Tag Archives: car

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!

Glue

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.

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A retro police car spotted on the Autobahn

I was on the Autobahn to Köln this morning when I was overtaken by what appeared to be a pretty ancient police vehicle. Still in the old green livery, although most of the police vehicles around us have been converted to blue.

old police car

Left over from the 1980s?

It’s hard to believe that an old banger like this is still in service for the police – although the licence plate looks real enough. Maybe there’s a veterans’ reunion taking place? A secret policemen’s ball? Or was it a film shoot for a retro episode of Tatort?

Best guesses in the comments please!

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Electric bobby-cars in Düsseldorf

I was out and about in Düsseldorf this week when I spotted a rather funky little vehicle parked in the multi-storey car-park on the Carlsplatz.

Electric car

From the nation which brought you the Porsche 911….

Now obviously Germans are usually a bit picky about their cars. Brands like Audi, Mercedes, Daimler-Benz, Porsche… all tend to head into the territory which marketers like to call “aspirational.”

So I was a bit flummoxed by the appearance of what looked like a complete Noddy-car in the midst of all the serious looking black prestige vehicles.  A three-wheel one-seater, designed to look more like a grasshopper than a limousine.

On closer inspection, all became clear. This was a green car.  It runs on electricity rather than fossil fuel.  This little chap was docked into the re-charging station, getting its batteries ready for its next trip.

Green vehicle

Electro-car recharging station

There are a handful of these docking stations scattered around Düsseldorf these days.  With petrol prices where they are, maybe we’ll start to see people swapping the Mercedes for one of these little bobby-cars.

 

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