It was my mate’s birthday a few days ago and upon congratulating him via email – realizing that our level of contact has now decreased to the odd email on birthdays or Christmas – many, funny memories shot into my mind. So I’ve created a new category on BENIsLAND dedicated to anecdotes, and here is a little one about our trip to visit a mutual mate in Winterberg. Winterberg is a major winter sport resort in Germany, it is Germany’s pendant to Aspen in Colorado, and our mutual mate Orbert had invited us to stay with him for a few days and to part-take in some of the activities Winterberg has to offer. Back then I lived in the infamous Rudolf-Harbig-Weg, in a university accommodation complex in Münster, with two other flatmates. Macel, my good mate who recently had a birthday, was one of them. We met during our studies at the university and I kind of persuaded him to move in with me, the entire persuasion and moving process deserves special mentioning in another anecdote.
It would take exhaustive measures, trying to describe the person Macel, he is so versatile and has a variety of different characteristics, but during our flatting time I noticed that his sleeping patterns shifted more and more towards the time when others wake up. I mean we were both enrolled in arguably the most difficult study course, chemistry, and had a full program without any study breaks. What others call mid-term break, term break, semester break, summer break and so on, was very unfamiliar to chemistry students. Yes, there were lecture-free times, but in those times we had to go and study full-time in the experimental labs.
Anyway, it became very clear soon that Macel would not be able to attend any lectures. Going to bed at 1 o’clock in the morning was an ‘early’ night for him. 6 months after moving in with me, his bed time had shifted already to 7 o’clock in the morning. I recall many occasions when I woke up to start my morning routine and go to the lectures, and Macel wishing me a good day and sometimes asking me to take notes in the lectures and saying good night, and going to bed. His ‘problem’ was due to the fact that there was always a party in Macel’s room. Every day! People from the same complex would come over in the late afternoon and wouldn’t leave until the early hours of the next day. As Macel used to tell me: “The hours between 0100 to 0700 in the morning are the only time when I’ve got no visitors.” Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t run a shady business out of his room or something similar, he was just a very likable, sociable person, with extremely good manners, humorous and he had always a video, some music or a book chapter to show you. It was just very comfortable hanging with him, in his room. So, when everyone had disappeared, in the early hours between 0100-0700, Macel had time for himself. This was the time he studied chemistry textbooks and whatever else we do in our private time.
Thus, he’d go to bed when others go to work or university, and woke up in the late after noon. It was usually about 1500, I still know this because this was the time the mensa, a university cafeteria and food facility for students and university staff, closed for lunch. Many, many times had we agreed to have lunch in the mensa, but by the time he got up, had his shower and stuff, the mensa was already closed. I used to call him ‘The Heartbreaker’, this was because on those rare occasions when he actually showed up at university, all the girls were clearly after him. I mean there were so many of them trying to get a piece of Macel that had he actually shown some interest he would have had handled more knickers than a dessous-salesman. I was jealous but never quite understood why he never did a thing about it.
Stuff like the following were regular incidents. On a Friday night two hot uni chicks would knock on the door, pretending to be more drunk than they were and ask for Macel. “Hi Ben, we are so drunk, we want to party with Macel. Look I’m wearing only tight leather. Is he home?” On the next morning the girls would ask me:”What’s wrong with Macel. Aren’t we good enough looking for him? We spooned together in bed and I was rubbing his dick, but he pretended nothing was happening.” So yeah, that is one reason why we called him the Heartbreaker. All girls were after him, his indifference towards them made them actually very sexual and seductive, but he broke one heart after the other, driving some of the girls on the verge of frenzy. Beautiful girls lost all their self-esteem because they couldn’t seduce Macel for a one night stand, or even to look at them when they took off their clothes.
Hopefully, you’ve got at least a bit of a picture of Macel by now and we can get straight to our trip to Winterberg. I had instructed Macel with two jobs for that trip.
- We must leave no later than midday
- Bring the Autobahn maps
I had everything else arranged, but just needed him to get up earlier than usual and to bring a map – on numerous occasions had he mentioned that he knows how to get to Winterberg and that he has appropriate maps.
Well, Macel got up at exactly midday, excusing himself: “Common B, I know I’m a bit late, but I’ve already packed, I just have a shit and shower and then we’re off.” I will never forgot the thoughts that went through my head when two full hours had passed and he was still in the bathroom. I’m not exaggerating in any way, he went to the bathroom at noon and by 2 in the afternoon he was still not out. I didn’t say a word, we were very good friends and I thought that he was testing me. Finally, he came out, ever-smiling and happy. “Okay, okay, okay, it took a bit longer than I thought, but I’m ready, let’s go to Orbert.”
We were in the car, still parking, when I – must have at least looked quite pissed – asked him in a firm tone: “Macel, do you have the fuckin’ maps?!!!” “Yes B, let’s do this.” So off we are and a few moments later my phone rang. “B, what’s up? Where are you guys? Let’s go to the sauna complex tonight, aye? There is always some nice talent there and we can relax and chat.” “Hey Orbert, we’re running a bit late, I’ll text you when we’re half an hour away.”
