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Sunday, January 18, 2009

The New Year's Story Part 2

The Happy Couple

As I mentioned, Frosty knows Atze from Dresden. I knew of him by reputation and a handful Skype chats. His reputation? Supreme money- waster. He is up to his ass in debt. Granted, I know a lot of people up to their asses in debt -- myself included. However, all of Atze's debt was acquired in ridiculously retarded and completely avoidable ways, e.g. credit fraud. He would order big ticket products from mail-order companies and never pay the bill, purposefully overdraft his bank account to kingdom come and (lastly & most idiotic of all) excessive video machine gambling. Basically, all that money that he doesn't have is constantly burning a hole in his pockets.

I had heard many tales of Atze’s schemes before actually meeting him in person. Once I did meet him, he didn’t strike me as the cleverest guy in the world, but everyone’s got that one not-so-bright friend that makes up for his/her dimness with charm and a sparkling personality. Right? At any rate, if you can't think of the person in your group that fits that description, then it's you...

Atze picked us up from the train station. He kind of reminded me (looks-wise) of the actor Ethan Embry in the movie Can’t Hardly Wait and I loved that movie back in 1999, so I felt we were getting off to a good start.

As we got on the subway and made our way back to the studio apartment that he shared with Lina (his 19-year-old girlfriend/fiance), I quickly discovered that Atze had the tendency of
really talking down about her -- an odd thing to do seeing as he claimed that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with this woman...

According to Atze, he does everything right and despite his best efforts to succeed, Lina is there at every turn just pulling him down. He even tried to fish around for my opinion, but sadly I couldn't give him any "useful" input about what a "proper woman does for her man". This is probably because I didn't get my beliefs regarding love and romance from a rap video.

In my mind Atze and I were already not getting off to a good start. However, if he was friends with Frosty then there must have been a good reason, so I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe his girlfriend was just that awful...?

When we arrive at the apartment, Lina is there to greet us. She seemed normal enough. A little quiet and timid. Atze immediately begins to apologize for the mess in the apartment (it wasn't messy) and goes on and on about how Lina had so much time to clean, but that she's such an incompetent housekeeper, blah blah blah. Frosty and I began to insist that the apartment was fine.

We weren't there for even an hour before the dynamic between the couple became apparent. Atze would insult Lina in some way. Lina would be like, "Yup, I know I'm just so dumb and can't do anything right". Atze would agree and Lina would shuffle (literally shuffle) around the apartment, with her shoulders hunched and her head down. It was so depressing to see.

Frosty and I unconsciously switched into TEAMWORK MODE (!!!) and attempted to deflect Atze's criticisms away from Lina. As a way of distraction, Frosty suggested we play a few rounds of Boggle before hitting the town for the evening.

The entire time that we were playing, Atze was more focused on scoring some weed and when he wasn't preoccupied with that, he was busy informing us of Lina's missed menstrual cycle. It wasn't too long after this, that we gave up on Boggle and decided to see what the Cologne nightlife had to offer on a Sunday night (not much, but still worth a try and better than the alternative).

Being the only person in the group with a steady paycheck, I was not opposed to sponsoring a few rounds of beer for the group. I more than remember the time in my life where times were hard and I was broke and people were gracious enough to reach into their wallets and get me drunk. Plus, I feel that if someone's nice enough to open their home/apartment to you -- then you can at least chalk it up to common courtesy to do something nice for your host(s).

Before I could do anything, however, I needed to find an ATM.

That wasn't too tough and I withdrew some money. Then we were on our way, right? No.

Atze spent the next 15 minutes trying to see if he could overdraw not only all of his bank accounts, but also Lina's (even though I said that the beer was on me). I could understand the part about his bank accounts, but when I questioned why he was dipping into Lina's the response was, "It's all OUR money anyway, right babe?" Ugh...

Finally, we got moving again, found a kiosk and commenced with the Kölsch drinking. Atze entertained us with his knowledge of porn websites and went into detail about how he lost over 1000 Euros in one day of gambling ([sarcasm] hilarious! [/sarcasm]).

I wanted to see if the Irish pub that I used to frequent with the other Americans still existed. I also wanted to play some pool. I figured we could kill two birds with one stone, so we headed over to the Altstadt.

Along the way, I got to hear a little bit of Lina's story. She quit her apprenticeship in Dresden when Atze proposed, moved to Cologne without any prospects besides her fiance, had no friends in the city, and worked a part time job that earned her a mere 400€ per month.

Super duper depressing.

On the bright side, Flanagan's (the Irish Pub) still exists. Lina and I went in to pee, while the boys finished their beers outside. It was around that time that I decided to take Lina under my wing and try my damnedest to show her that her boyfriend/fiance is a douche and that she had to learn to stand up for herself. I decided to first try the most indirect approach... namely via a round of tequilas (for the ladies).

We played pool, then went home to play SingStar. Then, I fell asleep during the movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still"


EEJ said...

Two things:
1. What a douche.
2. Yay Flanagans! What a shitty shitty bar with such cheap and dirty drinks! Good times.

katie said...

i've been meaning to mention this for a while, but my friends and i's band on rock band 1 was called the mind grapes. on rock band 2 we are gavin volure and the spacemen. (obviously pronounced like the good doctor.)

my avatar's name is feez feez me. this is amazing, admit it.

lebrookski said...

oh my ms fee...that is quite amazing!