Disgusting, isn't it? But it’s actually a rough translation for a fairly common German phrase ‘Leck mich am Arsch’, which means something between, ‘Bite me,’ ‘and ‘I’ll be darned.’
You can also insert the word 'doch' to add emphasis, i.e., 'Leck mich doch am Arsch!'
A mechanic said this to me today. Well, technically he was speaking to Ralf but I was there.
You see, our Volvo finally arrived from California about 2 weeks ago and has been in the shop ever since. It's a gas guzzler but it’s also a turbo all-weather family tank and an old friend. Driving it reminds me of my convenient, manicured, blond life as a California mom.
And we buy carbon offsets from Terrapass to assuage our Earth guilt.
The company that moved our Volvo to Germany, Navitrans (I won't bother adding a link), took so long to deliver the car that the battery died and some valve that holds the power steering fluid in rusted and started leaking. They also stole our GPS and our California license plates, although that’s not really germane to this story.
We took it to a Volvo dealer to investigate the blood-curdling sounds it was making when we drove it. Where the stocky, taciturn Bavarian mechanic apparently got the surprise of his life when the car switched on by itself and would not allow itself to be switched off.
This came as no surprise to us because the same thing had happened a few times in California when the locking and unlocking buttons were inadvertantly pushed in some sequence that we never figured out. The Californian Volvo mechanics could tell us nothing but we assumed it was a 'feature' to warm up the car before getting in because we bought it used from someone on the chilly East Coast.
The annoying part is that once the car switches itself on it can only be turned off manually, i.e., by getting into the car, actually starting the engine with the key, then turning it off again.
Fortunately, the only time it ever really caused a problem was one time in a parking lot when I had just gotten the kids out of the car and into the stroller. Other than that, it was an infrequent and relatively benign feature of the car.
Naturally, we named the car ‘Christine’ and thought no more about it.
But the mechanic didn’t like it. Volvos are not supposed to turn themselves on and it disturbed him. He dug around a bit in the engine then called us to complain that someone had installed some mystery cables in the engine that definitely didn’t belong there. Would we like him to remove them?
For 60 EUR an hour?? NFW.
When we picked up the car we were presented with a hefty bill (more of a William) by our Bavarian mechanic, who was unexpectedly smiling. Then, after we had a chance to silently register all the zeros, he explained that they had also stripped out that cables that didn’t belong.
Two pairs of eyes snapped automatically from the bill to his face when he said this, then back to the bill to scan for this additional charge. Ralf’s mouth opened to protest but the mechanic held up one hand and continued: They didn’t charge us for this, he explained, because it needed to be done.
Yes. Really. He said that.
It was while he was recounting his amazing tale of the spooky self-starting car and the unforgettable moment when he first discovered the crazy amateurish wiring in the engine that he used the phrase: ‘Leck mich am Arsch!’ and shook his head feelingly.
Poor guy. I mean, I ask you, who ever heard of a Volvo dealer doing free work? It must have really bugged him.
Ralf was blown away as well. Shaking his head as we walked out to the Volvo he, too, felt the need to say, 'Leck mich doch am Arsch!'
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