Monday, August 21, 2006

Don't mention the war

Today was the fastest time between firing up the internet and finding my blog topic. One click, one insane headline, one second to check and make sure I wasn't on The Onion website. "India's Hitler-themed restaurant draws fire" MSNBC's site bullet-pointed. Sort of sums up why the world is doomed.

In Mumbai's financial district a new restaurant named after Adolf Hitler and promoted with posters showing the German leader and Nazi swastikas, has infuriated the country’s small Jewish community. Hitler’s Cross, which opened last week, was named after Der Füehrer to "stand out among hundreds of Mumbai eateries. We wanted to be different. This is one name that will stay in people’s minds,” owner Punit Shablok told Reuters. We are not promoting Hitler. But we want to tell people we are different in the way he was different.” The interior of the small restaurant is decorated in the Nazi colors of red, white and black. A huge portrait of a stern-looking Füehrer greets visitors at the door. Diners eat in booths that resemble train boxcars and arrowed sign posts declaring "Auschwitz 300 km" adorn the room. I made up that last part about the booths and sign posts but why couldn't it be true? Not a great leap from "Hitler's Cross" and Hitler portraits to waiters dressed as Waffen SS and Mengele meringue pie for dessert.

“This place is not about wars or crimes, but where people come to relax and enjoy a meal,” said restaurant manager Fatima Kabani in what can only be described as one of the strangest sentence ever spoken. Reminds me of another meal with Hitler references:

From "The Germans" espisode of "Fawlty Towers":

Younger Herr: May we have two eggs mayonnaises, please?
Basil: Certainly! Why not, why not indeed? We are all friends now, eh?
Elder Herr: A prawn cocktail.
Basil: All in the Market together, old differences forgotten, and no need at all to mention the war. SORRY! Sorry. What was it again?
Elder Herr: A prawn cocktail.
Basil: Oh, prawn! That was it! When you said "prawn", I thought you said "war".Oh, y— Oh, the war! Oh, yes, completely slipped my mind! Yes, I'd forgotten all about it. Hitler, Himmler, and all that lot...Oh, yes, completely forgotten it, just like that.
[He looks around for a moment in confusion.]
Basil: Sorry. What was it again?
Elder Herr: A prawn cocktail!
Basil: Oh, yes, Eva Prawn. Yes, of course. And Goebbels too, he's another one I can hardly remember at all.
Younger Herr: And ein pickled herring!
Basil: Hermann Goering, yes, yes, and, uh, von Ribbentrop, that was another one.
Elder Herr: And four cold meat salads, please.
Basil: Certainly. Well, I'll just get your hors d'oeuvres... hors d'oeuvres vich must be obeyed at all times vithout qvestion! Sorry! Sorry!
[Polly enters the dining room.]
Polly: Mr. Fawlty, will you please call your wife immediately?
[Basil looks around frantically.]
Basil: Sybil? Sybi— She's in the hospital, you silly girl!
Polly: Yes, call her there!
Basil: I can't! I've got too much to do. [whispering loudly] Listen, don't mention the war! I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it alright.
[Basil returns to the Germans.]
Basil: So! It's all forgotten now, and let's hear no more about it. So that's two egg mayonnaise, a prawn Goebbels, a Hermann Goering and four Colditz salads.
[The younger Frau is sobbing openly now, consoled by the elder Herr.]
Basil: Now, wait a minute. Well, I got a bit confused here. Sorry! I got a bit confused 'cause everyone keeps mentioning the war. So could you - what's the matter?
Elder Herr: It's all right.
Basil: Is there something wrong?
Elder Herr: Will you stop talking about the war?!
Basil: ME?! You started it!
Elder Herr: We did not start it!
Basil: Yes you did — you invaded Poland.

And I thought Fawlty Towers was farce and fiction. Turns out Basil is running a new restaurant in Mumbai.


Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Immer die Buchstabierung Problemen mit dir. Wieder has du Fehler gamacht. Das Wort ist Führer, nicht Füehrer.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Crankyboy said...

Sorry Field Marshal Fogg, it should be Führer with an umlaut, Fuehrer when an umlaut is not used. Do you already have reservations for the new restaurant in Mumbai? And by reservations I don't mean apprehensions.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Aber natürlich! Ich kan kaum warten.

In Mumbai steht ein Hitler Haus
Ein, zwei, sufa
Wir werfen all Juden 'raus
Eisn, Zwei, sufa

10:16 PM  

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