Reductio ad Hitlerum
I was at the beach again yesterday, and that little outing treated me not only to an increased risk of melanoma, but also to an amusing scene of cultures clashing. The little vignette I observed was something that could have been co-written by Anton Chekhov and John Cleese.
It was roughly mid-day, and the playa beneath the towering Hilton hotel was pretty crowded. Nonetheless, everyone was getting along fairly well — at least until a young German tourist turned up.
He sat down between me and a lady with a little dog. Why he chose that particular spot escapes me, because this little dog apparently annoyed him. As soon as he had settled down he turned to its owner and demanded that she leave.
She “vasn’t on the dog beatsch”, he claimed.
Formally, he was right. The dog beach starts some ten meters to the north of the spot where the woman was sitting. Nonetheless, she refused to move and tried to explain, in a surprisingly polite manner, that she really couldn’t see why he would have to sit so close to her if her dog bothered him so.
The German tourist would have none of it. He tried to enlist the people surrounding them, asking us to translate what it said on the sign ten meters away — the sign that, in Hebrew, announces the beginning of the dog beach. The other people sitting in the vicinity, who minutes before the anally retentive Junker showed up had been cursing the annoying mutt under their breaths, now lied straight to his blonde and blue-eyed face, claiming that the sign said that this was indeed a part of the dog beach.
Having been unsuccessful in rallying support for his canine resettlement cause, the young German went back to arguing with the dog owner. The whole thing ended when she did what we all had been tempted to do for quite some time already:
She called him a Nazi.
That’s when the shit really hit the fan. The young German stormed off to the life guards to tell on the cheeky girl. He returned triumphantly a few minutes later with the life guard, who was both embarrassed and rather annoyed about having to enforce the law and ask the girl to move the ten meters to the north in order to give this Teutonic tourist his required Sonnenraum.