No-illusions German

An incipient itch sent me to Rossmann this morning for some athlete’s foot cream. I don’t mind admitting it: after all, the “athlete” bit – rather like tennis elbow – suggests an honourable wound gained in the pursuit of sporting excellence.

I checked the German dictionary before making my purchase . . . “Fußpilz”. At a stroke, all pretensions have been destroyed, and my shoes and socks are transformed from smart footwear to a dank and festering pit.

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