By letters

We’re not daily. And we’re definitely not the news.

Dresden reeling after expat weekend onslaught

by Telly Vishun
Dresden (DNTN) – Dresden officials held an emergency meeting late Sunday evening to discuss ways to protect the city in future from expat bloggers bent on having way too much of a good time.

“We’d been monitoring blogs for weeks leading up to last weekend,” moaned city councillor Pennsell Puscher after the session. “We thought we could sit back and relax, what with that locomotive driver’s strike and all. But they gave each other rides! They found alternate means of transportation! Most of them managed to show up anyway!”

Puscher reeled off a laundry list of misdemeanors the bloggers committed in their effort to get to know one another face-to-face instead of just through blogging.


Faces were stuffed! Beer was drunk! Fights broke out! Jokes were told! CO2 was produced!” he wailed. “Not only that, they spread salacious rumours about one of the founders of our city having fathered more than 300 children, bought cruise tickets for a dozen phantoms, trespassed on a boat, and if that weren’t enough, went on an aimless late-afternoon rampage through some of Europe’s most magnificently restored architecture in an attempt to locate Stollen, which – as anyone here will tell you – is available in Dresden in the months before Christmas from any retail outlet staffed by those with a pulse!”

Canadians there too, eh?

The Canadian Blogging Sub-committee Duo in Charge of Making Sure Americans Be Made Aware That We Don’t Say Aboot was also on hand. The better-looking one had the brains to wait ’til Saturday when the strike was over before hopping a train, while the eldest of the group – some guy whose blog’s photo is 15 years old because he just doesn’t want to admit he’s pushing fifty – found a ride Friday via

“It was really easy,” he said. “First I typed in Hamburg, then Dresden, the date I wanted to leave, and ba-da-boom! One expensive phone call later I’d set up a ride with a student. Too bad I only found out later that she was determined to break the Hamburg-Dresden land speed record, despite driving a French-made four-banger through snow and heavy traffic with her mother along for the ride.

“I shit you not!” he continued. “At one point she failed to notice that traffic ahead was at a standstill. She tromped on the binders and skidded to a stop less than a half-car length from the next bumper, avoiding a rear-ender only through the quick thinking of a driver in front of us who zipped into the right-hand lane as we approached. “

Dazed, confused and feeling lucky to be alive, the geezer-in-training was later spotted mumbling to himself in the Dresden Verkehrsmuseum, which he’d first assumed was a wax exhibition of popular German sexual positions only to discover after buying his ticket that it was stuffed full of old cars, bicycles, motorbikes, planes, rail cars and Dinky toys.

“Not that intercourse and traffic are mutually exclusive,” he said, “but sometimes you have to be careful with the translation.”

Czech food and drink in great abundance

Those who managed to make it Friday evening gathered at the hotel before heading to a Czech restaurant which – to everyone’s astonishment – served dumplings.

Officials are analysing the tape from a CCTV camera to determine which of them may have caused a fight between staff members to erupt behind the restaurant’s bar.

“It was awesome,” said JeweledConcrete’s boyfriend, who was seated facing the combatants. “I was just about to dig into my delicious plate of roasted lamb shank in dark gravy with vegetables garnished with fresh slices of crustless white bread, when I look up to see two of them flicking towels at each other. They were really going at it for more than an hour.”

“Oooh, I like the sound of that,” said That Queer Expatriate, announcing shortly thereafter that whatever it is men and women do to each other, he simply does not want to know.

Afternoon cruise and city tour

The mayhem continued Saturday after a noontime meetup at an Ice Cream parlour near the hotel, where Heidelbergerin, Ward, The Big Wide World, their spouses and friends and a few others joined the mob from the day before. Successfully repelled from a cruise ship they had attempted to storm after fording the Elbe, they boarded a neighbouring vessel and, after testing the seating arrangements offered on several levels, settled for the room where the tables were longest and heat set on highest.

