Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Cuckoos in the nest

More World Cup news, as we hear that Germany’s women are planning to desert to Switzerland en masse for the duration, leaving the boys to marinate in their beer and bratwurst in front of the TV. And who can blame them, for the Swiss Tourist Board has been cunningly wooing the weak-willed frauleins of the Fatherland with visions of the gorgeous hunks awaiting them across the border.

The message appears to be quite typically German in that it is both explicit and painfully unsubtle – “Let the boys play with their balls – you can come and play with ours!” Posters feature a selection of Alpine beefcake who have all absent-mindedly misplaced their shirts. There’s a certain narrative sense to that in the cases of the lumberjack and the farmhand, but frankly artistic justification is in short supply when it comes to the ferryman and the train conductor.

Paranoid as it may sound, one begins to suspect that they are deliberately objectifying these poor boys.

Women’s groups in Germany have been unusually slow to protest this insultingly demeaning approach, saying that they needed more time to study the posters and other publicity material, and did anyone have any more batteries? As for their Swiss sisters, they don’t go in much for lefty posturing, preferring instead to rely on their universal military training. Think Heidi with a machine gun. It should be an interesting summer.


Some Swiss hunks yesterday. If you think that’s impressive, wait ‘til you see how they fish the bread out of the fondue…

16 comments:

Foot Eater said...

Apparently, just after 9/11 the German version of Private Eye magazine had a cover photo showing a fireman looking at the devastation at Ground Zero and saying, "Women drivers!"

I'd prefer that Germany kept its reputation for humourlessness than tried painful stabs like that.

PI said...

Thank you for the phonetics -saved in Word.
Could one ever find a Swiss sexy after Harry Lime's put down in the 'Third Man'.
And if anyone is Swiss I'm sorry!

Aunty Marianne said...

Aaargh! Lightly oiled laddies! In the land of cheese fondue! And I've already booked somewhere else!

Switzerland next year, deffo.

Ivan the Terrible said...

Hi Footie - good point, well made. They should stick to invading people. Go East, Young Squarehead! That shall be our cry.

And Pi, don't tease - remind us what the put-down was. I haven't seen the Third Man in years...

Ivan the Terrible said...

Shameless, Aunty, just shameless. But coconut oil in Jamaica is not so bad a substitute, and less fattening to boot.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Wouldn't you turn yourself into some sort of Tandoori dish if you lay in the sun slathered in coconut oil. Or a Thai curry, if you were an especially saucy individual as I suspect Aunty Marianne to be.

I can't remember "The Third Man" line either Pi. And my knowledge of the Swiss is apparantly as holey as one of their cheeses. I didn't know they had universal military training. Why? Whom have the Swiss ever fought. I though the whole point of being Swiss was to get rich off other people's wars, give with the right hand and take away with the left sort of thing. And cuckoo clocks.

I read recently that Geneva and, I think, Zurich were the two cities in the world with the highest standard of living. Vancouver was third.

rob said...

I dunno, I reckon if a country has all your money and everyone has an assault rifle in the bedroom wardrobe it's a pretty sure bet you're not going to invade them. I mean, you can't nuke them 'cos all your nazi gold is radioactive ( a la Goldfinger) & if you invade, there's all that nasty hiding up mountains shooting at you partisan type nonsense.

PI said...

Here we find the film's most famous passage of dialogue, Harry Lime:"In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock ..."
I just did that!

PI said...

You had to be there. Only Orson could give such perfect resonance to 'the cuckoo clock!'

R. Sherman said...

Didn't some Swiss politician tell Hitler that if the Germans sent a million men across the Swiss/German border, each member of the Swiss militia of 500,000 or so would have to "shoot twice?"

As for German woman, I know at least one who's sworn off her compatriots. I'm told it was actually quite easy, if the incentive is right. :)

Ivan the Terrible said...

Sam, Rob puts his finger on it. The Swiss take the "price of liberty is eternal vigilance" thing very literally, and partisan-style resistance is exactly what they threaten any invader with. Hence the universal military training.

Pi - I remember that line now you quote it, and also how Orson said it. It is a good one, but not sure it counts for much for or against Swiss men's virility. It's possibly more of a vote in favour, seeing as both Leonardo and Michelangelo were probably gay...

Desargues said...

I'm afraid those poor German women are in for a big disappointment. Surely it must all be a cunning ploy devised by some chucklehead at the Zurich Board of Tourism or something. Helvetic hunks? Come on! When's the last time you heard the phrase 'Swiss stallion'? Those guys shold stick to what they do best--keep an eye on the private wealth of African dictators and making grotesquely expensive watches.

But I still pity those disconsolate German hausfrauen. I'm afraid this summer'll be no fun for them.

Desargues said...

Yes, PI, Switzerland can't really compete with the Italian Renaissance, but they gave the worlkd a few other good things besides Emmenthal. Like that genius Leonhard Euler. And that fine specimen of womanhood, Ursula Andress.

Unfortunately, for every two great people you get from them, the Swiss force you to buy too bad apples, too. Like Calvin and Rousseau.

Ivan the Terrible said...

Aaaah, Ursula. Not bad at all. Tho' it's always a struggle associating the name Ursula with anything erotic, for some reason. But maybe that's just me.

If I'd been born a girl, my parents would have called me Ursula. But that's just typical of them. As if being born a girl wasn't bad enough...

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