German on the Massanutten

I was working down by our pavilion on the Shenandoah’s bank the other day when Newt who lives over in Hootin Hollow came floating down the river. He tied up on the steps and came ashore to sit a spell. I haven’t figured out yet if ole’ Newt is from Germany or if his folks spoke German while he was growing up as a boy. Either way, he speaks with the same German brogue that some of my students had who were from the Ipswich area when I taught back in South Dakota. He told me about an encounter he had last week.

He was driving his old pickup down their country road when he noticed a man using his hand to drink water from his stock pond. He said he unrolled whats left of the window and shouted: “Froh, dich zu treffen! Trink das Wasser nicht. Die kuehe haben darein geschissen.” … Which means: “Glad to meet you! Don’t drink the water, the cows have shit in it.”

The man shouted back: “I’m from Florida and just up here sitting up Jeb’s presidential campaign. I can’t understand you. Please speak English.”

Newt said he replied: “I said, Use both hands.”

Keep your fork


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