Limericks in German

Posted by Richard on  UTC 2019-12-18 16:44

The Director of the Psychiatric Clinic shook his head slowly.

'I don't want to give you false hopes, but with the few cases we have had over the years there has never yet been a cure. The only measure open to us is to quarantine these poor sufferers well away from other people – the condition is very infectious.'

At that moment a nurse wearing industrial-grade ear protectors opened the door to poor Werner's room, went in and closed the door behind her quickly. A few people in the corridor got a manly rumble of 'Da war dieser Mann mit dem…'.

They immediately put their fingers in their ears, ducked down and scattered away from the door.

'Limerick Reciter's Syndrome (LRS),' continued the professor, 'is scarcely understood by modern psychiatry. All the cases we have seen so far have been sufferers reciting limericks ceaselessly in English. This patient, otherwise seemingly sane, was brought in gabbling limericks in German, a quite unsuitable language for this purpose.'

'Despite this he continues to compose one limerick after another. The case has followed the usual course for a severe attack of LRS: his friends have deserted him, his wife has engaged lawyers…'

'Is there really no hope?' the visitor asked.

'None. We even have to worry about our staff, for unlike most psychiatric conditions, LRS can infect an otherwise sane person within minutes. Left unquarantined, the condition will spread like wildfire. One thing we must do is to stop his new book getting into circulation.'

At that moment, the nurse came out of Werner's room, at which there as a brief burst of 'Ihr Freund wollte teilen, Er muss sich beeilen…' through the open door.

'How terrible', the visitor replied, 'I was reading his book only yesterday afternoon, in the eye-doctor's waiting room. It's good fun – three-quarters of an hour passed quickly. The cartoons are very good, too. It's also printed in a nice large typeface, just right for the poorly sighted. I can only recommend it for eye-doctors' waiting rooms. It's awful to think that poor Werner has succumbed.'

'You mean, you were exposed to that book for nearly an hour?' The look of concern on the doctor's face was unmistakable.

'Yes. Some of the limericks are rather good, in fact. What about

Der Mafiamann fuhr Lambretta
Im Holster steckt die Beretta
Dann schoss er bum-bum
Auf Paten dum-dum
So verlief halt die Mafia-Vendetta.

or

Da war dieser Mann mit dem Cello
Der sagte zur Geigerin: Hello
Ihr fehlte die Lust
Das war schon ein Frust
So sagte die Kühle: Ciao Bello.

or

Da war einst ein Koch namens Vasco
Der brauchte des Öftern Tabasco.
Weit über Bedarf
Verwürzte er scharf
So war dann der Stew ein Fiasko.'

'Stop. Stop it immediately!' shouted the Director.

He leaned towards the visitor, scrutinising him carefully. 'That was all from memory, wasn't it?'

'So what?' the visitor asked. 'Everyone knows that

There was an Argauer called Werner,
At writing poetry no learner,
But at limericks he shone so…'

'Nurse! Here, quickly. Ten ml of Hölderlin intravenously. Quick! or we've lost him.'

'…Annapurna…'

'Will this cruel curse of the human race never end?' the Director muttered, as the visitor, still babbling, was bundled hastily onto the ward and strapped onto a bed.

'…To do what and to which and to whom', came the visitor's last words.

'That's from 'the young man of Khartoum',' whispered the nurse to the Director. 'He's gone.'

FoS image, size 708x1061

Werner Vogt's book, Liebesgrüsse aus Limerick has just been published by WERDVERLAG.CH, 296 Seiten with 12 cartoons by Silvan Wegmann. Hardback, ISBN 978-3-85932-991-1. CHF 25.— / EUR 20.—

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