At Night, In The Park

The young Turk was sitting beside me on the park bench:

Man, you are not ok.

It was 2:30 in the night and the 17 year old together with his 7 companions were loitering in the park right under our bedroom window.

They were playing loud and annoying music on their mobiles. That and the chanting had woken up my wife. And she had woken me.

I had now the alternative to ignore her and suffer the next day. Or to get up and do what I can do best:

  • Make fun of people.

Life as Park Ranger

In the last year I went through hundreds of such park ranger experiences. 5 year olds exploding fire crackers of the size of hand granades, girls screeching at 1:00 in the night on the kid swings, hour-lasting tantrums of 3 year olds, screaming retirees at 5:00 on a sunday morning, psychotic dogs, people trying to cut down trees only to recover their footballs.

You name it, I dealt with it. And while everyone needed his personal treatment, I outlasted and won each of these exchanges. Simply via persistency. And cold blood.

Man, you are so not ok.

I had approached the group of young Turks without a sound and had taken a seat right in between them. The table was littered with beer bottles. All of the boys had fallen silent, they even had switched off the mobiles. And were looking at me.

I was just sitting there, silently nodding towards the table. After 30 seconds total silence and without looking at them I said:

  • You woke up my wife, and she woke me. I am now awake. And I want you to be very silent. Or leave.

I returned to my Rainman nodding towards the table.

The Racist Card

What do have against us? Are you a racist?

Turks in Austria like to pull out the racist card at every possible and impossible opportunity. They try to stir up the Holocaust guilt which has been haunting this country for many decades. And that with Turkish flags on Viennese buildings and long roads occupied by Turkish businesses.

  • Yessss, me biggest racist. Me not liking left-handed peoples. Left-handed peoples verry baddish. Verry.

He shrugged and turned on the music player on his mobile.


I pulled out my ultimate teen repellent weapon:

  • Ahhhrrr. Me likes muzzik.

I started singing.

While I can decently perform Leonard Cohen's Sisters of Mercy on my guitar, I can also impersonate Gollum effectively. The years of being professor at Bond University paid off here.

My Gollum singing is totally improvised, with frequent and unexpected metallic screeching inspired by the earlier Alien movies. I use a synthetic language, a mixture of Klingon, Arabic, Australian and Russian. Interestingly, I speak none of those. Additionally I drum asynchronously onto the table, only to stop intermittingly with a witch-like evil laughter.

The climate in the park became spooky as I was acting out this crazy person. Again, Bond University has given me so much (thanks Marcus!).

Resistance Is Futile

The Turk persisted:

What do you want? Can you stop singing?

If they had expected a rational argument, then I did not make them the favour to engage. There is no rational argument whether you wake up people in the night or not.

I will call the police if you do not stop singing!

I could hardly suppress my entertainment. Over the time I had learned to know many of the police officers in the district in person, mostly from park excursions like these.

I screamed "pleeeease noooooo" and immediately returned to the singing.

Deliver the Threat, Or ...

You are so not ok, man. I will call the police.

The young Turk was dialling the number. When someone answered, I stopped. I did not want to miss the conversation.

Hello? We are sitting here in this park and there is someone singing.

Silence on the other side.

He just stopped. Where we are? We are in the Mueller park!

Now the city is big, and there is no Mueller park. The voice at the other end of the line said so.

I mean this park at the Gudrunstrasse.

"There is no park at the Gudrunstrasse." the voice calmly returned. There was more silence.

The young Turk frantically addressed his companions to help him out to describe where they actually were. But none of them had a clue. Finally he ended the call.

Playing Out The Match

  • Are they coming?

I asked and immediately returned to my performance not hiding my joy about my creativity.

Two of the youngsters had already left the table in frustration and the group was further eroding. Two minutes later the last young Turk was standing up too.

Man, you are so not ok.
  • Yes, I know. You guys took me 25 minutes. Not bad, but I can do better.
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Posted In

Your best yet

I really enjoyed this one. Almost makes me want to make noise under your bedroom window so I can experience this for myself. :)

Lars Marius Garshol (not verified) | Thu, 08/13/2009 - 22:31

Re: Your best yet

Almost makes me want to make noise under your bedroom window so I can experience this for myself. :)

Well, I am open for invitations from the Oslo opera!

Harrr! Mei preeeeeecious!

rho | Fri, 08/14/2009 - 05:27

thanks for entertaining my office ride

was just sitting in the sbahn berlin to my office and had a lot of fun reading your story mr ramger. also fun to laugh at my mobile and see the question marks. above the other passengers

schtief (not verified) | Fri, 08/14/2009 - 09:47

The picture ... it's him!!!

rho is an ordinary looking man. Some women might even call him handsome (you cannout dispute opinions like that). But when rho acts this crazy freak, at night in the park, he really looks like Gollum; the picture is a snapshot of him. (rho ... a kind of werewolf?)
(No, I have not been under his window, but sometimes, on popular demand, he gives private performances.)

So instead of laughing at some poor kids in the middle of their holidays just wanting to have some fun after a long, hard day of spare time, you should really feel sorry for them. After such an event they are traumatized, spoiled childhood, lost for society, many years of psychotherapy ahead of them.

You don't want your worst enemy to meet Grhollum ...


Gernot (not verified) | Tue, 08/18/2009 - 11:13

Re: You don't want your worst enemy to meet Grhollum ...

Yeah, but in terms of scaring people Grhollum still competes with

  • Austrian politicians
  • Austrian TV
  • Austrian "Kammern" with their enforced memberships
  • Austrian tax systems
  • Austrian monopolies
  • Austrian political influence into companies
  • Austrian social security systems
  • Austrian immigration rules

But to ask an insane person to do sane things is itself insane.

rho | Wed, 08/19/2009 - 02:52

- ...and some (too many)

- ...and some (too many) Perl snippets around.

Now will you step forward proposing a date for the - apparently bi-annual - Pizza meeting and turn it into a performance session, please? :)

Andres (not verified) | Mon, 08/24/2009 - 13:20

It seems I'm no human, or

It seems I'm no human, or maybe I just have to see the eye doctor: my success rate with these captchas is less than 50% ...

Gernot (not verified) | Tue, 08/18/2009 - 11:17

Re: It seems I'm no human, or

It seems I'm no human....

Ever thought that declining correct captcha responses is part of the test? Clever, ha?

rho | Wed, 08/19/2009 - 02:47

You know we're that far...

...if spam bots start doing better than humans on captchas.

Andres (not verified) | Mon, 08/24/2009 - 13:21


If you hear of an similar incident in another southern Viennese district in the near future it might be me. If not I survived ;)

Thanks for this great blog. Enjoyed your tutorials into the map-reduce-artwork *g* just to find a really interesting person just around the corner (sort of - not the person - the corner of course ;).

Albert (not verified) | Tue, 09/01/2009 - 20:24

Re: Respect

If you hear of an similar incident ...

Probably I should read the local news paper then?

... just to find a really interesting person .. around the corner ...

I get it. Maybe we meet in one of the parks at night. I am normally hard to miss :-)

And there are more war stories on the way!

rho | Tue, 09/01/2009 - 22:50