Saturday, February 21, 2015

On turning a setback into an opportunity

Germans are regularly accused of not having a sense of humour, which of course isn’t true. (To clarify: yes, it is true they are regularly accused; it is not true they don’t have one.) German humour may sometimes be laboured and overly goofy, and it is true there are areas of life where humour is definitely unwelcome (try giving a light-hearted eulogy at a German funeral, for example, and nobody will speak to you for three months); but that’s not the same as saying Germans are humourless. It’s just that there is a Time And A Place.

Sometimes, though, a little humour can pop up in unexpected places, and the sheer rarity of that happening makes it all the more awesome.

Case in point: a little while back, an optician’s in our area was broken into, and the thieves made off with thousands of euros’ worth of spectacle frames.

Yes, spectacle frames. It’s hard to imagine a black market in spectacle frames, but unless the burglars were themselves in dire need of eye tests and broke into the wrong establishment, it seems there is, somewhere on this planet, a man sidling up to opticians in pubs and whispering out of the corner of his mouth: “Got some stuff for you. Two dozen frames. Fell off the back of a lorry. To you, half a grand.”

It is a pretty weird story, but the optician’s managed to find a way to turn it to their advantage. In this morning’s paper was their latest ad, featuring a man in a balaclava and brandishing a flashlight. “Our frames are so good,” proclaimed the ad, “people are even stealing them.” Which is definitely a more positive way of looking at it. “We welcome all customers,” it went on. “But please, during business hours only.”

No comments:

Post a Comment