Life is a miracle. From the beginning of time life have had all odds against it. Birth in itself is a bare struggle between our specie’s ability to survive, each of its individuals’ will to be, their lust for life and the endless coincidences of the universe which are beyond our control. We as human beings are small and fragile. We often feel helpless, lost and alone, why it is in our nature to seek out companionship whereby we can find comfort and meaning in our lives, and perhaps even get a chance to create new life that will enrich the world. But then, everything considered, it is not always enough to feel appreciated and loved, to be part of something greater than yourself, sometimes you need to know when to let go and find the path in life that is just the right for you.

It was a day of great temptation in the great city of Berlin. The Great Dane was on a series of dates trying to overcome his failed quest for the Holy Hubcap of Mobility. In the middle of the main course: A pair of smooth legs, some damn hot breasts and a tight ass his phone began to ring like an ecstatic church bell. He knew a once that it was his friend the former church boy and now ex-vegan bicycle builder – so the penetrating sound from the phone could only mean one thing: The baby had at last been delivered to them from the fancy looking Virgin Mary’s womb.
Without hesitation he pushed aside the damn hot breasts, climbed on top of the tight ass, and slid down the pair of smooth legs to grab his phone beside the bed.
He heared the excited voice of his good friend accompanied by the loud sound of a human siren in the background announcing a new epoch in life: Parenthood.
Then the crying stopped. His friend whispered anxiously: You must come at once … and then hung up.

The Virgin Mary’s Sweet Milk

The Great Dane entered his friend’s place in a haste – ready to help, ready to assist, ready to fulfil the newborn’s every wish. He found, however, the newborn sleeping calmly and satisfied next to the fancy looking Virgin Mary. They both seemed so blissful, so relieved of all life’s burdens. Everything around them was a mess. The entire flat resembled a human disaster. Randomly spread all over the place was dirty clothes, smelly diapers, stinky dishes, old tainted food, piles of empty beer bottles and pizza trays, mounds of chocolate and bonbon wrappers, heaps of unread mail and newspapers, stacks of torn up cardboard boxes and half-used building material, a countless number of misplaced tools, and a layer of sawdust covered every surface.
His friend sat in the middle of the chaos, hanging onto an armchair while sipping to a beer. When he saw the Great Dane he smiled, exhausted. Since the birth he had been very busy building up their new home, and at the same time trying to satisfy the endless needs of the newborn and its mother. So he was really glad to see the Great Dane for there were such important things for them to do. As a start, he wanted the Great Dane to help clean up the place before his Virgin Mary woke up and invoked her wrath on him.
A feeling of bottomless despair seized the Great Dane and tried to turn his attention toward a quick exit through the front door. The only reason he had returned to Berlin in the first place was to help his friend find the difficult way through parenthood. But cleaning was the last thing he had imagined – although somewhere in his great clouded mind he sensed some similar situations with all the women he had lived with just before he left them, or was thrown out.
His friend saw the disappointment in his face, and said, to cheer him up that if he was a good boy and helped, perhaps the Virgin Mary might be so grateful that she would let him taste some of her sweet milk.
That indeed seemed to be a great deal for the Great Dane. He knew from a long life of experience with young pregnant women that the milk following a virgin birth could raise your courage, strength and sexual potency considerably, and in rare cases it even turned your skin as soft as a baby’s bottom. So with the Great Dane’s newly found enthusiasm the cleaning went more swiftly than a holy miracle.

Just as they had finished the Virgin Mary woke up from her beauty sleep and came into the living room. They both stared expectantly at her, the Great Dane on her swelling breasts and his friend at her tired face waiting for her immediate reaction. She looked suspiciously back and forth between them, and said: What are you two boys up to? Hopefully you’re not up to any trouble. It is enough with one baby that sucks everything out of me.
Her husband kissed her quickly, and assured her that everything was as it should be. If she wanted he could even give her a nice foot massage and perhaps the Great Dane could tell them about his latest great adventure – as long as she was happy, he was happy.
The Great Dane thought that this was an excellent idea while waiting for the Virgin Mary to get filled up again so he could have some of her sweet milk.
But before he managed to begin his story, the doorbell rang.

The Guests Brought Presents
It was the intellectual and sexy Street Fighter Girl and the Mysterious Jew Boy. They had heard a crazy preacher speak about the birth of a new real Berliner, and would now like to sneak a peek and give the child their blessings. As a recognition they brought presents.
The Street Fighter Girl had with her a packet of very salty crackers which she had won in a till-death-do-us-part-street-fighter-match. The last words from her opponent before he lifelessly hit the pavement was: They are extra salty. So promise me to share them wisely.
Also the Mysterious Jew Boy brought a present. He handed over a long brown packet with a nice red ribbon. It contained his favourite shovel, with which he made his first attempt to dig up the greater meaning of life.
And did you ever find it? said the Street Fighter Girl with a gloating face.
Not yet. The meaning of life seems to be hidden under tons of rubbish, and layer by layer of deception and illusions.
Not to forget your own delusions, added the Street Fighter Girl.
That’s why I need the newborn’s help. It has just come out of Virgin Mary’s sacred womb and has not yet been contaminated by the world’s filth, decay and betrayal. It is as pure as the water taken straight from the fountain of life. Together we will one glorious day dig up the great meaning of …
The Street Fighter Girl jerked hard in his big Jewish nose and told him to stop talking rubbish.
The newborn should not be degraded to a simple hole digger. It should be trained in the martial arts and specialize in the most lethal weapons, so it, together with her, could clean out the streets of Berlin of all its injustice, corruption and dirty bollocks.
They began to argue loudly, but were interrupted by the newborn’s parents who thanked them for the presents and said that they had to wait to see the baby, as it still slept.
The Great Dane now saw his chance to tell them about his latest great adventure, which he hoped would please the Virgin Mary so much that she would let him taste some of her sweet milk.
But just as he got their attention, the doorbell rang.

