The German elections fall on Mr Z’s birthday, and he’s decided that, as a gift to him, he would like the SPD to win. Neither of us knows a huge amount about German politics. I have some pretty good intel, from a podcast I made, that everyone standing is deeply disappointing, and nobody should win. My Mr, by contrast, has decided that Olaf Scholz represents real change. Every morning, he delivers the poll ratings. The party has gone from being 20 points behind to five points ahead. It is impossible to guess why this makes him so happy. I floated the idea that maybe he was divining some parallel uptick in Labour’s fortunes. But he said no, he just really wants to see the Social Democratic party surge to victory. From the heavy significance of his voice and eyebrows, I managed to pick up that it is my responsibility to deliver on this. “I’m not saying it’s impossible,” I said – I am, after all, totally abreast of the polls. “I’m just saying it’s impossible for me to make this happen.” “Don’t worry,” he said. “There’s something else I want.”
The other thing he urgently wants is to see a zoo full of bonobos. There are only two, one in Antwerp and one in Twycross, and he’s prepared to compromise and stay local, but he’s not prepared to budge on the teenagers, who must accompany us and be in a good mood about it. He thinks I can make this fly by describing the matrilineal society of bonobos, and how well they model the community ideal, of pure pleasure and cooperation, when the females are in charge. I counter that we could also model this ideal, put me in charge, I’d leave the kids at home, and we could enjoy the zoo, just the two of us, and that would be a Perfect Day. He said that was droll, but it wasn’t what he wanted, and it was his birthday.
So I’m reverting to plan A; if you are eligible to vote in the German elections, do please vote SPD, even if you do have grave reservations about the limits of their radicalism.