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.
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!
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.
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.