Secret Karma Serenade

I turned on the radio today just in time to catch NPR‘s Geoquiz. They were talking about Africom, the base for the United States African Command, and wanted to know in what city Africom was headquartered. (Take that, John. I specifically re-arranged the sentence structure there so as not to bother you by putting a preposition at the end.) “Stuttgart,” I thought right away. “Africom is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.”

Granted, most people would not think that the United States African Command would be headed in a European city, but sure enough, a few minutes later the NPR radio broadcaster announced the answer, and I was quite correct. How did I know? Well, I did live in the near vicinity of Stuttgart, Germany for the past year, but just living there would not necessarily have clued me in on the answer. Actually, as it so turned out, the head protestant chaplain for Africom lived next door to my au pair family in Holzgerlingen. He and his wife, Carol, along with their two daughters, came over to the Naruhn’s once for dinner, and even considered asking me to be a baby sitter for them once they were more moved in. He mentioned his work with Africom when he was at dinner, and Markus commented on how strange it was for the African Command to be based in Germany. He agreed, talked a bit about it, and the conversation moved on to Carol’s work as a midwife in Korea… or maybe it was Taiwan… somewhere out east. It was a lovely evening, and one of the best things about it was that it marked the first time I had ever had Racklette, which as you all know, is fabulous.

But let’s step back a bit. I answered NPR’s geoquiz correctly because I happened to know the Africom’s head chaplain, who lived kitty-corner to me during my stay in Germany. That, my friends, is very strange, and yet, very satisfying. Pwned, NPR. Pwned.

3 thoughts on “Secret Karma Serenade

  1. Actually, it should be “in <>which<> city Africom <>is<> headquartered.”And, because I am an ass, I will note that you used the passive voice and that active voice would structure that clause as “in which city the United States headquarters Africom.” This is awkward, however, which is probably why The American Heritage Dictionary notes that many would consider not using the verb “headquarter” at all. Instead they suggest using alternative phrasing to avoid the verb altogether.No, no. It’s OK. You can thank me later.


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