*hair blows as that joke flies over my head*
I have a spare moment so I thought I´d try to explain this (probably fairly boring) joke to Fryphile et al
. Picture Mr Fry in an old traditional Viennese coffeehouse (sitting exactly where I used to sit every Saturday morning), being served by the owner of the café: a piece of Sperl Torte and an Einspänner. No big deal, you may think! But bear in mind all the specifics Stephen had to consider before placing the order:
Wherever you go, don't expect hasty service...it's not the Viennese way. Address your waiter (when he appears) as "Herr Ober," meaning Oberkellner (head waiter), and refrain from ordering just "coffee." If you want black coffee, ask for Schwarzer (kleiner is small, grosser is large). If you prefer it weak, say verlängert (stretched). Want it strong? Say gekürzt (shortened). A Brauner is coffee with cream, (which is not served separately at the table unless you ask for a Kaffee Crème). A Melange is equal parts coffee and hot milk. An Einspänner
is black coffee topped with whipped cream (Schlag), sugared to taste. (Einspänner means "one-horse carriage" after the coachmen who drank it on the street while waiting for customers. Because they held horses in one hand and coffee in the other, it was—and is—served in a glass with a handle.) Other variations: Margiloman, mocha with Cognac; Pharisäer, an Einspänner with rum; and Maria Theresa (named after the empress), a "lengthened" Schwarzer with orange liqueur and Schlag…After you place your order, Herr Ober will bring you your coffee on a silver or nickel tray with a glass of water. Enjoy. Peruse a copy of Der Standard
, the London Times
, or Le Monde
. After a while, Herr Ober will come by and refill your glass of water. Relax. You don't need to order more. And you are not being cued to leave. It's simply part of the coffeehouse tradition. As Orson Welles once said: "A Vienna café is the only place in where you can sit unmolested for 8 hours or longer, drink a single cup of coffee, and still be treated like a king."
Confused?? Well, Mr Fry obviously mastered the situation like a native Viennese!
And if you think: OMG now she has really lost her marbles, try to get hold of “Who do you think you are?” It´s all in there!
Oh, you have all fallen asleep by now… well, can´t blame you, accept my apologies :-//