Monday, December 05, 2005

The benefits of a classical education

Scene: Driving through Berlin in an old, loud Volkswagen bus. Focus on two people in the front seat, so bundled up that they are unrecognisable. Shivering, they try to distract themselves from the cold with meaningless drivel. Pan to take in nighttime street scene, with large billboard saying "EUROHYPO".

DrJ "What kind of word is that? EUROHYPO. Sounds like an immunisation you get when travelling to Europe."

DrH "Guess it´s something to do with banks. Like Hypothek is a loan in German."

DrJ "Sounds like it should be a building. If Bibliothek is a library and Apotheke is a pharmacy, then Hypothek must be...a building for hypo´s?"

DrH "Well hypo is a lack of something right? Hypothermia, hypoglycemic."

DrJ "Perhaps a building for people with a lack of money?"

DrH "Looks like our Ancient Greek is letting us down. Damn that Ancient Greek."

Pause.

DrJ "Well what about hippo then? We have a hippopotamus, you guys call it the Nile Horse. Hippo is something to do with horses right?"

DrH "Nilpferde. Hmmm, could be. Potamus must be Ancient Greek for the river Nile then. Isn´t it? Or, hang on, what´s the name of the river that the dead people have to cross? Isn´t it Potamus?"

DrJ "Yeah. Ummm. No. I think that´s the river Styx."

DrH "Oh, right."

Silence.

Both characters look out the window. Pan away to the street scene, lit window displays flicking past.

Fade to black.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha, I work for Eurohypo in New York... it is a building full of hypos... and we are all definately lacking something!! And as for Hippos - apparently we just chose one for a mascot - its name is Nils... thanks for amusing me!

Anonymous said...

Oh, but in real life - we are an International (German based) Real Estate Investment Bank... with a hippo named Nils for a mascot

Caro said...

How sweet ... you should try watching "Wer Wird Millionär" with a Greek. So when the 500,000 question asks what "symposium" really means (you thought it was some boring meeting of academics?), he justs sits there smugly grinning, "what, don't you know what it means?" (it's actually a drinking party). This also has its downside of making exotic animals like "hippopotamus" (yes, it means river horse) and medical terms sound very ordinary after all. And an apotheke is ... wait for it ... a storehouse.