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Transcript: Where are the Wombles?
You’ve probably heard about the many shortageKnappheit, Engpassshortages Britain has experienced lately. From cars and petrolBenzinpetrol to toys and technology, everything seems to to be in short supplyMangelware seinbe in short supply. In Britain Today, Colin Beaven wonders what
When it became clear in autumn that Britain was finding it hard to to resupplyneu beliefernresupply supermarkets and petrol stations, some German nationals who live in the UK received a letter inviting them to become lorry drivers.
If they had got their German driving licenceFührerscheindriving licence before 1999, they were technically allowed to drive a small truck here. The computer decided to include them in the mailshot (UK)Postwurfsendungmailshot in case they wanted to help out in the nation’s hour of need.
A typical reaction was probably “Thanks, but no thanks”. One person politely called it an “exciting opportunity” but decided not to give up his job as an investment banker.
There are, however, lots of other German nationals with specialist skills we’d find useful, such as the Heinzelmännchen. Would they have been willing to apply for one of the temporarybefristettemporary visas the government was offering?
But such creatures are rather hard to find and, to be fair, we do have the Wombles – those useful furrypelzigfurry animals from Elisabeth Beresford’s children’s stories. They collect rubbish and recycle it. I can already hear the populists’ political slogan: British jobs for British Wombles.
When it comes to managing furry animals, what about the the Pied Piper of Hamelinder Rattenfänger von HamelnPied Piper of Hamelin? We could really use his expertise with rats. Anyone who has seen the 2007 film Ratatouille knows how lovable they can be, but you have to admit that they’re difficult to control. Which is why you see rat trapFalletraps near many public buildings. Even 10 Downing StreetAmts- und Wohnsitz des britischen Premierministers/der britischen Premierministerin10 Downing Street has Larry the cat. His job as official Chief Mouser is to keep rodentNagetierrodents away.
I sometimes see rats in the park. They seem to go there on holiday. There’s a pool that they use, next to a large rockerySteingartenrockery. It has nice MajorcanmallorquinischMajorcan-style terraces where they can lie in the sun to dry off. The leaves by the pool are no doubt their way of reserving the best places to sunbathe.
Rats may not be as popular as Wombles, but their holiday resortUrlaubsortholiday resorts take up much less space than ours. Life for them is like Downsizing, Alexander Payne’s wonderful fantasy film from 2017 – in which scientists can make humans so small, they consume less and can afford a better standard of living.
The film has one of the funniest jokes I know. Does it have a happy ending, though? Well, you’ll just have to watch the film to find out. What I will say is that rats are small, and it’s a shame we’re not. Maybe rats think the same thing about even smaller animals.
During the petrol shortageKnappheit, Engpassshortage, one lorry driver had a queue of 20 cars behind him when he stopped to make his delivery. Only he wasn’t carrying petrol but was on his way to a building siteBaustellebuilding site to deliver a load of mortarMörtelmortar. Poor motorists: instead of being able to tank up, they wasted a lot of petrol by following him!
So, perhaps we don’t need the Pied Piper after all. If that lorry driver wants the job, all he needs is a bit of retraining. But then we’d need another lorry driver from Germany to replace him.
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