If you were in a German scheisse video you… you’d tell me right?

Michael Lewis’s tour of Europe lands him in Germany this week, where he writes an unbelievably raunchy epic and relies on an elaborate metaphor to justify some sightseeing that Tabitha Soren might not otherwise approve of:

The Hamburg red-light district had caught [anthropologist Alan] Dundes’s eye because the locals made such a big deal of mud-wrestling. Naked women fought in a metaphorical ring of filth while the spectators wore plastic caps, a sort of head condom, to avoid being splattered. “Thus,” wrote Dundes, “the audience can remain clean while enjoying dirt!” Germans longed to be near the shit, but not in it. This, as it turns out, was an excellent description of their role in the current financial crisis.”

We are not the only ones to find this metaphor a little strained. In any case, when he’s not looking for shitshows of the literal variety, he’s in town to try to figure out why German state-owned Landesbanks lost so much money on subprime CDOs peddled by American banks: