Most living, breathing people who have ever encountered a German will tell you that the German does not joke. Leave it to Mercedes-Benz, then, to prove you all delightfully, weirdly wrong. How does Mercedes wish a happy 100th birthday to BMW? With this bizarre invitation to the Mercedes-Benz Museum, of course.
At least, we think it’s a joke. A very sincere joke. Hard to tell.
It’s hard to explain any sort of joke, let alone German jokes, but German humor tends to be slightly ominous, while simultaneously being incredibly dry.
So instead of slipping on bananas and face-pies, it invites BMW employees to the Mercedes museum, where they can finally learn about the complete history of the automobile:
Bayerische Motorenwerke (BMW) was founded in Munich 100 years ago, on 7 March 1916. This marked the birth of a now world-renowned brand which contributes to Germany’s excellent international reputation in the automotive industry. The founding of BMW occurred in the eventful early heyday of automotive history:
30 years before, Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler had invented the automobile independently of one another in 1886. And ten years later, Daimler-Benz AG arose with the new Mercedes-Benz brand from the amalgamation of Benz & Cie. and Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG).
‘We warmly congratulate the globally renowned company BMW on its anniversary and invite all employees of BMW AG to discover the complete history of the automobile at the Mercedes-Benz Museum,’ says Ralf Glaser, Head of Press and Marketing at Mercedes-BenzClassic.
But not only is the invitation resplendent with offers to teach BMW employees about some REAL car history, it’s also magnanimous about letting them bring their cars, too, noting that “as a special gesture, all those guests from the BMW workforce who turn up in a vehicle produced by the Munich-based company will be allowed to park on the hill directly in front of the museum in the scheduled week.”
How thoughtful of them.
But here’s where the ominous and maybe threatening(?) aspect of strange German humor comes in, with a promise of a “special Swabian specialty” meal to the first 50 BMW employees that show up:
...following their tour of the exhibition, they are cordially invited to partake of a Swabian speciality citing the double kidney shape of the signature BMW radiator grille.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a dalliance in the deep, warm pool that is Swabian cuisine, so we’re not entirely sure what the “Swabian specialty” is. But if we had to guess, the citation of the double kidney shape seems to refer to a dish known as Saure Nieren, which Wikipedia describes as pan-fried kidney slices.
We can’t find a photo we can use, but it looks like this. And if you can’t click that long, it looks like a big steaming plate of shredded kidneys.
What a card you are, Mercedes-Benz! Meanwhile, Porsche took the classier route with this newspaper ad:
Which according to Google Translate means, “The future presents us with great challenges. We meet you with driving pleasure. Porsche bows 100 years ago moving automobile history and congratulates BMW sincerely for the anniversary.”
Hat tip to Albert!