You’ve all no doubt heard of the Peter Principle; which states that “In a company hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence“. Well, being of good German descent, I figure there’s got to be a Struwwel-Peter Principal : If anything can go wrong because of one’s actions it will end up disastrously for them. [If you haven’t read the previous post on Struwwelpeter, go back and read it; this stuff’ll make much more sense].
And like rising to one’s level of incompetence; likewise the more stupid and idiotic your behavior, the more hazardous the consequences. And take my word for it, Germans know just how disastrous stupid behavior can be. Just like in “Die Geschichte vom Suppen-Kaspar” (The Story of Soup-Kaspar) where young Kaspar, a healthy, strong boy, proclaims that he will no longer eat his soup; and over the next five days, wastes away and dies. So much for 19 th century German hunger strikes. Bottom line: refusing to eat can kill ya so don’t be picky about your food, cause nobody gives a shit and you’ll starve to death.
Another one, and it’s my favorite is:”Die Geschichte von Hans Guck-in-die-Luft” (The Story of Hansi Head-in-Air, and NOT a story about me taking a dump in someones upstairs loft). It’s about a boy who habitually fails to watch where he’s walking. One day he walks into a river; he is soon rescued, but his backpack full of belongings drifts away. Today we’d call it something like Hansi Head Up His Ass , and it’d be about a guy who lost his shirt in the recent stock market crash because he took up blogging instead of watching the Market.
See, if you’re not paying attention, and letting your mind drift, or worse yet, doing something risky or anti-social, well you can get wiped out. Take Phillip In “Die Geschichte vom Zappel-Philipp” (The Story of Fidgety Philip), a boy who won’t sit still at dinner and accidentally knocks all of the food onto the floor, to his parents’ great displeasure. What is not mentioned is that the family was taking care of Bad Fredricks dog [a violent boy terrorizes animals and people. Eventually he is bitten by a dog, who goes on to eat the boy’s sausages while he is bedridden]. So the evil dog not only eats up all the families food and they starve to death, but goes on to bite little Phil’s wiener off.
Now my former probation clients could have certainly benefited from the Struwwel-Peter Principle and avoided a whole lot of suffering. Take the story of Larry mit der cocaine ger-using addiction. Larry got so blasted on crack one night that he got a little paranoid and thought he heard burglars in his attic. He called 911, and the police responded. They didn’t find any burglars (the attic being little more than a crawl space), but the cops did find Lorenzo under the influence, and in possession of drugs, and hauled his ass off to jail. There’s danger in even getting high. Go figure.
The moral: If you do dumb shit, and act like a fool, it could be disastrous. And although God may forgive you, nature won’t, so wake up and don’t step in any cosmic dog doo.