You’d think the Germans would be more sensible than that, but you’d be wrong, as a recent conversation that took place bears testimony. As a bonus, it also describes, in a nutshell, the typical mode of communication employed by me and my wife.
Wife: So, I was at the store, and this man — Hessian, of course — came in with a bottle and told the cashier she’d just sold it to his brother. Well, obviously, her face fell; she could get into serious trouble for that. So, anyway—
Me: (interrupting) Hang on — trouble? Why?
Wife: Well, him being under 18 and everything.
Me: Oh! She sold a bottle of something alcoholic to somebody who was under age?
You see what I’m up against? I usually have to remember half my wife’s lines for her.
Wife: That’s what I said.
Me: Then what?
Wife: Well, I’d already paid, so I didn’t hang around. But I saw him leave the store, with the bottle, and get into the only car there registered in Hesse.
Me: What does his being Hessian have to do with it?
Wife: Well, nothing. But... you know, Hessian. What else would you expect?