Sunday, December 19, 2010

Switzerland is not a boring country

They say Switzerland is boring, but these are the people who invented the cuckoo clock. How mad in the head do you have to be to think "Maybe I should build a timekeeping device where a small wooden bird is integral to its function? Yes, that'll be a good idea"

"Oh, and while I'm at it, let's have two men come out of it and hit each other with hammers every hour. That's clearly the basis of precision horology. ". (That was my Swiss accent. Do you like it?  It's very ... sensible, right?)

Swiss army pen knives. Well, it must be a pretty tough country if all their army needs is a knife with 18 different blades. They're not people who need to overcompensate for anything.

And then there's Toblerone. They invented that too. (See what an education you're getting tonight?) Now this is an odd thing, because everyone likes chocolate, right? But how many people enjoy ripping their mouth to shreds on a component from a triangular threshing machine? Very few of you, I suspect. But we all remember the first time we ate Toblerone - ah, chocolate! Aargh! My mouth! But ah, chocolate! Aargh! My mouth! But ah, chocolate.

See what they did there?

Mr Tobler singlehandedly invented sado-masochism.

Not to mention St Bernards. "Let's breed some very large dogs to rescue people from avalanches by feeding them brandy from a barrel they carry under their chins." Speaking as a doctor, I have to tell you that the medicinal quality of alcohol as a cure for frostbite is greatly overrated. Plus, St Bernards very rarely hold valid first aid certificates.

So, you've got these incredibly brave, sadomasochistic, binge-drinking dog-breeding stoners, hiding in mountain chalets, buzzed off their minds on fondue and special drugs, dreaming of bird-powered clocks. There are many ways to describe a country like that, but none of them are "boring".


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