What do you do when you accidentally glue yourself to a crane?

I needed to buy some glue this week. And where better to buy it than in Germany? You see Germans know a thing or two about the characteristics and dangers of glue… even in the days of the Brothers Grimm, some terrible accidents with superglue were reported.

Never spread superglue on your golden goose...

Never spread superglue on your golden goose…

The local DIY store came up with what looked like a suitable product. The words strong and safe (written in English, especially to reassure expats) were enough to convince me!


Looks like glue

When I got it home though, I took a closer look. The cunning German glue-marketing-whizzos were pointing out the great product features of their glue. The picture in the background shows a car, hanging from a crane using this very same glue to stick the car to the crane-hook! Being sticklers for detail, not only were the specifics of this feat given (the car weighed 4.1 tonnes and was attached to a 7 centimetre surface) but also the event was certified by a notary.

Technical details of the test were certified by a notary, apparently

Technical details of the test were certified by a notary, apparently

This got me thinking.  I’m not sure how much an average German notary knows about glueing cars to cranes, but I personally would have felt happier if the thing had been certified by, say an engineer or a chemist. Also, I fail to see the usefulness of permanently attaching your car to a crane – maybe it’s the German answer to first-world parking problems.  However, assuming that the notary knew his stuff, it made me start thinking about the next potential ad-campaign for this particular glue…. this time using more obvious practical applications.

An obvious one would be to stick hyperactive toddlers to the wall … I think that would need to be pädagogisch beglaubigt (certified by educational experts).  Attaching moody teenagers to their school books might be another option.

A layer of glue spread on the doormat at night might be a great way to catch burglars… although the difficulty of removing them afterwards could prove problematic. You might have to turn your front porch into a prison cell… and hope it wasn’t an entire gang of robbers.   This advertisement could be kriminologisch beglaubigt by, say,  a high court judge.

Glueing my mobile phone to my ear would save the panicky turf-out of the contents of my handbag every time someone phones me. I guess that would be mobilfunktechnisch beglaubigt.

Meanwhile, having surveyed the product again, I felt less convinced that any notary could really certify this product as safe. I weigh considerably less than 4.1 tonnes, so the risk of me accidentally glueing myself to a crane must be quite high. The product instructions gave no hint about how to extricate myself from such a situation.

I did the only sensible thing I could.  I threw the glue away.


Filed under Uncategorized

8 responses to “What do you do when you accidentally glue yourself to a crane?

  1. Very amusing writing Cathy 🙂
    I also like the picture of the finger and thumb definitely not glued together and the words ‘Verklebt die Finger nicht sofort.’ Presumably if you DID want to glue your fingers together then you would have to wait a bit?

  2. Lovely blog. Very professional – unlike my amateur efforts! Great to meet you all and thanks again for your very generous Anglo German hospitality!

  3. Reading your book for the third time in a row and still finding bits and pieces that have been laughing out loud. However, I’ve noticed there hasn’t been an update for a few months now. Is everything Ok or has the German winter gotten to you.

    • Hi Sven,
      I’m so glad you are enjoying Planet Germany again! Thanks for your message. You’re right that I’ve been offline for a few months – I’ve experienced a couple of shocking bereavements in the last months and have not really felt able to blog “funny” stuff. But normal service will be resumed soon.
      Thanks for checking in on me though… I really appreciate it.


      • Hi Cathy,

        Glad to hear you are Ok. We miss your unique take on German culture but fully understand that you need time to heal.

        As a German / Australian your book makes a good gift to my fellow Australian’s who often wonder whether all the rumours about German humour, food and culture are true.

        It seems to have piqued their curiosity as two of my colleague’s are coming with me on my next German vacation in 2014.

        Take care and look forward to seeing your blog tick over in the near future.


  4. ha ha. this is so funny, thanks for sharing your experience.

  5. Kia

    I just read some articles here, and really enjoyed it. I German, born and raised there, and it is just so funny to see a totally different perpective on things that are so normal to me. I will definitely come back 🙂

  6. Sven Weichbrodt

    So sad to see this blog inactive for so long. When we last spoke I think you were dealing with some personal loss. I hope that one day the wounds heal and that you can return to regale us with your life in Germany.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s