Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

If I Were the Chancellor of Germany …


… here are some of the rules I would impose:

1. On-the-spot fines for public spitting.

It’s gross and I don’t like it. If you have to expectorate, do it in a tissue or into a toilet, but not on the street where my children and I have to (a) listen to your revolting noises and (b) step in your revolting fluids.

2. Doubled salaries of teachers and carers.

Having just spent two days in hospital with a child, can I just say that nurses are wonderful? Teachers are wonderful too. They should be well-paid so that they are happy and continue being so wonderful.

3. Compulsory charitable donations of 15% of yearly income for anyone who earns over €2 million per annum.

It’s ridiculous! Who needs so much money all to themselves?

4. Immediate cessation of movie-dubbing.

The Scandinavians speak perfect English because they watch English movies in English, but the Germans dub every film into German. Leave the movies in English, which will allow children to learn English easily and quickly and allow me to enjoy films once again. All out-of-work voice-over artistes can be compensated out of the Spittoon Fund. Or they can become teachers.

5. Mandatory provision in all supermarkets of the following products:

Marmite, self-raising flour, Golden Syrup, baking powder in sensibly large containers not those ridiculous little packets, Maldon salt, silver balls for cake decoration, coriander, lime leaves, ginger biscuits, biltong and Nik-Naks.

6. Immediate cultural acceptance for people who want to pack their groceries into their own bags (brought from home) While Still At The Till.

I’m all done with packing my bags at the car in driving rain or icy snow. I want to do it inside. That’s not so strange is it?

7. Immediate cultural approbation for shops that consider having one till open to be acceptable business practice.

Open more tills! Let the people shop! And while you’re at it, let them pack their bloody bags before they pay.

8. Have my state inventors concoct a Pause Button for the Elderly.

I have developed a reputation in my street as a gimlet-eyed, clenched-jawed fury because just as I emerge from my home en route to getting someone somewhere on time, having wrestled a just-awakened toddler into a snowsuit, dragged two other people away from their homework or very important craft project, we get accosted by an old person who wants to air their opinion on Lily’s new haircut. If I could only pause them, and return later when things are calmer to enjoy the conversation and all its nuances, I would be so much happier and the Elderly would be so much more fulfilled.

This post is written in honour of Angela Merkel, who is my new hero for publicly taking Robert Mugabe to task for human rights abuse at the Lisbon Summit. Go Ange! You tread where no African leader has yet dared to tread.

It is also written with thanks to Chantelle of the Quiet Room who had the idea first.


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

15 thoughts on “If I Were the Chancellor of Germany …

  1. yay! *cheer* i would vote for you, charlotte!

  2. huzzah! charlotte for chancellor!

  3. I have a question.. Can I eat a Nik-Nak? please explain. I agree with everything else.. And I know that supermarket bag packing terror too. Why not try refusing to get your card out out before you have all your goodies stowed away? They can huff and puff all they like. But I know those German tills, they don’t always have a catching ramp for the swiped goods, rather it all goes off a kind of cliff edge under which the trolley must be placed..

  4. Hurrah for Ange too..

  5. Some excellent thoughts.

    Being in hospital is the pits. I hope all is ok now and I’m glad the nurses were good to you, it makes all the difference.

    “Green bags” are common place here now! All supermarkets give you the alternative of plastic or reusable fabric bags that you pay a dollor for and use over and over again. Do you not do this? I now have black and purple and green “green bags”. It spices it up a bit I feel.

  6. You have my vote!

    About number 1: if you don’t like it here, then stay well away from China. The Chinese don’t so much spit as let it blob out in a slow-motion drool. Some streets are an oyster-laden obstacle course.

  7. I’m bumfuzzled — they don’t let you use bags at the till all or just don’t give you time to do it before you have to pay?

    Also, Marmite? Ewwwwwwww!

  8. Thanks Bine and Jen!

    Emma, a Nik-Nak is a disgusting South African corn chip – all yellow and full of MSG. It’s the first thing I buy when I get home, along with a Peppermint Crisp and marshmallow fish.

    Thanks, Bindi. The nurses were very good. Now as for bags, you can get eco-friendly ones or bring your own, you just can’t pack them at the till. No, that would make everyone in the queue huff and puff. You have to pack AFTER you’ve paid.

    Duly noted, Ian. Will give China a miss.

    Ms Savage, see response to Bindi. And you know about Marmite – you either love it or you hate it. Half my family love it, and dearie me, how we suffer.

  9. Ach, public spitting! Feh! I just don’t get that. Have these people never heard of swallowing?

    I had never heard that about shopping in Germany. How strange! I guess they figure it’s more efficient for getting the customers through the line, but they’re missing the “make things nicer for the customer” part.

    With winter upon us I’ve had to remember the Start Getting Ready to Go Out at Least 15 Minutes Earlier Than You Think You Need To Rule, to accommodate the wrestling of children into snow clothes. Perhaps you need to add the extra 10 Minutes to Chat with the Elderly to your schedule!

    I hope everyone is alright–I start to worry when I hear that a kid was in the hospital.

  10. If you don’t make chancellor, maybe we could sneak you on to the ballot over here, we are in dire need of some sensible leadership. I’m glad Merkel stood up to Mugabe, what a terribly tragic situation in Zimbabwe.

  11. Now I appreciate our Spar so much more – the whole employment creation thing means I have a nice smiling girl to pack my bags and push my trolley to the car, help me load the car and take the trolley away again and if I’ve done a mega shop which doesn’t fit back into the trolley, then they all descend helpfully upon my shopping and I get a procession to the car: two girls, two trolleys, me , three kids all in a line. Gone are the days of Sainsbury’s with squalling infant and harassed mother, trying to unload the trolley one end and run round to pack at the other… I feel totally spoilt now!

  12. Pause button for the elderly. :o) I’m reminded of the freeze frame movies from the 80’s where the music was still going but no movement. That would be rather humorous!

  13. Hear hear for 4, 6, and 7! Mostly with you on five but hold the marmite and what the heck’s a Nik-Nak…off to google.

  14. Hello Charlotte! Ian is so right about #1. I have never noticed spitting in Germany, probably because it is nothing compared to the hawking that goes on in the streets (and even indoors) in China. But considering the German sensibility for sanitized surroundings, I am surprised that there isn’t more pooping and scooping going on.

  15. A bit late perhaps, but as a teacher/child care worker, I definitely have to agree with you about doubling salaries of teachers and other care workers — in Germany as well as in the U.S. They (or should I say we?) deserve a lot more respect than they get! 😉

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