Anecdote – Hans’ sugar sandwiches and reflexes.

Anecdote – Hans’ sugar sandwiches and reflexes.


When I was at college I shared digs in London with my friend Pete, an English Literature student called Tony and a  Dutch student called Hans.

We once received a letter addressed to Opher, Hands, Toe, Knee and Feet.

Hans was in the room next to us with a snore like a buzz-saw. We could see the thin partition wall vibrate.

Hans only ate sandwiches. There were two that he had mastered. Hans would cut cheese into thick wedges and place the wedges on bread. He would then either put an inch of tomato sauce on top or an inch of sugar, apply the top slice of bread and eat it with great satisfaction squirting tomato or spilling sugar everywhere. Cheese and sugar? I was never tempted to try it.

Hans had extremely slow reflexes. He would shake the ketchup bottle vigorously before applying it to the sandwich. On one occasion the top came off and Hans applied a line of tomato sauce up the wall, over the ceiling, down the opposite wall and back again.

That double streak of ketchup remained right through our tenure.

I often wonder what happened to Hans.

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