This year my birthday was on Karneval again. So obviously I insisted on a German style Karnevalsparty. I even sowed my own mouse costume (by hand!). One of my friends (who shall not be named) is creatively verbose (insert joke about Americans here) and I asked him to hold a Büttenrede* for me. Which he did, rhymes and all:
Here we are together,
Hiding inside from this awful weather.
We're here to celebrate the start of Carnival,
Drinking, eating, dancing, and all.
But we have also gathered for a second purpose, one which our host holds most dear:
We are celebrating the day that my nemesis has lived yet another year!
Even though she is hiding behind a mask,
I can tell which one she is; I need not ask.
She is that little mouse,
The one you've seen scurrying about the house.
Drink in hand, she's been having a great time,
And hopefully I'll make it even better with this little rhyme.
Today is her 35th birthday, a milestone in anyone's life.
Usually this is the time for a crisis, so please make sure we don't let her have a knife.
But even if she doesn't go psychotic with a kitchen utensil,
After today, she still might be a bit mental.
Some people learn an instrument, or switch religions, or buy a new car,
Personally I think our favorite German won't go that far.
She seems happy baking bread day in and day out.
With this extremely repetitive and simple life,
I truly wonder if she has more cognition than a trout.
After all, why would you ask someone like me to write a speech about you?
Clearly, we have seen that idea is absolutely cuckoo.
She might have thought, "nothing can go wrong!" and "he will be such a nice friend."
I thought "I totally have to abuse this, all the way to the end."
I have some interesting facts about Christina,
Ones you might not have heard before.
She tries to guard them, like secret lore,
But fear not, for now to you all I lay them before:
She comes from the state of North Rhine-Westfallen,
A place where you probably wouldn't go unless you got lost in.
First, some information about this bundesland:
This place is the smelliest in all der Länder,
That's why we gave them Köln, in all its splendor.
Of course, in English, this city is known as Cologne,
All the stink is masked by this one place alone.
But Christina is not from Köln.
She comes from a town in the very west,
A place which likes to claim they are the very best!
They say they're famed for emperors and springs,
But smart Germans of course know they're actually famous
For other things:
Our favorite German comes from a family most grand,
A family, that in 1799, wanted to become famous throughout the land.
Though a long line of chicken farmers and beer drinkers,
The Milchers also fancied themselves great thinkers.
They decided that they would rename their town,
Such an action would obviously bring them great renown.
While farmers and beer drinkers do have a good idea now and then,
What kind of name would you REALLY expect from such a group of men?
For many days and nights they debated names: over and over, again and again.
Finally, one night, after seeing a lone chicken in its pen,
A drunken Milcher suggested, "Why don't we just call the place Aachen?"
Now, I don't have much left to say, except that without Christina,
My life would certainly be much more dull.
She is a good person, and whenever I am with her, there is a never a lull.
Of course, she is my nemesis, so I can't give too much of a good word,
So I will end this poem now before it gets even more absurd.
* Die Büttenrede is a traditional Carnival speech, which is held standing in a tub (die Bütte). It is usually used to poke fun at people in power (though these days it is used for self-promotion of prominent guests of the more established Carnival clubs). It rhymes, is full of puns and often held in local dialect. It originated from the tradition that one could get away with saying things during Carnival that in other times would have gotten one into trouble.