Thursday, 20 March 2014

Mowing the lawn with Hitler

The first time I met someone famous I also didn't know who they were.

Whilst waiting for a friend to finish a shift at a posh Perth hotel, I started up a conversation with someone carrying a musical instrument case. I was telling him all about the upcoming tour of the Americas with the Australian Youth Orchestra that I was involved in. People kept interrupting us to ask him for his autograph. "Are you famous?" I asked naively. "Oh I play with a band called Simply Red." "Never heard of it." "So where in the Americas is the orchestra performing?" he continued.

Whilst working in Verona, I ran into a Suzanne a wonderful friend whom I had met not too long before at the Innsbrucker Festspiele. This oboist invited me to visit her at her home near Innsbruck. As I was spending my last weeks before returning to Australia in Munich I jumped at the opportunity to visit Suzanne.

'Ich gehe Jägern!' Announced a Tirolian clad husband with shot gun folded over the crook of his arm. Going hunting? I asked myself. What's with the dress ups? I asked myself. Was he for real, or was this some kind of put on for the tourist? It was as corney as Crocodile Dundee. But he was perfectly serious and the beef bourgingon I'd been served up, was infact bambi bourgingon. He had gone deer hunting.

Suzanne's husband was apparently very famous and received much fan mail from Australia. I felt a little stupid as I had no idea who he was, he however seemed to like that I didn't know him. His humility reminded me of the Simply Red musician. He was currently playing the role of Hitler and had been studying his mannerisms and body language for many months. So not only had he a little moustache and a 1930s bowl cut he had the mannerisms of Hitler. Suzanne said she would often get a terrible fright when he entered her peripheral vision. I however had a terrific laugh when Hitler and I, beers in hand boarded the tractor and mowed the vast expanses of their farm lawn.

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