Morpheus on… Schadenfreude

In Another Place (Sumpnado) I used the above word.

It is German and there is no known one-word equivalent in any other European language. In English, you would have to go with “serves-you-right” or Zen justice. But even those do not fully convey the visceral MEANING of the word.

One can only relate an example of it…

Many years ago, I was awakened – more than an hour before my alarm was due to go off – by a car-alarm doing the same thing. On and ON it went, thus totally negating its intended purpose.

For a while I lay pondering the reason we SAY an alarm goes off – when it obviously goes ON. Perhaps it is the same reason we say a building was blown UP.

Anyhay, I eventually bowed to the inevitable and got up. After a full HOUR of “parp-parp-parp-parp…” quietness suddenly returned to our suburban North London street. It was followed by “click-rurr-rurr-rurr… rur.” Then, “click-rurr-rur….” Then, “click… click…”

GOOD! I thought. The swine who ruined my sleep – whilst himself sleeping through the CAUSE – now has a flat battery. Justice.

But then he tried again. “Click-rurr-rurr-rurr-VEROOOOMM!” DAMN, I thought. Against all logic, his engine had started. I looked out of the window and frowned as I watched him drive off, down towards the main road.

At this point, I should set up what happened next. At that time, my journey to work involved a train – and to reach the station, I used a shortcut through some flats that led across the side-road next to mine.

And the turn into that road, from the main road, had a “no right turn” sign (since it was a bit near a blind hump-back bridge, which meant anyone going over said bridge too fast might plough into a turning car).

And since anyone ignoring the sign was easy meat for beat-cops, they would often lie in wait a hundred yards up the side-road, for offenders.

So, ten minutes after the guy who had started my day off BADLY had driven away – I set off for work.

And as I passed that next side-road – I saw him being NAILED by a cop.

THAT – is Schadenfreude.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Vincent on February 25, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    For anyone who has reached this point – I now recall a similar incident.

    This time, it was the M25 (for foreigners – a circular motorway that runs – or these days, CRAWLS – around London).

    So there I was, inching along – about a mile from my junction – when suddenly a car WHIZZED past me on the hard shoulder, containing a family whose brats were grinning out of the rear window, whilst giving me and the other queueing motorists the FINGER.

    But ten minutes later, we were all treated to the sight of that same family – including the brats – being nailed by the COPS.

    Schadenfreude and cops – an unlikely combination, but just sometimes they DO come together!

  2. Posted by Cy Quick on February 28, 2011 at 1:36 am

    TV would be so much more uplifting if the cases of bad guys being caught and sorted were the ONLY ones reported on the news. The crimes should not be reported until the bad guys were got, and, in cases of atrocity, shot; otherwise given work on the chain gang.

  3. Posted by Vincent on March 1, 2011 at 12:06 am

    OUCH! Of course, the REALLY bad boys RARELY get caught – and sadly, when they do… justice is not an exact science (and in America, it’s a damn JOKE).

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