This Week’s Column
Past Columns
Column History
Subscribe Now
Author

CENTRAL VIEW for Monday, May 20, 2024

by William Hamilton, J.D., Ph.D.

"This wasn’t in the brochure."

Leaving the Czech Border Guards behind, Wonder Fiancée and I drove west toward Garmisch, skirting along the border between West Germany and Austria. Both of us were exhausted and hungry, causing me to dream of the hotel awaiting us in Garmisch and the romantic candlelight dinner that was part of The Plan.* >p>The good news is that we did not get lost. The bad news is that we both were too exhausted to drive through the dark to our hotel in Garmisch.

We saw a sign on a half-timbered house that read: zum Hof Hauls. It was a German Hof alright, a two-story Haus surrounding a courtyard in which cows and goats grazed and chickens pecked.

After banging a clapper on the heavy door, a tiny porthole opened. An old woman said they were closed and to go away. Once again, the Army Language School saved, well... the night. After explaining our plight, she reluctantly let us in. With my uniform still on from the morning briefing, she knew I was military. But the old woman cast a frozen look at the beautiful, blue-eyed blond at my elbow. Mistress or wife?

On one wall hung a faded picture of Pope Pious the 12th and above that Jesus on the Cross. Oh my, a devout family and maybe even neo-Nazi. So, slightly fudging the facts, I continued in German, "I am Colonel Hamilton and this is Frau Hamilton."

German respect for the Officer Class kicked in. The old woman began to thaw. She said the kitchen is closed; however, she had some black bread, goat cheese, some Brussels sprouts, and beer. The only bathroom was upstairs at the end of the hall.

"My husband was wounded fighting proudly for der Führer. He can no longer work.." Handing us each lighted candles, she said, "To save money, we turn off the electricity at night. If you want a bath, the well pump is close to the tub.. You can heat water on the wood stove." This was not in The Plan.

After flipping a wall switch, she wished us good night. While we devoured the food and drank the beer by candlelight the ambience fell well short of The Plan.

Earlier, I mailed Wonder Fiancée a colorful travel brochure so she could look forward to quaint Bavarian hotels that were authentic and yet had all the modern conveniences.

After putting our dishes in the ancient lead-lined sink. We saw a sign pointing the way upstairs to the bath, which featured a huge claw-footed iron tub and a one-hole privy. Plan? What Plan?

Quickly moving on, we came to our room. Actually, it was more like a cell for a monk being punished. Too tired to even undress, we flopped on the bed and were about to fall asleep when we detected the aroma of bovine manure, wafting up from the cows and goats bedded down below our cell. As we blew out our candles, Wonder Fiancée said, "This wasn’t in the brochure."

*"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth," Mike Tyson.

© 2024. William Hamilton.

Dr. Hamilton can be contacted at:

Email: drwm.hamilton@gmail.com

This Week’s Column
Past Columns
Column History
Subscribe Now
Author