Making a Case: Leave it to a Texan to Infuse a Little a Humor in the Day

I didn’t actually catch this episode, although I do occasionally watch the show.  I suppose it’s a hint.  It very subtly pokes fun at some stereotypes that we have.  The Germans are known for their fastidiousness with respect to cleanliness and orderliness, and also for being very socially controlling neighbors – your neighbors let you know when your windows need to be cleaned, it’s your turn to shovel the sidewalk, etc. with a social approbation that can almost be like shunning.  They are direct, and formal about it.  “Frau X, haben Sie Ihre Kehrwochendienst gemacht?”  It generally makes Frau X blush.  “Ach, Mann…Hat mein Sohn das NICHT gemacht?  Mache ich SOfort…”  Of course, this conversation would be a rarity in German.  They are almost born knowing that they should do this.  (And they probably for the most part won’t find this funny.  Not even a chuckle…).  But I have learned many things from Germans – respect for privacy, respect for the environment, and gentle humility, and I have loved many of the ones I have known.  So, I give myself permission to laugh – gently.

Back to the show, Michael actually looks pretty good with his understanding of German, whereas Kelly, highly intelligent, but who often plays to the dumb blond stereotype for comedic value, is completely silent.  She’s 100% American and doesn’t speak any other languages.  In fact, I don’t think it’s really Kelly in the video – but a subbing other blond.  Anyway, maybe that is also poking fun at how little we notice the details.   One laughs and then wonders why, and in a moment of deconstruction, wonders if one is laughing at a tired old racial stereotype of Blacks not being able to speak proper English, or being treated like 3 year olds who need to go to school.  And one feels sad again, but also sometimes threatened because that lack of adaptation is sometimes used as a linguistic excuse for rudeness.  Like going somewhere and being told by a Black person “You can put your food card through the machine”  instead of “Please swipe your card, ma’am.”

They did another show once on Chinese people and math where the 2 of them took a math quiz with a 12 year old oriental person.  I laughed, maybe also sadly.  I suppose we laugh when we can feel secure enough to find the situation funny.

And, with a little more thought, maybe I should lighten up.  Their share of the market contains those people who, for whatever reason, don’t go out and compete in the world – housewives, mothers, retired people, unemployed people, sick people.  These people have a hard enough time maintaining self-respect sometimes, so bless Regis, Kelly, and Michael for being willing to play dumb sometimes in order to make these people feel better.

Anyway, I thought I would develop the program with a list of daily activities that need to be maintained during depression in German, and use the opportunity to develop declension skills, as if the French were not a headache enough with gender. number, conjugation, tense, and formal/informal.  It is very detailed and focused repetitive work, and for the French program, one struggles with remapping the keyboard.  With the German program, there is less remapping to manage on the keyboard.

