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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Beware the Swiss Reprise

In honor of the Pope's visit (and because I just got nothing,) here's a repost from February.
Don’t piss off the Swiss!
Last Olympics the Swiss hockey team didn't get a medal.  Although they were excellent skaters, they didn't fare well for the following reasons
1)    When the referee called icing, they thought he was talking about pastry
2)    They were penalized for attempting to build a large ice-capped barrier around their goal
3)    They spent far too much time in the “neutral” zone.
We think of Swiss and we see people in fairy tale clothing, blowing 12 foot horns in between bites of chocolate. 
 Amiable, comical, harmless people: hardly a people to fear. 
Those who have visited the Vatican (or those, like me, who've seen pictures of people visiting the Vatican and been spared the 18 hours in a tour bus next to retired couple from Toledo who ate something they shouldn't have) have seen the famous Swiss guards.  They look like they just came off the label on a bottle of scotch.  On the ferocity scale they appear to fall somewhere between Tony the Tiger and Winnie the Pooh.

And so they are – assuming Tony was a real Tiger and Pooh a real bear.



Those of us of German descent pretend to be tough.  We go around spitting threatening “ach” sounds at the end of our words and stare malignly at any collection of items or people not in a straight line.  We've been living next to the Swiss for centuries but you don’t see us ever bothering them.  Martin Luther was once impolite to Zwingli and the Reformation nearly met a tragic end right there.
In all the World War II movies, refugees are always escaping to Switzerland.  Do you think Clint Eastwood, Donald Southerland and Don Rickles were concerned that the Nazis would try to get their gold back?  Do you think Maria and all those sickeningly sweet children worried that Papa Von Trapp would be snatched back up and put on a U-boat?
Nah!
As they climbed the Alps and crossed the boarder they met one pudgy guy in leather shorts who greeted them.  “Welcome to Switzerland, have some chocolate, pet the Saint Bernard, bend over and moon Berlin.”
Rumor is the Heidi and her Grandfather alone, held off an entire SS company using nothing but a shepherd’s crook and hair ribbons.
  Once, the finish to a professional football playoff game was preempted to show a rerun of the movie “Heidi.”  If Roone Arlidge was scared of them, so am I.
It’s OK, you tell me.  The Swiss can be tough but we don’t have to worry about them.  Sure, every citizen over the age of three has an automatic weapon
 but the Swiss gather only short-range defensive ordinance.  They’re interested in stopping an enemy from climbing over the Alps.  After all, Hannibal surprised them with arrow-proof elephants and they want to make sure no one ever does that again!
Oh yeah, smart guy?  You’re so sure you won’t see the Swiss rolling across Europe, North America or even (for the hell of it) Australia, establishing marshal law, resetting clocks and disposing of inferior chocolate?
You’re forgetting one thing.  The most devastating tactical assault vehicle known to man.  The M-1 tank you ask?  The Bradley fighting vehicle?  No, I’m talking about the Pope-mobile.
Whenever you see the Pope traveling, he’s always safely ensconced in a Pope-mobile.  These vehicles are not built like some spit guard on a salad bar at your local Ponderosa; these babies are high tech!  You could launch a smart bomb, a nuke or even Oprah at one of these machines and you wouldn't even bother the man’s pointy hat.  All of this advanced armor is there just to protect an icon of peace?  C’mon, we know better.
Still, you argue (you just don’t give up do you?).  What do we have to fear from just one Pope-mobile?
You don’t see any crumbling “I break for baby ducks” stickers on the Pope’s bumper do you?  No!  The Pope has no interest in keeping a vehicle past its first oil change.  The man gets a new ride for every trip.  I bet he’s gone through hundreds, if not thousands of these suckers.
You never notice a Pope-mobile blowout at Billy-Bob-Joe-Ben McGinty’s Used Car Heaven?  I’ll tell you why.  The used papal assault vehicles are stored in a massive alpine bunker directly below a coo-coo clock manufacturing plant and several thousand of Donald Trump’s safety deposit boxes.
Do you want to wake up at five every morning to the sound of elongated brass performing cough drop jingles?  Are you willing to surrender the Swiss Miss cocoa company executives to a Geneva war-crimes tribunal?  Are you prepared to be conquered by an army that speaks five languages better than you speak English?
Write to our President.  Tell him to forget middle-east terrorism and stop Pope-mobile proliferation.  Only when every Pope-mobile is safely decaying in a New Jersey hazardous waste dump am I going to feel safe sleeping at night.
Then maybe we can do something about the Tony the Tiger and Winnie the Pooh threat.

Don't believe me?  Check this animated documentary from the mid 90s.  They're even more scary now.