Helmut Kohl, Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin walk into a bar at Camp David

It’s a poolside bar. Bill Clinton says, “Here at Camp David we have a magic swimming pool. You run to the end of the diving board, leap high into the air, and call out the name of your favorite drink.” Bill Clinton demonstrates, calling “Whiskey!” as he catapults into the air. The entire pool turns into whiskey. Much fun ensues. Boris Yeltsin climbs unsteadily but determinedly up the diving board ladder, leaps, and yells, “Vodka!” The entire pool turns into vodka. Then it’s Helmut Kohl’s turn. He puffs even more slowly up the ladder, thinks, carefully jumps, and says, “Pilsner!” All the water disappears from the pool, and there’s a nasty incident. Bill Clinton turns to Boris Yeltsin and says, “Doesn’t everyone know it takes ten minutes to draw a good pilsner?”


The Batrachomyomachia, the “Battle of Frogs and Mice,” is a humorous parody of the Iliad that was probably written two thousand years ago.

(Froh sh MOY zeh kreeg.)

nicht päpstlicher sein als der Papst

“Don’t be popier than the Pope.” Don’t be too good.

(Nicked PAPES tickler z eye n else der POPST.)

österreichischer Schmäh

The Austrian, um, schmäh. Dark, usually delivered with a smile. An oppositional attitude. Can be a bit misanthropic. May include surface-level humor and  life-affirming melancholy.

(UHST er rike ish er SHMAY.)

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