Ancient Swiss secret to a classless society?
by Jenna Griffiths


The Swiss are, historically, a rather neutral breed of people. Or? (This is where I miss the German word ‘doch!’ in English. It’s such a simple, and more elegant way of saying ‘I-totally-disagree-and-think-you’d-better-relook-your-assumptions-immediately!’
Doch! Doch! (It rhymes with Scottish ‘loch’!)
 If we can steal ‘zeitgeist’ and ‘kindergarten’ why can’t we just steal ‘doch!’ while we’re at it? English speakers the world over are totally deprived without this word. Maybe we should send a petition to Oxford or the queen or whoever…and claim it as ours. Just as our forefathers claimed Africa, Asia, America, Australia…tea, hot chips…and the French bad habit of spelling words totally unlike the way they’re actually pronounced.)
I run away with myself as usual. We were talking about Swiss neutrality. ‘Level-headedness’ and all that.  Well, I’ve been pondering another possibility since yesterday when some new, rather noisy, yet typically Swiss neighbours were deposited on my doorstep just before sunset. They are both black and white so there’s no racism involved here, if that’s what you’re thinking. The only problem with them as far as I can tell is that they are each wearing nothing at all except a rather large bell!
Before I continue with this story, let me ask you a rather personal question. Have you ever actually ‘experienced’ a Swiss cowbell close up and with naked ears? This is a sound that can pierce armour, and (at 2 am particularly) can cut through Swiss quality double glazed windows like a hot knife to butter.
Actually I think that there’s a lot more to this sound than meets the ear drum. It’s a secret weapon. A sound so piercing that it has the power to domesticate virtually anything. I swear, hang one of those things around Bush’s neck and you’ll have a lamb in a few hours.
After all, have you ever really stopped to wonder what cowbells are really for? Getting found in the fog when you’re always neatly hemmed and tucked in for the night with an electric chord for blanket? Come on!
I think I’ve just stumbled across an ancient Swiss secret; their centuries old tried and tested farm style recipe for a classless, peaceful democracy.
It’s all done with cowbells! That’s what these things are really for. They’re designed to neutralize brainwaves and domesticate foreigners or any neighbours who might just be getting a little too uppity. It is called ‘integration by ear’ (something similar to ‘parking by ear’ maybe) or is it ‘disintegration by ear’? Anyway, it has about the same effect as a frontal lobotomy.
Now you know why everyone smiles here all the time!
Say cheese!
© Jena Griffiths

More about Jena:

Jena Griffiths is a certified hand analyst who lives in Sternenberg, Canton Zürich. She grew up in South Africa and was this country's leading woman cyclist in the late '80s and early 90's. She has sailed around the world, half with a baby on board. Her sailing stories have won awards.
Jena believes enlightenment also means 'lighten up'.  We heal the planet by healing ourselves.
'I believe we're all magical beings It's what we fear most and it's what keeps us going. As a species we're rapidly waking up to this magic but the journey has to be made individually by each one of us. 
I think hand analysis is a master key to achieving this aim. Our hands are our treasure houses, they reveal the giant within and are so tangible and difficult to ignore (being right in front of our noses).'

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