It was the three editors of the Urbanist Magazine. They had heard an anonymous source speak about the birth of a new real Berliner, and would now like to meet the sensation and spread the news. As a recognition they brought presents.
The guy called Schabe had collected various kinds of used baby accessories such as well chewed pacifiers, a broken rattle with dark red stains, a heavily filled diaper, the crooked wheel from a baby carriage, the one eyed head of a toy rabbit, a baby shoe filled with mud, the faded photography of a baby and its proud mother, and the crown of the collection: A device with a real crying baby inside.
He proudly handed it to Virgin Mary and asked her if she could try to comfort the unhappy baby. She pushed a button on the device and the baby immediately stopped crying. Schabe was impressed.
Windy, which always had an eye on every detail, had filled out one of her black notebooks with observations of babies such as their often random body movements, their shape and resting positions, their smell and the consistency of their droppings, which clothes they wore, the colour, fabric, brands, and a long detailed list of various baby expressions and their parents’ counter-reactions, which she one day hoped could form the foundation for a baby-parents dictionary.
And the last member of the editorial team, Pinky, the always jolly and half-full-glass-type of guy, had brought a pack of beer, which they of course all should share, since the newborn was not ready to enjoy the more fun side of life yet.
The newborn’s parents thanked them for the presents and said they had to wait to see the baby, as it still slept.
Once again the Great Dane saw his chance to relate his latest great adventure, so he hopefully soon could get a mouthful of the Virgin Mary’s sweet and delicious milk.
But just as he got started the others wanted to hear about the newborn’s birth.
That is a great idea, said the newborn’s parents, and they began to tell at once.

The Birth of a Real Berliner
It was a beautiful morning with a feeling of life and happiness floating in the air. The ex-vegan bicycle builder was relaxing in bed with another round of coffee and his favourite chocolate croissant while watching his beloved Virgin Mary making her pregnancy yoga exercises on the floor.
Next door their old-guy neighbour threw one of his wild 24-hours-life-affirming-still-being-young-flashback-marathon-drinking-parties for the usual crowd of come-a-long-drunken-friends, where he often in the early morning hours had gotten so much booze through his system that he either fell asleep on the floor or his diaper leaked and filled his apartment with an acrid smell, so his guests left in a hurry taking all his booze with them.
But such was life: You were born to wear a diaper and ended up dying wearing one. In between you only had a few precious moments to have the best going in and the best going out of yourself. This had become clear to their neighbour on his old days and it would also become clear to the ex-vegan bicycle builder and his Virgin Mary this extraordinary lovely day.
For as the Virgin Mary slowly slid into the so called yoga-turtle position, the labour pain began, causing her to shout loudly at her husband. He thought that his wife was dissatisfied with him as usual, and jumped out of bed, grabbed his drilling machine and proceeded with his rebuilding of the apartment, so it soon could serve as their new decent and proper home.
The Virgin Mary, however, seemed not to be satisfied at all, but yelled at him again – this time much louder. So he threw his tools away and tried to calm her often unpredictable mood by lighting a couple of candles, play a piece of romantic music and start cooking one of her favourite dishes. But for some unknown reason this only made her dissatisfaction worse. With great difficulty she got on her feet, and groaning like an insane woman she came into the kitchen, where she took a hard hold of her husband’s arm and shouted that he should call the hospital at once: For the baby was kicking really hard to get out.
If it had been me, the Street Fighter Girl interrupted, I’d have kicked back so the little troublemaker had come straight out of the Virgin Mary’s butt.
Nobody wanted to comment on that, so the parents continued their story.

While they waited for the ambulance to arrive, the ex-vegan bicycle builder ensured that they had all the necessary things for the hospital and tried the best he could to make his wife comfortable.
Then the party music at their old-guy neighbour stopped, and the doorbell rang.
It was one of the drunken party guests asking if they could keep an eye on the old fellow. His diaper had leaked onto the floor while he was dancing, and unfortunately he slipped in the pee, hit his head and passed out. The party now moved on to another place since nobody wanted to dance with pee on the floor, but they should thank him for the booze when he woke up, or maybe, the drunken guest suggested they should take him to the hospital, because he hit his head really bad.
Then he left with the rest of the party, and when the ambulance arrived a few minutes later after the Virgin Mary, she decided to step aside so their old neighbour could come to the hospital.