I didn’t have any shorts with me and thought I just borrow some from Orbert. For you non-Europeans, mixed changing rooms and mixed saunas are very common in Germany. Everyone is naked and behaves. Here in New Zealand nothing is mixed in that sense and showers have cubicles with lockable doors. I needed shorts for the sauna and swimming complex because there are areas where children are allowed and then there are the adult sections where you must be naked to enter. Anyway, after turning onto the Autobahn I asked Macel to check his map and to tell me the directions.
“Ahhhm, I don’t have the map with me B.” “WTF? I asked you, before we left, if you had the map.” Macel replied, “Yes you did, and I have the map, but you didn’t ask whether I had it with me. I think it is still in my room.” That was another ‘problem’ with Macel, he was exceptionally bright and tried to use his words very carefully. Always accurate and always playing word games. He started laughing and was so amused of himself with the whole map thing that I just wanted to throw him out of the car. That was, however, part of his humor.
“I know, let’s take a small detour and stop at my parents. My dad can give us directions.” “Alright you stupid bastard, I can grab some shorts off you then, too. But we are in a hurry, I don’t want your mom to cook us anything, I don’t want to talk about how things are at uni. I just want a pair of shorts and a freakin’ map.” “Yeah, yeah, you’re always so worried.”, was Macel’s reply.
It is past 1600 o’clock by now and we are in Macel’s room at his parents place. “Here B”, Macel grabs something out of a drawer “you can borrow this.” Again, I’m not joking or exaggerating but he was holding in his hand a black string tanga. He said they were speedos, swimming shorts, but the backside just had a string which would have been right between my arse-cheeks. “WTF Macel? We don’t have any time for jokes man. Hurry up, get me some normal shorts and let’s get the fuck out of here. Orbert is waiting.” “That’s all I got man, if you don’t like it, you can have this.”, holding a white string tanga. “Keep your freakin’ string tangas Macel, I’m going to ask Rainer for a pair of shorts! At least your dad is a real man and doesn’t have a collection of tangas for his friends.”
I left Macel upstairs, he was now deciding whether to take the white or the black string tanga. He was like that, give him any choice and he’ll be busy for hours, contemplating about the subtle differences and implications. Rainer, Macel’s dad, approached me with a map and said: “You guys better head off, it’s getting late. Where’s Macel?” “Hey Rainer, can you please lend me a pair of swimming shorts, too”? “Yeah, sure Ben.”
It was time to leave, Macel had chosen the black tanga and we were almost ready to go, just waiting for Rainer. And when he appeared, my brain just went numb, I just didn’t know what to think or to say. This is so because Rainer handed me – wait for it – a yellow string tanga with the BvB logo (a famous soccer club in Germany). His ‘speedos’ were the same as Macels, very small, very tight fitting, and with a string/strap at the back that will only hide your arsehole. “Thanks Rainer, but no thanks. Macel get in the car, we’re out of here.”
We arrived in Winterberg in the evening and I was by then deeply frustrated. I can laugh about it now and it was funny back then too, but I’m the quick guy and Macel the slow guy. I just wanted to arrive in Winterberg, pop open a beer and be entertained. That was the important thing to me. All the in-betweens were important to Macel. That’s why he planned his stupid joke with the map, that’s why he set a new world record in the bathroom, that’s why he didn’t tell me that he copied his ‘tanga-style’ from his dad.
After arriving at Orbert’s place and popping a beer, and telling about our trip, me and Orbert started hitting Macel. He is a second Dan Taekwon-Do master – yes, freakin’ Macel is a master – and he could take a hit. Orbert was a professional bobsleigh-er, I was an amateur boxer. Macel’s Taekwon-Do was as useful as Karate Kid’s crane style without Mr. Miyagi around for assistance.
Our itinerary for the weekend was to go to the sauna complex tonight and to go bobsleigh tomorrow, and then to a checker party. We almost couldn’t stop laughing in the changing room when Macel put his black string tanga on – come to think of it, it could have been these subtle things that got Macel all the attention from the girls. After having a couple of beers and a sport-cigarette, we decided to go to the adult section of the sauna complex. There was a big sign saying: “Adults only, no swim wear. Towels available at reception.” A few seconds later Orbert and I were naked and ready to go in, but for those of you who wear speedos or string tangas – of course I had to wear them myself when I was little – you also know that speedos have tiny, slightly elastic waist bands or laces, or whatever you want to call them. So there he was, unable to untie the double knot in the lace, unable to take his freakin’ tanga off. “B, Orbert. Where are you going? Wait for me, I’m stuck here. Give us a hand?”
That was the last we heard of him for several hours. We spent hours getting drunk and relaxing, telling stories, sweating and checking the girls out. Every now and then – the Sauna complex was big like a cinema complex, with different saunas at different temperatures, different themes etc. – we heard a faint voice of Macel, opening the door of a sauna room and asking: “Yo B, are you guys in here? It’s Macel, I finally got my speedos off…”