If the German bid happens, I remarked to a colleague of mine, then I will eat my collection of Stalingrad memorabilia.
Fortunately, my collection of Stalingrad memorabilia consists of a potato similar to the type desperate combatants might have scavenged to distill vodka, so if the German bid does indeed materialize I won't encounter too much difficulty transforming my frontline souvenir into an edible arrangement.
The modern, Euro-toting Geschäftsmann, of course, is nothing like his regimented, shaven-skulled and square-headed, bier-swilling Aryan forebears; he is often Turkish, for one thing, equally at home in the bazaar as in the Weihnachtsmarkt.
You may accuse me of trading in outrageously sophomoric international stereotypes. You may claim I am guilty of gratuitous insertion of long, italicized German words into my blog post purely for my own amusement. And you would be correct on both counts.
But I am sitting in a dreary conference room with time on my hands, waiting for the German bid to disintegrate before my very eyes. Then we will be forced to accept the American bid, which is considerably lower, being neither lucrative nor prestigious.
It's profoundly depressing. Indeed, the Weltschmerz in here is palpable. Although at least my Stalingrad potato is safe in its glass case for now.