Story Notes:Written circa 2006.
“The Origin of Inglehoffer: A Real Fairy Tale”
(60% revision of Paper #2)
Rudolf Ingle and Hans Hoffer were neighbors in the little German village of Schwierigsagendorf (cue to laugh: it means “the village of Difficult To Say”) during the 19th century. They shared the same humble building and carried on their separate trades beneath its roof. Ingle was a poor mustard-maker and Hoffer a poor glass-smith who specialized in making little round custard jars. Rudolf, who had been in business a few years longer, acted as a sort of mentor to young entrepreneur Hans (although Rudolf’s advice could be taken with a grain of salt since he wasn’t all that experienced either). But the two held their own and thus formed a close friendship over the years.
A really close friendship.
I mean really. Close.
So close that when they were shutting down shop for the night, Hans took Rudolf by the sleeve and with heaving bosom uttered, “Rudolf, I cannot stand to hide it any longer! Ich liebe dich!”
To which Rudolf gasped and replied, “O Hans! I thought you would never say it!”
And then they fell into each other’s arms and made sweet sauerkraut.
It might have been a happy ending right then and there except for the fact that their wives would have ended up very, very lonely and perturbed for the rest of their lives. Frau Ingle and Frau Hoffer became suspicious of their husbands’ behaviors and, being the nosy hausfrauen that they were, sneaked into the shop one night and accidentally witnessed a perfectly X-rated scene of forbidden passion. The Frauen let out screams of horror, Rudolf and Hans screamed when they found out they’d been discovered, and everything degenerated into screaming chaos. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued, and things did not look promising.
In the following weeks, the two lovebirds were caged and closely watched by their wives, who were so miffed that they forbade their men to even go near each other, threatening public disclosure of the scandal if they did. Rudolf and Hans alternated days working at the shop, and took different routes to and from work just in case. They soon became sick with sorrow; the only way they came into contact with one another was by Hans sending his little jars to Rudolf, who collected them like jewels and began to use them to store his mustard. Every other day Hans would work the shop, see his jars being used so lovingly, and bolster a little hope.
The customers who came into the shop were amazed by the sight: such fine, lovely mustards in those darling little jars! Soon they were clamoring to buy them but Rudolf refused, saying that they were far too precious to be given up. The people persisted, however, and Rudolf soon relented. He sold his mustards reluctantly and at a very high price, yet for some reason customers adored his products even more. Hans also noticed the sudden increase in sales, and that was how the two hen-pecked Germans came up with…THE PLAN.
“Meine Frau,” they begged to their merciless wives one day, “if we promise to make you rich beyond your wildest dreams, will you allow us to see each other again?”
“Ho ho!” laughed the jaded women. “A poor mustard-maker and a poor jar-maker, offering us wealth? Why not! Make us rich and you shall be together as you wish.”
Frau Ingle and Frau Hoffer had no inkling as to their husbands’ PLAN, and figured it’d be a cold day in Hölle before they saw a single Mark tossed their way. Boy, were they wrong. Soon Rudolf and Hans began to rake in the bacon from their fancy mustard-jarring business, and the wives were shocked beyond the capacity for rational thought. They were also filthy stinking rich now, and therefore extremely happy.
Frau Ingle and Frau Hoffer forgave their sexually deviant, wayward husbands for everything and resigned themselves to living a life of luxury. And, as promised, they removed their restraining order on their men and there was much sauerkrauting late night at the shop. Rudolf and Hans founded Inglehoffer’s Fine Mustards, and relished happily ever after.
And so doth it go:
Herr Ingle made fine spicy mustards
Herr Hoffer, he jarred little custards
And they both got it on
After work until dawn
And it made both their wives very flustered.
At first there seemed no good solution
To this scandalous moral pollution,
But by joining their names,
Made a mustard so famed
That it helped them evade persecution.