Carl and Gerlinde (XXXVII)
Oh my God – why did it have to happen after this heavenly steak with champignons and broccoli of all times? Even the Riesling had been exactly the right temperature. Which was not a matter of course with Gerlinde. But today: perfection – the temperature! And then this…
Well, it all had started going wrong as soon as Carl had returned from the office: totally unexpectedly, Gerlinde sulked and pursed her very red small mouth after the fleeting welcoming kiss, remaining in front of him and not uttering a single word. The demanding stare she gave him during this mute gesture was actually a little embarrassing. Eventually, Carl ended this grotesque prologue, pretending he needed the restroom!
However, he was well aware of the fact that the culmination of the drama still lay ahead…
Mind you, this was on a day when the company, too had been catastrophe city! To be sure, the ever-enthusiastic sector leader Dr. Osterkorn had initially shown the seventeen Power Point slides with their display of permanently decreasing orders in all sectors of the TRIGA underwear sector without comment, but then he had continued by without any warning projecting in the most brutal way the full dimension of the ’Russian Underwear Catastrophe’ on the screen like lightning had suddenly struck!
After all, since Putin had decreed an import, production and sales ban for all lace underwear in the entire Eurasian Economic Zone earlier this year, there had been practically no more orders from the two Russian underwear wholesalers ’ARMED’ and ’Suwen’! The entire business exchange with Russia had broken down from one day to the next. And all this just because Papa Putin believed he had to take care of both the Ukraine and the health of his compatriots! After all, those non-perspiration-absorbing lace panties and satanic high-heels gave his already terribly vodka-stricken people such unexpected suffering: basically, the fascist scourges of humanity ’inflammation of the bladder’ and ’foot deformity’ were even threatening to decimate the number of Russian females …
Should he really start complaining about all this shit from the company in front of Gerlinde and thus spoil her mood? After the very strange stiffness when she welcomed him home, she was now actually again very lively, parading in front of him and teasing him with delicious snacks. And most likely she was also wearing one of her entrancing lace panties, such as Putin did not like at all – well, he was pretty sure…
No, he was definitely not going to spoil her mood!
He was far too tired and washed-out!
In fact, the most attractive idea at that moment would have teen to not utter another word and not have to share anything with Gerlinde – not even this delicious Riesling – and spoon up this superb meal while listening to Country Music… However, the red lace panties were unstoppable: Carl had only just given the tender steak its due between his teeth, added his saliva, moved it into his stomach and extinguished its fire with three glasses of Riesling, when Gerlinde assaulted him with the question: Are you Happy?
Carl toasted her, trying to appease her and ignore the question! In fact, he – regardless of actually now being absolutely incapable of swallowing another bite – even went so far as to ask her if, maybe, she still had a ’Little Something’ to surprise him with by way of dessert.
”Of course”, Gerlinde impishly said, “I would like to know if you are happy, Carl”?.
“Does that mean my dessert is something to bite into? Meaning the question ’Am I Happy’?“ Carl was now intrigued.
”Whatever makes you ask such a thing?“, Carl irritably said.
”Well, you know, I just would like to know? In fact, Hannelore is not happy!“
”But then, this is hardly a surprise with this eccentric cow“! Carl enthused.
”Why are you so aggressive all of a sudden“?
”Because I suddenly get the impression that, again, someone wants to plant disharmony somewhere! It would not be the first time, would it?“ was his acid reply.
”Carl, you must not be so supersensitive! Can I not even ask a simple question?“
”Ok, Gerlind. Fine. Ask as much and as long as you like to about ’happiness’! But please do not expect me to literally drown in ’happiness ’ while you go on about it! To be perfectly honest, I would find it a pity in view of the wonderful steak inside me. In fact, I actually do not know what this ’happiness ’you are inquiring about is supposed to be, or not to be?”, Carl was now annoyed.
”Maybe you could be a little less theatrical?“
”Of course! Yet I truly have no idea what you mean with ’Are you Happy’?”, Carl said indignantly while in vain seeking consolation with his now room-temperature Riesling.
”How should I know? But then, in adverts, all people are always happy, too, aren’t they!“
”Do you mean this heavenly ’purgative happiness’ of the no-longer-quite-young blond woman whose intestines are de-knotted ’giving her happiness’ in each one of her advert appearances?”, Carl provocatively asked.
“Yes, that is one of them!“
”Or do you mean the beaming grandmother who, thanks to Voltaren, suddenly re-discovers her grandchildren, because now she is able to go down on her knees?”, Carl continued.
”Well, I am sure you are aware”, Carl went on, “that in all these examples, it is always women who become spontaneously happy – never men?“
”Carl, as always, you tend to simplify! In fact, there is actually ’happiness ’ beyond adverts which also very much concerns men?“
”I am all ears …?“ Carl pointedly.
”For instance the often thematised happiness of love?“
”Hm“ grumbled he.
”Or, to put it bluntly: are you now happy with me – or are you not?“
”Oh my God – Gerlinde, now what is this about? I assumed this topic was one we really had dealt with once and for all?”, Carl lamented.
”Then why don’t you just say ’Gerlinde, I am happy with you’!“
”Certainly! Don’t you know this by now”, Carl was getting bored.
”In that case, you actually know the meaning of ’happiness ’?“
”I probably have a vague idea, Gerlinde! And I am sure it has a lot to do with security and contentedness, if you like the sound of those words”, now Carl’s words sounded almost ceremonial.
”Does that mean that you are at least content with what I have to offer?“
”Yes – if that is how you want to call it! But then, I am content with everything around me, my dear Gerlinde”, Carl added sentimentally, “among other things also how nicely you keep everything clean, also with this half-empty bottle of Riesling which will soon be empty, and, of course, also when we will afterwards go to bed… “
”Are you saying it in that order – cleanliness, Rieling, bed – randomly, or is that something you chose very deliberately?“
”To be perfectly honest: I rather like this order”, Carl was now surprisingly self-confident, “somehow or other, it is just correct and also important for me if I am supposed to feel something like ’happiness ’!”
”And do you think your order could cope with a slight variation?“
”What variation do you mean …?“ Carl hesitantly asked.
”What I mean is the slight variation: – cleanliness, bed, and then Riesling! If you chose that order, I could actually also find a little happiness once in a while!“
”A-h-a“, Carl moaned. This was the moment when he started regretting that the meeting about the poor TRIGA ordering situation was no longer under way…
(Translated by EG)