Posted by: fullandbye | July 23, 2007

The conversation with the German…

At CWB on Saturday, I arrived to a sizable commotion. As it happened, some Germans had rented some dock space in order to do a photo shoot of an aryan family wearing J-Crew sorts of clothes and posing with oars and whatnot. This group of 15 or so had violated the terms of their rental by arriving early, staying late, getting in the way, ordering visitors around, and generally being rude and obtrusive. Several staff had attempted to reason with the Germans, only to be talked down by their ringleader. Then it somehow fell to me to talk to them.

The conversation proceeded thusly:
Raz: Look, many people here are getting very agitated with how this photoshoot is going. We are a museum and we are a school, and you must not interfere with our operations here on a saturday
German (interrupting me): Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
Raz: No, I am serious. Your rental agreement is very clear. You are not the only people on this dock
German (interrupting me again): blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
Raz (Interrupting the german): LOOK! This is not Poland. There are rules. There are rules for where you can and cannot go…(at the mention of the word “Poland” the german became stony faced and red, then he began to quiver as I finished what I had to say and walked away from him).

Hum dee dum…So was I out of line? Perhaps the funniest part about the whole exchange was the fact that in the middle of this altercation with a German (who may or may not have been a nihilist named Ulee) I could hear Walter Sobchak’s voice saying “Smokie, this is not ‘Nam, this is bowling, there are rules…”


  1. Oh man… yeah, it was probably out of line, same as if he’d made a crack about Israel or something.
    But that doesn’t make it any less hilarious. 😛

  2. I figure you gave him enough chances to civilly resolve the situation, and clearly the only way to get this dude’s attention was to go all blitzkrieg on him, so no, I don’t think it was out of line. And definitely hillarious.

  3. Hilariously out of line.

  4. ha. good job, and way to use very appropriate historical references to twist the knife that they were acting inappropriate. +2pts!

  5. LOL. Perfectly in line. Nothing like generations-old shame to put someone in their place.

  6. your family would be proud.

  7. I wouldn’t say so much of out line but rather that the Germans had been running their show on their line much to the frustration of everyone else until the Raz discontinuity at which point they were on a new line.
    Did they start to behave afterwards, or just leave?

  8. I am not sure. Shortly after this confrontation I left the center to go windsurfing elsewhere.

  9. greetings from poland!
    clearly you are a hero among children, raz.
    and way to burn off some confrontation steam with some leisurely windsurfing. i hope you did it with a tall brew and an even taller german women from the photo shoot who was half-clad and perhaps interested in posing with your oar.

  10. Re: greetings from poland!
    I am not good enough at windsurfing for it to ever be leisurely. Man, another time that I went windsurfing recently I got hit on by a woman in a canoe with a dog. But she really annoyed me (my rig had exploded and I was trying to fix it while floating around, which is even harder than it sounds) and after determining that I was more interested in fixing my rig than in talking with her she seemed to decide that she had better things to do than wait around to pose with my oar. That interaction was pretty funny too.

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