Achtung, Achtung already! It seems that all of a sudden, out of nowhere so-to-speak, countless Dreckecken (dirty corners) are cropping up wherever you care not to look in Berlin. Parks are being buried in picnic rests, old sofas are piling up on every other street corner, and countless tons of Elektroschrott (electronic junk) are lying around unplugged and unattended in your Hinterhof (backyard) while we speak. And the city’s sanitation department, in an unholy alliance with the dreaded Office of Order, is so alarmed about the matter that it has decided to begin a new cleanup campaign called “Working Together for a Clean Berlin.” And no, Rudy Giuliani has nothing at all to do with any of this.

Sounds harmless enough at first, right? Sure it does. It always does here… at first. But if you look a little closer, you will detect a less obvious and more sinister design. The sanitation department wants to “sensitize” Berlin’s citizens, you see. It wants them to be aware of the ever-growing “illegal waste” problem. That’s right, some types of waste are actually “illegal” here, and it doesn’t even have to be nuclear (no, come to think of it, practically every type of waste is illegal here). And worst still, the BSR (that’s the sanitation department) is even asking Berliners “to report” on any suspicious piles of Dreck they might happen to step into out there.

Well it’s all over but the crying now if you ask me. This gives this Garbage Police stuff a whole new dimension.

By the way, my own personal Dreckecke can be found way down on the bottom right of this very page. Or at least one of my many Dreckecken is down there, I should say. I prefer to call it my Schmuddelecke (nasty corner), however. That makes It sound nastier. Which, of course, it is.

Come visit me at Observing Hermann…

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