Spud heads to Deutschland
Spud took an opportunity to make a trip to Germany in 2005 while he was in Paris. After 3 trips to its French neighbour, he had always ran out of time (and money) to visit the beautiful country of Deutschland and learn about the people that call it home. Besides that, this would give him a great opportunity to try out all of the German he had learned from watching 'Hogan's Heroes' all those years!
Everyone knows that the Germany is revered for the engineering mastery of its people and their unparalleled attention to detail and craftsmanship, and its countryside and castles are some of the most spectacular in the world, but Spud wanted to visit for one main reason: to see the life-sized reconstruction of perhaps the first human that walked the earth.
Few know that Germany was quite possibly the birthplace of mankind. In 1856, the bones of an ancient man were found in a cave in the country's Düssel region, near the small village of Neandertal. Carbon dating of the bones, marked their age at approximately 400 centuries. Spud had read that a museum in the town nearby the cave has a reconstruction made from the bones of the 40,000 year old human and apparently it looks remarkably like Dick Clark - needless to say, that was 'a must see' on his list.
The tater landed in Frankfurt am main - considered to be the Financial capital of Europe. Centrally located in Germany, the city would make a good base for touring the country. At the airport, Spud tried to arrange some transport for touring and was somewhat distraught to learn that the rental agencies didn't have cars that were small enough for Spud's feet to reach the pedals. He would have to think of other alternatives, so the potato took a taxi to a local restaurant called 'The Frankfurter Haus' to mull over his options over a good meal.
The Frankfurter Haus was renowned for its schnitzel so Spud quickly decided on a batch of traditional wiener schnitzel. He also knew that the German people are known for their vast consumption of beer, but was surprised to find that there was a very small selection on the menu. It turns out that Frankfurt's locals prefer the taste of a unique beverage called 'Apfelwine'.
Apfelwine (or 'Appelwoi' as it is also known), is made in abundance from the apples grown at the many orchards in the area. While it has the same colour as beer, the taste is distinctly different: somewhat sour and laden with a hefty alcohol content. Spud noted that its huge popularity was due to the fact that it was cheaper than water on the menu.
Ironically though, it had a strange appeal that grew on the tato, and he acquired quite the taste for it during the meal. So much so that he was still demanding refills well after closing. Tired after a long day, the innkeeper grabbed a set of tongs and plucked the potato from his bench and tossed him out the door...
In his hotel room that night, Spud looked through his tourbook and compared costs and schedules of various options. Hiring a taxi would be far too expensive, buses and trains either had restrictive schedules or didn't stop nearby the town of Neandertal at all. Frustrated, the potato left his room the next morning and went into the center of Frankfurt to see if he could find another solution.
A space aged tricycle called a velocab looked like the tater's only option, so he hopped aboard and told the driver where he wanted to go. The driver looked at the map Spud held, pointing out his destination hundreds of kilometres away, and began spewing Deutsch expletives and punting the potato to the side of the road.
An observer that was standing nearby noticed the event and ran to Spud's aid. The good samaritan pushed Spud's nose and eyes back into place and then offered up a solution for the tato's transport quandry.
He told Spud that 'Ken', the ex-common law spouse of 'Barbie' had been living in Frankfurt and was in dire need of cash. Apparently, his highly publicized split from the Blonde bombshell put him into financial ruin as her lawyers managed to take everything (the Winnebago, the Beauty Shop, countless cars and furs, etc. etc.). In fact the only thing he got after being together for 43 or so years was the Ferrari. Not bad considering that he had been riding her coat-tails all that time,,,
The man knew that Ken was still unemployed and since his gravy train had left the station, he might be willing to part with his ride. He gave the potato Ken's phone number and the tuber called him up to see if he could swing a deal
The two arranged to meet in Römerburg, an irregularly shaped square that was the historical core of Frankfurt. This pictuersque plaze surrounded by the Gothic Gable facades of the Römer (the old city hall) had been a major trading area for centuries.
Ken looked rather uptight and stiff and Spud could see why Barbie had lost interest in him. The tater learned that the samaritan's suspicions were well founded as Ken proceeded to tell Spud of his woes. His alimony payments had put him deep into debt and he needed some fast cash to skip town. The potato offered up a few hundred euros for his Ferrari and the deadbeat tossed him the keys. Grinning ear to ear with his good fortune, the tato slipped behind the wheel and fired up the Berlinetta's engine.
The tater slid in Stompin' Tom Connors' latest CD into the car's stereo deck and cranked the volume up to capacity. Spud then slammed the Ferrari into gear and floored it; the tires squealing in delight about the opportunity to eat up the blacktop of Germany's super highway system: the Autobahn.
The 11000 km (~6800 miles) network of roads that comprise the Autobahns are built for speed. Initially begun in the 1920's, the process to build a highway that was all about speed, was taking excruciatingty long to develop. That is until 1933 when Hitler ordered over 100,000 labourers to concentrate on building the system. Two years later, the first section opened up for travel and people have been driving like maniacs ever since.
Spud was no different. He had lost valuable touring time trying to sort out transport, so he thought he'd make up as much as possible by breaking all land speed records.
The potato buried the accelerator and tried to make it to the museum in Naeandertal before closing. With no speed limit on most sections of the Autobahn, things were looking good that he just might make it.
That is until the tuber saw flashing coloured lights in his rear view mirror and the all too familiar sound of a siren. Surprised and annoyed, he pulled over to the side of the road and waitied patiently for the officer. 'Surely it can't be speeding', he thought to himself.
The officer ordered Spud out of the vehicle and had him lie spread eagled on the pavement. Slapping handcuffs on the potato, he informed him that it was illegal for food products to be operating vehicles.
Spud's touring of Germany had come to an end and Neandertal would have to wait.
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