“It was like a frickin’ sauna in there,” muttered one member. “It got a bit alarming at one point because the blue-rinse set by the opposite window started to peel off their clothing, and when that happens in Germany, ya gotta watch out.”

Lulled into a stupor by the oppressive heat and a tour monologue delivered in florid, Saxon-accented German by someone clearly in love with the sound of his own voice, they cruised past some of the most stunning regional examples of what the Prussian aristocracy used to do when they felt like stacking a few bricks into a castle, complete with terraced riverbank upon which to grow vines to sustain their alcohol addiction.


Streaming off the boat, the group invaded the old quarter only to find their first destination – The Church of Our Lady or die Frauenkirche – closed to visitors. An alternate touring strategy consisting of lurching en masse from one amazing landmark to another was quickly devised.

After visiting a Cathedral which had already attracted a large gathering of seated followers and soaking in the twilightstollen.jpg atmosphere of the Zwinger courtyard, they were immediately seized with the idea of eating Stollen.

“…Must….locate….Stollen….” they murmered in unison, ducking down alleyways in lockstep. The sugar-coated raisin-stuffed bready goo safely tucked away, they then decided to fan out to commit separate acts of drinking and shopping, only to regroup later that evening for the final assault of the day: a meal at Mama Africa’s

After barging between seated patrons and settling in around the table placed at the furthest reach possible and thus thoroughly surrounded, they somehow managed to defend themselves by subjecting neighbouring diners to drummer.jpgboisterous conversation interspersed with outbursts of laughter. The evening’s entertainment having deserted them in search of more generous tippers, the expatriate bloggers waited for dinner to be served before demonstrating the proper way to remove one’s dental fixtures, as well as exchanging a brief string of jokes including:

What’s the difference between pussy and mashed potatoes?*

What’s the difference between a gay man and a straight man?**

After they all raved about the food, That Queer Expatriate wandered off to a Think Pink party, The EuroTrippens succumbed to a couple of the sweetest voicemail messages you’ll ever hear while the rest of them braved the wilds of Dresden’s nightlife scene in search of a bar with air you didn’t need to cut with a knife.

Because this reporter had to return home early to replenish his meds, you’ll have to consult any of the others in attendance to get the full report of Sunday’s mop-up activities. I’m sure they’ll oblige.

*Mashed potatoes doesn’t make its own gravy.

** 12 beer.

© 2007 lettershometoyou

PS: If having a good time and a few laughs isn’t reason enough, see The Blog Herald for a post on the value of meeting up with fellow bloggers.I

Terrorist attack thwarted in baggage raid

by some guy we fished out of a gutter Special Correspondent

Edmonton (DNTN) A WestJet plane from Edmonton landed safely in Vancouver early last week, its 117 passengers and seven crew members completely unaware that a major terrorist attack had been thwarted just hours before take-off. Edmonton airport officials say they have tightened security in the wake of the incident, in which a male passenger identified only as “Ian” tried to get through security with a pair of banned substances.

“I first noticed that he looked incredibly relaxed and had a nice tan, which is a sure tip-off under our profiling scheme,” said Jusdoon Mejobbe, head of Throwing Things Away Unnecessarily at the Edmonton airplane take-off and landing facility.

“After his carry-on luggage went through the scanner, we did the usual. We asked him if he was the one who had packed the bag, and if it had been in his possession the whole time since he’d packed it. Then I asked him if we could open it.”

Mejobbe said he then went into Forbidden Liquid Inspector’s Pinching of Undesirable Toothpaste mode, or FLIPOUT.

“We opened the bag,” said Mejobbe, “and after sifting through layers of zip guns, depth charges, signal flares, gas canisters, switchblades, hash pipes, dynamite sticks, hydrogen bombs, terrorist manuals, Michael Moore DVDs, cocaine and dirty underwear, we noticed his toiletries kit contained two articles banned under Article D, subsection A, paragraph F, clause T of our regulations.”

