Martin Krauthammer, a 41-year old Belgian national and middle-ranking functionary at the EU in Brussels, hoped in February that his career - and his unrequited love for German Chancellor Angela Merkel - could only be enhanced by learning to read and speak German.
Accordingly, he sent €59.99 to the acclaimed Berlitz language school for a set of three subliminal instructional CDs. According to the website selling the discs, and a pamphlet which accompanied them, Martin would - by listening to the content just before and after he went to sleep - wake up conversant in German.
Martin takes up the story.
"On Monday I put the first CD into my Walkman and settled down in bed. My wife thought I was nuts but since I'd assured her that once I was a fluent German speaker I would leave her for Angela Merkel she went along with it. I slipped into unconsciousness beside a little Bach and a poem by Goethe.
"The next morning...nothing! I knew no new words of German and had indeed forgotten a sizeable proportion of my Belgian vocabulary. I did however develop a penchant for smoked sausage.
"I loaded up the second disc on Tuesday evening and dozed off to a quick burst of Schumann and a lecture about concrete delivered by Albert Speer. Next morning...nothing again! I had barely a thought in my head - in any language; I could barely make the serving girl get me a Weissbier in the canteen without slapping her repeatedly.
"On night three I was absolutely bushed. My wife had gone to stay with her sister and I was in bed by 8.30. I inserted disc three and slumbered pleasantly enough to a burst from the Ride of the Valkyries and a short speech from Himmler.
"I woke the next day, again, with no additional, discernible Germanity and set off to work as usual, cursing my wasted sixty euros.
"However, around 10am I became overwhelmed with a desire to commandeer a Volkswagon, drive it to Poznan, shoot several thousand Poles, claim dominion over their nation, set up an extermination camp and gas gypsies and Jews. Which I did.
"I know now that this was entirely inappropriate behaviour and I apologise unreservedly to the families of the Poles, gypsies and Jews I exterminated.
"Since I was a wishy-washy liberal EU cellar-dweller only four days ago there is no doubt in my mind that only the Language Course can have caused this unbelievable conversion and I have accordingly sought legal redress."
Berlitz said - in several languages - that this man is plainly a loony and they refuse to accept any responsibility.