that rate and you need a haircut every fifteen minutes.
At Barnes and Noble, the coffee shop lady was redheaded. She produced a wonderful apple spice drink--I told her she could charge more--a cover charge--if she did Celtic tap-dancing for the people in the coffee shop. She laughed.
At Chick-Fela, two of the employees were redheaded. After ordering my waffle fries and lemonade, I told them the same thing.
What I'm talking about is most famously seen in this series: Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, and Feet of Flames, starring Michael Flatley and Jean Butler. It's really incredible--I didn't know knees could bend sideways and up like that.
A redheaded friend says, ‘Oh yes, I've seen them. It is as if their arms and legs flail about independent from their bodies. I'm pretty sure I will reserve the right to say no to that request.’ So I suggested that maybe her daughters could try it--it's a very redheaded thing to do!
b. GERMAN, POLISH, and AUSTRIAN:
At Costco, when the lady recommended to me a Polish sausage, I told her, 'This reminds me of the bratwurst in Wisconsin, and everything fits because YOU look like some of the people I know in Wisconsin’. She smiled and said, 'Well, I'm German.' I told her now I was thinking of Bing Crosby's song on his sing-along album, 'Schnitzelbanke' (sp?). I could have also mentioned eating wonderful German food at the home of the parents of Dieter Skowron, and of my friend Gilde Hampton Kirkland (who hails from Austria), of my worship song lyrics using the melody 'Edelweiss', of apfelstrudel and weinerschitzel (the last of this I had was in Nepal, so imagine how deprived I am--a German lady said that the 'German Bakeries' seen in many tourist places in Nepal and India aren't very authentic, but they try), the visit to Germany when I was a kid and we had HUGE frankfurters in Frankfurt (but, alas, no Hamburgers in Hamburg), plus the German restaurants in Minneapolis, Columbus (Ohio) and Colombo (Sri Lanka) I've enjoyed, and that I've been told by several Germans that 'Auf...Augustine' is a silly song that means nothing, which reminds me of Anna Russell's statement about a passage from Wagner's 'Ring de Neiberlungen' (sp?): 'I hesitate to translate it because it doesn't mean anything'--yet, as she said later in the same comedy sketch, 'That's the beauty of grand opera--you can do ANYthing so long as you SING it!' And then there's Italian Victor Buono's statement about an operatic soprano: 'somewhere between her first selection and Thursday, she elected for some perverse reason to include in her repertoire three arias of "Madame Butterfly"--in German. Out loud. She sang them very well, but hearing "Madame Butterfly" sung well in German is not unlike seeing "Swan Lake" danced well by the San Diego Chargers'. And while we're on the German language, please see Mark Twain's very hilarious essay, 'The Awful German Language', in which he says this language of famously orderly people has more exceptions to its rules than instances of the rules, but that the learner's salvation is in learning the two words 'Ach' and 'Zug', which, taken in all their various possible meanings, together comprise about 40% of the language.
Anyway, I've met many wonderful German people. I've heard Americans living in Germany grumble about not being able to mow their lawns in the mornings on weekends, but that very sensible rule is to allow people who get up early to work on weekdays a chance to sleep in on the weekends. And I've heard of an American hospitalized in Germany and wanting to interrogate her doctor, then being transferred to the psychiatric unit on grounds that she must be crazy if she thinks she knows more about medicine than her doctor does. And to me, that makes sense, too.
And, in Gilde Hampton Kirkland's honor, let me also state that I enjoyed an Austrian restaurant in Nepal, that in Vienna while visiting the Hamptons I bought, and still have, a complete set of Beethoven's symphonies and also a set of music by the Strauss waltz kings, and that I know Austria is not where kangaroos hop around and people sing 'Waltzing Matilda'. She really impressed my mom because Gilde, after an evening's conversation with elderly matriarch Daisy Lewis (who always jealously guarded the secret of her age, so we never asked) was able to calculate Mrs Lewis’ age from various things she'd said during the evening. Gilde took on the role of ‘clever Gretel’ from the folktale, deciphered the secret and demonstrated to us her PRECISE TEUTONIC MIND!