Immediately calling out the airport police janitorial service under standard FLIPOUT and D.A.F.T. procedures to ascertain that the liquids were actually used for personal hygiene and protection from the sun and not explosives or anything that could go boom in any way, Mejobbe said he told the passenger of the serious contravention of Transport Canada regulations he had committed in trying to get banned liquids past security.

“We told him what we tell everybody. We treat everyone the same,” said Mejobbe. “It’s really quite simple. Since this was the first Sunday of the month and the Edmonton Eskimos had scored more than 25 points in each of their previous three Canadian Football League games including pre-season and at least 18 of them obtained by touchdown and two of those by a forward pass from a Canadian quarterback to a Canadian receiver, passengers were allowed to carry on any variety of liquid, toothpaste2.jpgprovided said liquids were in duct-tape sealed containers of not more than 27.8 ml each and separated from each other by a lead-lined barrier of at least 3cm so as not to provoke mixing or spontaneous combustion during take-off or landing. However since “Ian” had attempted to carry on a tube of toothpaste of 73.4 ml and a tube of sunblock the residue of which amounted to 24 ml but was housed in a container of 100 ml which contravenes our D.A.F.T. rules for what can and cannot be carried onto a device destined to be airborne under power from thingies which go whirr, we informed him that he must make a decision as to what to do.

“He could either check the liquids through checked baggage and thereby qualify for entry into our Grand Prize Draw for a trip for two to Absurdistan for having the smallest-ever piece of luggage to be sent to the hold of an Airbus A319, or we could keep them.”

The passenger, contacted by telephone at his home in Germany, said he did the sensible thing.

“I told them they could shove keep ’em,” he said. “Then I zipped up the bag and went for a beer. I ended up with sunburn and a case of Jungle Mouth so bad I had a whole row of seats to myself on the flight the next day to London, but what the hell. If that’s what it takes to keep planes flying safely these days, I’m all for it. Good thing they didn’t snag that case of KY though.

Damn. Did I say that out loud?

© 2007 lettershometoyou


Canadian spy satellite detects unusual troop movements, arms cache in Northern Germany

by Slag Leatherneck
NATO correspondent

Berlin (DNDN) A Canadian spy satellite has detected unusual troop movements and a possible arms cache in the north German city of Hamburg. The troops, most of whom appear to be fat, about eight inches tall and wearing beards, are clothed in what appears to be attire completely ill-suited for camouflage and don’t seem to be able to conform to normal military drill regimens.


“We can’t explain it,” said Canadian Air Force spokesman Lucien Labarbe. “We checked our photo records from mid-December to mid-March, and there wasn’t a soldier in sight. Now, all of a sudden, they’re everywhere.”

Labarbe said top command was also concerned that a possible insurgency is breaking out among gardeners, and not just in the north of Germany.

“Our birds have picked up hundreds of sightings of what appear to be clusters of grenades hanging in trees,” said Labarbe. “That’s also a mystery to us, because you would think that if they were planning anything, they’d keep their munitions hidden. Instead, they’ve hung them from trees and painted them all sorts of colours.”


At a hastily convened news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, a spokesman played down the report, directing reporters instead to a calendar on the wall.

“It’s Spring, you idiots, you’re in Germany, and it’s damn near Easter” he said. “What do you expect? Those little buggers have been sitting in garden sheds and basements by the millions the whole winter. Now that it’s starting to warm up, every patch of grass from Flensburg to Freiburg is overrun with ’em. Get used to it.”

“Those Canadians couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag if you drew ’em a map,” said one guy in a bar after he’d had a few. “I mean, you gotta love ’em and all, but really.”


Wrinkle in time and space used to free ex-terrorist

by Sparky McBean
Berlin (DNTN) Former RAF terrorist Gidget Poppyhead was released from prison early this morning in a move timed to coincide with the switch to Central European Summer time. Poppyhead was released after 24 years in the big house on the corner at precisely 0300, CEST. Journalists lurking in the shadows hoping to catch a glimpse of the pensioned perpetrator were left wondering how she managed to give them all the slip.

