All it took was one little “Heil Hitler” and a kick to the shins to place the United States and Germany on the brink of war again or something again. In the early hours of Saturday in Gelsenkirchen, at a McDonald’s restaurant of all places, a 54-year-old American was attacked by a German customer who was offended at having to listen to the guy speak English.

“We are in Germany. German is spoken here,” the irate German said, right on both counts. “We may not speak the best German by international standards or anything, of course, but at least we try. So shut the *#!?*# up and whip some Deutsch on me, you cultureless American hick.” The dumbfounded American, dumbfounded, then threatened to call the cops at which point the hot and bothered German kicked him soundly in the ankles and did his little Hitler salute thang. The American was then whisked away to a German hospital where he underwent surgery for his leg injury (it is common practice to have to undergo surgery for a kick to the shins here in Germany).

Understandably, this ugly incident has been kept hushed up for as long as possible. But not long enough if you ask me, because now the United States Department of Defense has found out about it and the S Word has hit the fan and Washington has retaliated by putting off the withdrawal of two brigades it has stationed in Germany for another two whole years.

Secretary of State Robert Gates has let it be known that “maintaining a strong military presence in Germany after this provocative McDonald’s incident will signal to Germany and to the rest of the world that we will remain globally engaged with our so-called allies in our continued fight for the rapid deployment of fast food, wherever it may be served, and whether these so-called allies like it or not. So put that in your Big Mac and eat it, Freunde (pals).”

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