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On the twee streets of Antwerp, a salty moisture made slick the flagstones. Untold Belgian slip-and-fall injuries contributed to marginally increased insurance premia. Overrepresented among the victims were eggshaped, middleaged men sporting moustacheless beards and pants with unfashionably high waists and short inseams. One, heir to a sizable bromide concern in Ghent, sustained a hairline fracture to a sub-patellar bone shared by no other living human, and which doctors, had they cared to investigate, would have ascribed to inbreeding. While emergency rooms were not exactly flooded, nurses at some would almost swear that business was slightly brisker that morning. International aid was requested and promptly granted, but arriving as it did in the form of unmarked bearer bonds, its only effect was the establishment of a grey market. Christmas came, enshrouding the city in a snow of beguiling charm. Gingerbread was palpable, and everything, down to the last detail, was handcrafted. Largely ignored went the mayor's call for a press conference to announce his findings that they were all actually living in Busch Gardens, Virginia. However, Eurail fares did not escape the pernicious effects of this shrewd political gesture, and there was grumbling in the youth hostels! The Rucksack Putsch, it was called by the international press, and in sitting rooms across the continent, men with moustacheless beards cynically rustled their newspapers to mask the sounds of their own farts.

Date Written: October 10, 2005
Author: qualcomm
Average Vote: 4.71429

10/11/2005 Will Disney (4.5): strangely evocative. a little fancy.
10/11/2005 Ewan Snow (5): Thanks.
10/11/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs (5):
10/11/2005 Ewan Snow: First two sentences of 2nd graf are so cherry, as are several other bits, such as international aid bonds, general concept of sweeping continental scope and insurance premia, etc.
10/11/2005 Ewan Snow: Also, whoever voted on Slocum, this was qualcomm, asshole.
10/11/2005 TheBuyer (5): I thought you wrote it.
10/12/2005 Litcube (4.5):
10/12/2005 Klause Muppet: Whad-up, Asshole?
10/12/2005 Ewan Snow: That was a rhetorical "asshole". Just ask qualcomm...
10/12/2005 qualcomm:                    statement,
10/12/2005 qualcomm: darn, that didn't work out how i wanted
10/12/2005 John Slocum (4.5):
10/12/2005 Jon Matza: Can you comment on this hyper-eccentric piece, brother?
10/12/2005 qualcomm: i guess it's pretty much a series of cliches (some perhaps of dubious universality) about small european countries, and their cute, busch gardensesque urban life, where everything, down to the last detail, is handcrafted. from a longer view, it's also a joke on my vague, outsider's (auslander) notions about said countries. in other words, a comment on my own willful, hollywood-informed ignorance of their customs, lifestyles, and accoutrements. overall, the short strives to be "vaguely european," in the stupidest, most uninformed, john-lithgow's-accent-in-cliffhanger sense of the term. i think i chose an extremely passive, unreliable voice because it (hopefully) heightens the reader's awareness that the narrator is full of shit.

[incidentally, readers may be interested to know that the phrase "on the twee streets of antwerp" was the germ of the short.]

10/13/2005 Ewan Snow: It might have been, were twee not already well-worn (by you). I thought specific mention of Busch Gardens was a mistake. Your PBS/Brit-production-of-Hercule-Poirot feel stood on its own. Also, while your explanation of the general idea behind this short is accurate (I assume), it doesn't explain why this is funny, IMHO, HOMO. Its funny for reason's I'm not at liberty to disclose. Trust me on this one, tho.
10/13/2005 TheBuyer: The A-Rod joke, though not cruc, was pretty damn good.
10/13/2005 Dylan Danko: Does QC use twee often?
10/13/2005 Dylan Danko (4.5): I took this to be a parody of particular montage sequences in Merchant/Ivory type films showing the town or village in all its picturesque splendor and usually accompanied by voice-over narration by John Hurt etc. summing up or the quotidian yet idyllic lives of the films inhabitants. Aren't there scenes like that in Age of Innocence or something?
10/13/2005 qualcomm: yeah, i wasn't trying to explain why it's funny. matza seemed to be asking for more of a basic explanation, so i discussed craft and theme. it's funny because there are all kinds of jokes in there. by the way, snow, what does "it might have been" in your last comment refer to?
10/13/2005 Ewan Snow: Ah, just realized I misread your comment. I was saying it might have been the "gem" of the short. But you said it was the "germ" of the short...
10/13/2005 Dylan Danko: Hadn't read Snow's Poirot comment before my last post. Incidentally, I don't know why you have to single out Europe for it Disneyesque cutesiness. Just take all of fucking New England esp. The Cape. I suppose that would be Murder She Wrote.
10/13/2005 qualcomm: yeah, that'd be a different short. see dylan, this is how i come up with my ideas!
10/13/2005 Dylan Danko: You amaze me?
10/13/2005 Jon Matza: Thank you.