The Ballad of the Fire Brigade
Another ambulance was at once called for. And in the meantime, the ex-vegan bicycle builder helped his Virgin Mary do some relaxing and pain reducing yoga exercises.
In the middle of the difficult transition from the crocodile position to bunny position, heavy boots came stomping up the stairs, and before they could answer the doorbell the fire brigade had broken down their door and crashed into their living room.
They had been called by someone who said that an old fellow lay helplessly on the floor in a puddle of pee. It was as they could understand, the chief of the fire brigade explained, a very critical situation that demanded their fully cooperativeness. So, if they could immediately show them the way to the person in question.
The ex-vegan bicycle builder explained that the person in the puddle of pee was their old neighbour, but they were too late, he had already been taken to the hospital by an ambulance. The firefighters had however no such notification in their system, only that an ambulance had taken a pregnant women to the hospital from this address. And since an old fellow’s life was at stake, there were no time to discuss the details of circumstances.
In order to avoid harming the old helpless fellow when breaking down his door, they needed right away to have unreserved access to their balcony, so they could use it to climb over to the person in question’s balcony and enter his apartment safely from here.
Without waiting for permission, the whole fire brigade stomped out on the balcony. Within minutes they had all climbed from one balcony onto the other and entered the old fellow’s place, which they to their great surprise found empty: The old fellow was, as they had been told, gone.
It made the firefighters quite annoyed, and they broke out through the old neighbour’s front door, surrounded the ex-vegan bicycle builder, and warned him not to waste public servants’ valuable time, when there was a whole world out there that desperately needed their assistance.
So when the new ambulance arrived to take the Virgin Mary to the hospital, the firefighters simply ignored all objections and send the ambulance away since the old man was not at home and they had been notified that the pregnant women already was on her way to the hospital.
And furthermore, to teach the ex-vegan bicycle builder that they meant it seriously, he was ordered to clean up the old man’s apartment, saying they would come back later to see if it was done properly. Then they left, leaving the neighbour’s door open and broken, so the whole staircase stank like someone’s sour bottom.
If it had been me, the Street Fighter Girl interrupted, I’d have kicked the whole fire brigade down the stairs and then taken their fire truck.
The others agreed on that, and the parents continued.

The Virgin Mary now really needed to get going. Her labour pain was increasing strongly, and the baby did not care about old-guy neighbours, firefighters, ambulances or hospitals: It just wanted to get out and seize life.
However, when they called for a third ambulance their request was refused, since there already had been sent two ambulances and a fire truck to the address. It was also not possible to get a taxi in time, so what should they do?
Eventually, the Virgin Mary crawled up on one of her husband’s large cargo bikes and he then himself drove her to the hospital. Later that day she delivered a healthy new real Berliner which all the doctors and nurses said looked like the most lovely little angel they had ever seen.
The story was over, the Virgin Mary kissed her husband, and he took her hand and kissed her back.
She was very proud of all the courage and strength he had shown that day, saving her and the baby.
All the guests felt their love and warmth, and smiled happily.
If it had been me, said the Street Fighter Girl, I’d have done exactly the same.

In the Bottom
After the parent’s story they had some refreshments in the living room and at last the Great Dane got everyone’s attention. So while they enjoyed some beers and salty crackers he told them about his latest great adventure, until a harsh smell began to spread from the new real Berliner’s bottom.
Everyone hurried over to see what was wrong, and were relieved when the parents showed them that the smell came from the content of the diaper. The guests looked with great interest while the parents washed the new real Berliner so its baby-bottom got its natural colour and fragrance back.
Soon they all forgot the presence of the Great Dane and he realised it was time for his exit. The new real Berliner had changed the balance of the world and for years to come it would attract all the attention – something that it was impossible for the Great Dane to compete against.
He left the living room in silence and put on his shoes and coat. Maybe one of his dates still had time for him. It would be nice having someone to lean on, to share life with, like his friend and his Virgin Mary, like a family. He suddenly felt fragile like a lonely child. Maybe he should stay? Maybe they still needed his help, maybe he could even live together with them?
He turned around in the hallway, sneaked back and looked into the living room: They were all naked as mother nature once had created them. Happily dancing around they handed the baby from arm to arm between them while there was a beautiful sound of bouncing bottoms.
The Great Dane nodded his head in recognition. The new real Berliner was in good hands.

Just Another Alter Ego is a series of articles about a bumpy road trip into an urban utopia: not one still to come, not one that someday may be, but one that already is the hard, thrilling and colourful hyperreality of life in Berlin.

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The Great Dane
The Great Dane
  dear@thegreatdane.nu

The legend tells that the Great Dane was born deep in the wild unspoiled Scandinavian social democratic nature. Here he grew up developing superb attributes and a mighty compassion for people of all trades and kind – which some would call a bit naive. Since so many Great Danes are born, the Great Mother of the Welfare Womb has been forced to give each Great Dane a civic name to distinguish them from each other. The Great Dane on these pages was given the civic name: Steen Andersen. Besides being a Great Dane, Steen also has an ordinary everyday life as a cultural entrepreneur, writer, editor and artist. He even gives boring workshops, talks and lectures about it.

Illustrations © Sally Wilde