Trivia in Berlin

Ernst and Ludwig walked down their Berlin street as was their morning custom three days after New Year’s in 1966. Daily they celebrated they celebrated their victory of surviving the reign of that crazy bastard Adolph Hitler. Friends since childhood, Ernst and Ludwig knew they had entered into a suicide pact when they joined the military as young men. It was enlist or be gunned down on the streets for being cowards and disloyal to the Fuerher.
Now they were in their twilight years and did exactly as they damn well pleased without regard to what their wives and their neighbors thought. Since their retirement from the sanitation department where they disposed of garbage, side by side, for twenty years, Ernst and Ludwig played trivia games to see who would pay for their coffee and cinnamon roll. Picking a topic they asked each other questions and the first to miss an answer treated the other. This worked out to be as fair a way of determining the morning host as they were equally knowledgeable or ignorant on most topics.
This morning they walked a furious pace because the wintry wind was particularly nippy. Their hands were in their shoulders, shoulders hunched and heads down.
“Arithmetic,” Ernst announced out of the blue.
“Und why not?”
“It’s too cold to calculate numbers in mein head, that’s why.” After a pause, Ludwig offered, “Opera.”
“There’s only one answer to an opera question und that is Wagner.”
“That is true. Then you pick.”
“Ach, gudt. Mickey Mouse, Marilyn Monroe and Margery Main,” Ludwig announced loudly. He chose not to notice that two young women walking the other way on the sidewalk glanced at them and then laughed.
“Don’t expect to get the same question as last week,” Ernst warned him.
“Name three famous Americans with the initials M.M.”
“You’re not getting off that easy this time.”
“Ask away,” Ludwig challenged him. “I love America.”
“Where do Americans go when they want to lose most of their money?” Ernst asked.
“Ach! Las Vegas in the desert known as Nevada! You have to do better than that!”
“Bet you can’t do any better!” Ernest huffed furiously.
“What is the name of the American vice-president?”
“Lyndon Baines Johnson! Undt his beautiful daughters are Lucy Baines and Lynda Bird.”
“Not fair!” Ludwig bumped Enst’s shoulder. “That was going to be my next question.”
They both looked up to see their favorite little restaurant on the corner two blocks away. They increased their speed.
“We’re almost there. If we arrive undt no one has missed a question then the person with the last correct answer wins,” Ernst offered.
“That’s fair,” Ludwig conceded but he added, “talk faster.”
“In what month of the year do Americans celebrate the landing of Christopher Columbus?”
“Hmm…you’ve been watching the American television channel again. Give me a moment.”
“You said to make it fast, so make it fast,” Ludwig said with glee. “Only one more block to go!”
As they crossed the last street before the restaurant, Ludwig’s foot rammed into the curb.
“Ach!” He lifted his leg to grab his injured foot, winced and pointed at his shoe. “Toe!” The wind picked up, and Ludwig said with a shudder, “Brr!”
Ernst’s mouth flew open. “But how did you know?”

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