Quietly sipping tea with my companions, the conversation turns to ailments, in particular, aging. A litany of conditions hit the table, each person exclaiming their own more painful than the next. Germans over a certain age take great pride in giving out each and every detail of their diminishing youth/health.
Of course, I need to stake my claim as well:
“Well, it is possible I have a little arthritis in my right thumb. It does seem to be affected by the weather, and my grandmother had arthritis in her fingers.” I hold up the offending digit for inspection.
The woman sitting beside me, leans over, pokes my thumb (which I now have sticking up as if I am planning to hitchhike my way across the table), then leans back in her chair with a satisfying sigh.
“Then again,” she says, “it could be Gout.”