Tom Muzzio
Tom Muzzio
T.E. Publisher
The Swiss Conspiracy Return to Vignettes menu
Howling at the Moon

I've never heard a soul say a bad word about Switzerland. All I've ever heard are rave reviews. For the life of me, I just can't see what all the fuss is about. In fact, I think there is a conspiracy in the Alpine air! The Swiss, as we know, like money. They like it so much that they have devised many clever means to get it and keep it! For the past week or two my sidekick, Mo Sawhy, and I have been investigating these matters throughout this enigmatic country, on behalf of the Territorial Enterprise; and these are our findings...

A conspiracy it has to be! Nothing else could explain it. The Swiss have put their heads together and come up with a way to get people from all over the world to come here, empty their pockets, and leave with smiles on their faces. Well, I for one am certainly not taken in! I am just amazed that the unwitting tourists cannot see what is going on.

The Swiss are simply terrible people. They are always forcing us to eat their Swiss chocolate which is just everywhere. Why, even children can buy it! (They even put it down low to tempt those poor little innocents). And then there is the food... They keep feeding us all this incredible cuisine. We are virtual prisoners at the table. We simply cannot escape. They keep feeding us mouthwatering meals, from dawn till way into the night ... the hot bread, local butter and cheese; jams and jellies of every description; that rich dark coffee; wines from all over Europe; and a blend of all the very best dishes from Germany, France, and Italy. And then, of course, they don't just feed you in some cheap jip-joint, on Melmac dishes, with paper placemats on a rinky-dink Formica table. Oh no, they present each meal politely and beautifully, on a table cloth, with real flowers on the table; and with such a pleasant manner as to be downright diabolic. Of course, I see right through it. I know it's just a ploy.

The best gimmick they have is the scenery. Now, the Dutch may have made the land, but the Swiss never made those mountains! No, by some quirk of fate the mountains were here already when the Swiss arrived and decided to merchandise them. So, they built all these charming little chalets all over the place, with cute little window boxes full of bright red geraniums, used local slate, and old wood, to create these sensational rustic barns. And then, to go one step beyond cutesey, they imported all these plump, happy-looking cows to munch green grass leisurely on the flower-covered hillsides all day. But, if that's not enough, they put a bell around the neck of every cow! That clanging is enough to soften the heart of even the most jaded tourist. Oh, when will it stop? It just never stops. One city after another – every little village and rural landscape is idyllic in the extreme.

The real trick the Swiss have mastered, though, is making you think you like it! How devious! We have been enduring this torture a week already with no end in sight. Try as we may, we just haven't figured out yet how to get away. I'm looking out over a quiet little valley town, complete with the traditional chalets, cows, and towering mountains; listening to the church bells resonate out across the dale and echo back again and again. I contemplate escape. Will we succeed? If we do, you can read about it in the next issue of the Territorial Enterprise.

Territorial Enterprise
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