Hallo, hallo. Yes, it’s me. The infamous Struwwelpeter of your childhood nightmares and the German children’s book of cautionary tales. I just wanted to set the record straight on the reputation of uncleanliness that has plagued me for so long, no thanks to the people of Deutschland.

When the poem was first published, I was like, “Ok, that’s a little rude.” I’m “untidy”? Sorry for being an early adopter of the disheveled look. I got so much backlash for having “dirty nails” that were “too long.” Well, jokes on them cause long nails are in now. Just ask Meg Thee Stallion.

As for not seeing water for weeks, yeah, it was 1845, I wasn’t the only person not bathing regularly. Give me a break. And yes, I do bathe now. Sometimes. Depends on the weather.

What disturbed me the most, for more than a century, is the claim that I didn’t comb my hair for a year. I did! I tried! Do you know how hard it is to comb through dry hair when you haven’t bathed in weeks? It’s sort of like undoing a reputation you’ve held for one hundred fifty years.

Edward Scissorhands is a revered cultural icon and I’m just a smelly, obscure German freak. The hypocrisy is unreal.

I just want to know, why is the book named after me? I’m the one that gets all the bad press for having a few dirt smudges on my face. Meanwhile, the guy who should be on the cover is the crazy-ass tailor who cut off that poor kid’s thumbs for sucking on them. Konrad was just a little boy, who was definitely too old to be sucking his thumbs, but still.

What about Kaspar, who didn’t want to eat his soup and just straight-up died? Where were his parents? Someone should have called social services. And poor Robert, who just randomly flew away after using an umbrella during a rainstorm. Shaming someone for being responsible and wanting to stay dry is totally unnecessary. Robert was purely a victim of an unusually strong gust of wind.

Although I do have to say the girl who burst into flames and turned into a pile of soot after playing with one single match had it coming to her. Fire safety should be taken seriously.

Honestly, I would have preferred a more direct punishment for my “crime” of grubbiness. Maybe a sliced-off pinky would have hurt at first, but compared to a lifetime of being unloved and unpopular? Take the appendage!

Anyway, I don’t want to devote more time to discussing the children of Germany and their obvious vendetta against me. Ever since I moved to Texas, I’ve been focused on leaving my past behind and giving my career as a web developer the attention it deserves. It’s nice to be in a place where I’m not made fun of for my big hair, or my 15-inch fingernails. Also, I’m embracing my newly adopted name, Squeaky Clean Pete.

So, do I want to apologize to the millions of Kinder that have been personally traumatized by my existence? Well, would they like to apologize to me for making me feel so repulsive and horrifying? I would like official recognition from Chancellor Angela Merkel herself and one hundred seventy-five years of backpay for being a national deterrent of apparently bad hygiene to German youths.

I mean, I’m just a normal guy who didn’t bathe for a while and didn’t have access to a nail file. If that’s so wrong, then I don’t want to be recht.

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