“We were all standing around at 0200 adjusting our watches for the one hour advance to summer time,” moaned one typist who insisted on anonymity. “Just as we looked up again, we saw a couple of police vans taking off into the night. By then, it was even too late for those TV bozos to get a decent shot.”

Physicist Stephen Hawking, rustled out of bed one hour earlier than he should have been, explained that the German authorities most likely took advantage of a wrinkle in time and space to pull it off.

“For anyone who’s read past page 25 of my book A Brief History of Time – and I know he’s out there – it’s really quite simple,” said Hawking. “At precisely 0200 when clocks and watches are set forward one hour, it is theoretically possible to slip into a wormhole, whereby… (editor’s note: our reporter’s eyes glazed over at this point. No other information available at press time.)


Berlin Zoo: We’re into cute and cuddly, so who needs ’em?

by Special correspondent Some guy we hauled in off the street

Berlin (DNDN) Officials at the Berlin Zoo say they fail to understand the uproar in the scientific community in the wake of plans to destroy a breeding pair of Aye-aye, a rare Lemur equipped with an unusually long middle finger it uses to dig for grubs and maggots.

“Look, we asked around, and pretty much everyone we talked to agreed that these things are just too ugly and have too many disgusting habits to keep them on display any longer,” said Dieter Doozer, executive director in charge of waste removal. “They have these buggy eyes, scraggly hair for fur, paddles for ears, long skinny fingers – and their breakfast! Makes you want to toss your cookies, I tell you.”

The animals were brought to the zoo three years ago as part of a conservation effort undertaken in cooperation with the government of Madagascar, where loss of habitat is threatening the animals with extinction. The Aye-aye (pronounced eye-eye) used to live in the eastern part of the island nation off southeast Africa. Excessive logging over the past two decades in addition to being stigmatised by the local population, who kill them because they are regarded as a harbinger of death, has added to their plight in the wild.

“Nobody wants to pay good money to see an animal as horrible to look at as this one,” said zoo director Helmut Askew. “We thought of playing up their mating habits and using that as a selling point,” he added, “because they hang upside-down from a tree branch and it takes an hour for them to finish copulating. But this being Berlin, you see that sort of thing all the time.”

Askew added that the zoo has made every effort to get the public to take an interest in the animals, and he’s left with no alternative. “It doesn’t help that they’re nocturnal, either. We used to set an alarm clock for noon every day to wake them up so they’d crawl out of their nests for everyone to get a good look, but that just pissed them off. They’re hard enough on the eye when they’re sedate. You should see them in a fit of rage.”

Zoo officials say the animals will be carefully and humanely dispatched to Butt-Ugly Heaven to ensure they suffer no pain. Their pens are to be demolished to make room for the zoo’s latest addition, a polar bear cub named Knut the media and public just can’t seem to get enough of.

Officials played down any role the presence of the playful, small, white, loveable, cuddly ball of fur that just make you want to say “awwwwww” at the mere mention of his name may have had in their decision to say nay to the Aye-aye.

“OK, let’s put it this way. It was a choice between spending additional resources to expand Knut’s area while keeping this repulsive creature around but out of sight, or just saying, ‘what the hell, nobody cares anyway, let’s save a few euros,'” Askew said. “You can’t blame us, really. it’s market forces, and besides, they fling their poo. It gets on your clothes and stinks like hell. My employees bitch about them all the time. Our cleaning bills are going through the roof.”

The zoo has been thronged with visitors since Knut was first shown to the public. A trashy newspaper has even offered 1000 euros for the best photo of Knut sent in by readers.

“Knut is just so plushy and cute, I want to take him home with me,” gushed zoo visitor Greta Lessa, an employee with the Berlin city government. “As soon as I read that they were going to show him, I called in sick — wait, that thing’s not on, is it? OK? Good. Anyway, let’s jsut say that I rushed down as fast as I could. I just love him.”

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The banner photograph shows the town of Britannia Beach, BC, Canada, where I grew up. It's home. But I don't live there anymore.

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