When I first arrived in Switzerland--lured here as part of the dastardly Swiss honey trap to spice up the gene pool and improve their English-language abilities--like many foreigners, I found myself hitting the books for the first time since leaving school, in order to try and make some progress in the local language. (The only reason to learn a language in Switzerland is to thwart the multitude of natives who want to speak to you in English. Reason enough in my book!)
When I went to the bookshop to pick up some language learning aids, I chose the cheapest dictionary I could find. (This was back in the days when the price of books was fixed by a state-approved cartel, which has since been abolished. However, the Swiss are so opposed to the concept of 'value for money', that they are currently talking about reinstating it!)
Unfortunately, I had accidentally taken home one of those Langenscheidt Cat--German, German--Cat dictionaries. Low on money to buy the dictionary I actually needed and lacking the language skills required to return it, I decided to muddle on as best l could. When my girlfriend said something in German and was smiling, I purred appreciatively. Of course, I didn't have to wait long until I made a mistake--men messing up in a relationship is international after all. My feline cuteness enraged her.
"Du bist so ein Idiot," she shouted.
"Miaow, miaow," I protested, defending myself as best I could.
(I found my mind wandering and I started to think about swapping my ball and chain for a ball of string.) I knew I had to retaliate harder, so l took the only course of action open to me and began hacking up a fur ball.
"Wait a second, are you speaking Swiss-German?"...