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Bob Dunning

Bob Dunning: Ach du lieber! Does anyone speak English?

By From page A2 | January 11, 2013

SPRECHEN SIE DEUTSCHE? … my friend Ray, our European correspondent, sent along a link to an article about our totally relevant hometown from the highly respected German publication “Der Spiegel,” not to be confused with the Spiegel Catalog …

Turns out Der Spiegel did a piece on “The Coolest University in America,” which featured a photo of two UC Davis students riding their bicycles by the ARC above the caption “Americans are fat, lazy and pollute the environment? Not on the campus of the University of California at Davis, says exchange student Christoph Henrichs: His classmates fight for clean oceans and better climate. But they also consume much.” …

Glad to hear we’ve lost the fat and lazy label among our German friends … unfortunately, the rest of the article was in German, which my German-American mother spoke only when I was in trouble … so I selected the “translate to English” option of the online Der Spiegel edition and learned firsthand the origin of the phrase “I think something was lost in the translation.” …

Indeed … for example, the opening paragraph begins “The handlebar shaking, uncertain and with red heads, the young students to pedal, always falls down one.” … (I am not making this up. Actual transcript available upon request) … “At each fall laugh and applaud the older ones, only then they rush to their new classmates and help them up.” …

What I take from this is that we have all kinds of bicycle-challenged foreign students from Germany who provide endless entertainment to their friends by falling off their bicycles …

Der Spiegel’s readers also learn that UC Davis students “flock daily to the many Starbucks outlets, Burger and Taco fast food restaurants on campus, dressed as uniform as possible in the merchandising products of the university.” …

Go Ags … your German friends are watching … give them a thrill and just once fall off your bicycle …

CRIME WAVE … after reading about the rash of burglaries in our beloved burg, it’s nice to know we have a good description of a suspect who is a “white or Latino male in his mid-20s, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and riding a 10-speed bike.” … that narrows it down to about 4,000 people in my neighborhood alone …

EVEN MORE CRIME … if bicycle theft was a felony, Davis would apparently have the highest crime rate in the world … according to Tom Sakash’s piece in this very newspaper, more than 3,000 bikes have been reported stolen in Davis and on campus since 2009 …

Note the word “reported” … most of us don’t even bother to report a stolen bicycle, so the actual number of thefts is probably twice the reported figure … bicycle theft in the City of Bicycles is nothing new, of course … I remember having my ’56 Schwinn stolen when I was in the sixth grade and my dad accidentally came across it in front of a fraternity house two weeks later …

No one, of course, knew how that bicycle had possibly ended up there … made me wonder then and makes me wonder now what people who are already riding a stolen bicycle do when that bicycle is stolen …

THE BIG ONE THAT GOT AWAY … anyone who watched Wednesday’s press conference when former Aggie quarterback and assistant coach Mike Moroski was named head football coach at College of Idaho wonders how on earth UC Davis managed to overlook one of its own when searching for a head coach last fall …

Moroski handled himself well in his new home, sounding as excited as if he’d just been named the new head coach at Alabama … much is expected of him and, I’m certain, much will be delivered … as College of Idaho athletic director Marty Holly told attendees at the ceremony to introduce Moroski, “we hit a home run with this guy.” … indeed …

— Reach Bob Dunning at [email protected]

Bob Dunning

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