A possible German on the court

The English List

Did you brush your teeth? Hast du deine Zähne geputzt?
Did you use the toilet? Hast du die Toilette benutzt?
Did you eat your breakfast? Hast du gefruhstuckt?
Did you water the garden and trees this day? Hast du dieses Tag den Garten und die Bäume gegossen?
Did you go outside for a walk with the dog this morning? Hast du dieses Morgan draußen mit dem Hund beim Spaziergegang?
Did you pick up your room? Hast du dein Zimmer aufgeräumt?
Did you wash the dishes?  Hast du das Geschirr gewascht?
Did you turn off the light?  Hast du das Licht ausgemacht?
Did you put out the recyclables?
Did you put out the trash? Hast du den Abfall abgeholt?
Did you do your homework? Hast du deine Hausaufgaben gemacht?
Did you call your friends? Hast du deine Freunde telefoniert?
Did you call your parents? Hast du deine Eltern telefoniert?
Did you wash the windows today? Hast du heute die Fenstern geputzt?
Did you mow your lawn perfectly? Hast du dein Rasen perfekt abgeschnitten?
Have you already taken a shower? Hast du dich schon geduscht?
Did you test your blood sugar? Hast du deine Blutzucker getestet?
Did you test your blood pressure? Hast du deinen Blutdruck getestet?
Did you weigh yourself? Hast du heute dich gewogen?
Did you pay your bills? Hast du deine Zetteln bezahlt?
Did you stay on your diet today? Hast Du heute deine Diät gemacht?
Did you watch the salt? Hast du das Saltz auf passiert?
Did you watch your cholesterol? Hast du das Cholesterin auf passiert?
Did you notice the flowers? Hast du die Blumen bemerkt?
Did you notice the birds? Hast du den Vogeln bemerkt?
Did you say thank you? Hast du Danke gesagt?
Did you finish your good book? Hast du dein gutes Buch beendet?
Did you turn off the TV? Hast du den Fernsehen aus gemacht?
Did you turn off the computer? Hast du den Computer aus gemacht?
Did you change the cat litter? Hast du die Katzenklo verwechselt?
Did you feed your dog? Hast du dem Hund zu essen gegeben?
Did you give your dog water? Hast du deinen Hund wasser gegeben?
Did you put on your hat?
Did you put on your sunscreen?
Did you pack everything? Hast du alles gepackt?
Did you turn off your AC?
Did you put gas in your car yesterday? Hast du dein Auto gestern getankt?
Did you get groceries this afternoon? Hast du dieses Nachmittag Einkäufe gemacht?
Do you have your keys? Hast du deine Schlussel?
Did you lock the house?
Did you set the table? Hast du den Tisch gelegt?
Did you already change your clothes? Hast du schon deine Kleidung gewechselt?
Did you already put on your pajamas? Hast du schon deinen Pyjama angezogen?
Did you already take your medicine? Hast du deine Medizin schon genommen?
Did you do the laundry? Hast du die Wäsche gemacht?
Did you hang the laundry? Hast du die Wäsche aufgehängt?
Did you turn off the stove?
Did you put on your shoes? Hast du deine Schuhe angezogen?
Did you take off your shoes? Hast du deine Schuhe ausgezogen?
Do you have your umbrella?  Hast du deinen Regenschirm?
Did you pick up the mail? Hast du die Post abgeholt?
Did you pick up the newspaper? Hast du die Zeitung abgeholt?
Did you pick up the kids from school? Hast du die Kinder von der Schule abgeholt?
Did you wash your hands? Hast du deine Hände gewaschen?
Do you have your sweater? Hast du deinen Pullover?
Do you have your coat? Hast du deine Jacke?
Did you wipe your shoes on the mat?
Did you close the door? Hast du die Tür geschlossen?
Did you close all of the windows in the whole house? Hast du alle Fenstern im ganzen Haus geschlossen?
Did you check your messages?
Did you send your letters? Hast du deine Briefe geschicht?
Did you brush your hair? Hast du deine Haare geburst?
Did you put on your make-up?
Have you already eaten lunch? Hast du schon zu Mittag gegessen?
Did you eat dinner? Hast du schon zu Abend gegessen?
Did you drink a little tea? Hast du einen bißchen tee getrunken?
Did you have coffee and cookies with your mother-in-law? Hast du Kaffee und Kuchen mit deiner Schwiegermutter gehabt?
Did you dust?  Hast du abgestaubt?
Do you have everything in your purse? Hast du alles in deiner Handtasche?
Do you have your glasses? Hast du deine Brille?
Did you bring your sunglasses? Hast du deine Sonnenbrille?
Do you have your cell-phone with you? Hast du deinem Handy mit?
Did you clean your bathtub? Hast du deines Bad geputzt?
Did you flush the toilet?
Did you wipe your kitchen counters?
Did you fold your clothes? Hast du deine Wäsche gefaltet?
Did you iron your clothes? Hast du deine Wäsche gebugelt?
Did you mend your clothes?
Did you clean your oven?
Did you arrange your closet?
Did you clean your refrigerator?
Did you weed your garden?
Did you take your kids to the doctor?
Did you take your dogs to the vet?
Did you clean your garage?
Did you wash your car? Hast du dein Auto gewaschen?
Did you sweep your floor?
Did you mop your floor?
Did you clean your carpets?

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