They want to take away our coffee machine! First they took our predecessors' sofa, and now this. This is outrageous. Waaaaiiiit… maybe I should start at the beginning. Maybe I should start by telling you who “we” are.
The final two years of Gymnasium in the classic, soon to have been replaced, Bavarian school system is the Kollegstufe. That's like sixth form, for all you English readers. “We” are the Kollegstufe at my school, and, some time in the previous semester, we were granted the luxury of being allowed to use a disused classroom for, on paper, studying, after having complained about not fitting into the corridors for years. Since then, we have turned it into quite a pleasant sitting room which has even managed to remain, for me at least, the best place in the building for actually studying, if only because we got hold of the most comfortable chairs far and wide.
In the region, it is traditional to have a gigantic party after the Abitur exams. An expensive party. So, as Kollegstufe, we organize legendary (for-profit) parties and whatever else we can think of that gets us money. Ergo, we have a budget. A budget that one could put to good use, one that could be used to finance a coffee machine. Best idea ever. What we bought is a Senseo-brand coffee pod machine—a system that works well and produces good coffee that costs less than 9 cents Eurocents, that is per cup, assuming you buy your pods from ALDI.
Naturally, there are quite a few students now that use the machine quite a lot, and drink quite a lot of coffee. It's great, we love it, and are probably addicted. There's always a great atmosphere in that room. Not surprisingly, there is a group of “regulars” that seem to always have a cup, or at least pod, of coffee on themselves. Interestingly, this group consists mostly of art students. And myself of course. Students of physics (sleepless geek zombies?), French (goes well with café) and, well, German, are also good candidates for coffee drinking. But—enough of that.
Did you know that stones are flammable?
In order to liven up the economy, German bureaucracy decided to invest in Brandschutz (fire prevention) at schools. We don't want burning kids, after all. The logical consequence was that the school building, built in the 1970s and thus constructed to 110%25 of concrete, was deprived of most of its nice old mouldering wood. So far, so good. Nothing left that can burn—job done, one might think. But German bureaucrats don't think like that.
You see, German bureaucrats are a lot like Vogons, Vogons are the bureaucratic race of Adams' Guide and as such, they are not only very good at complaining about bad paperwork, but also notoriously bad at thinking realistically and using common sense. What actually happened was that enormous glass cages were built around all the concrete staircases, and the concrete hallways were barred by fireproof doors. What also happened, quite recently, is that somebody decided that we couldn't keep our coffee machine (while the staff can keep their machines) since it might catch fire and cause a deadly inferno.
Having heard about this, we obviously couldn't keep the machine on the nice, exposed coffee bar table. We had to change something. We moved it into the wooden cupboard.
Maybe we should, just to mock Brandschutz, put an ash-tray where the coffee machine was before and leave a cigarette stub inside.