editorials


[email protected] - Sandwiches and global warming

March 2010


With the Salon International de Haut Horlogerie (SIHH) over for this year and ten months for the organizers to forget what I’m about to write, I thought I would regale you with a couple of the more memorable moments from within those hallowed halls.
Day one and early for the first press conference, I decided to have a coffee at one of the numerous excellent refreshment zones around the halls.
'Would you like sandwiches?' the charming waitress asked me.
'What are the choices?' I asked.
'Yes or no,' she replied in all seriousness. I settled for a croissant.
By the time the first couple of conferences had finished, lunch beckoned and I, along with a couple of hundred other journalists and my Editor in Chief, Pierre Maillard, sat down hoping to be waited on hand and foot by some seriously attractive young waitresses. As luck would have it, we were served by an ugly waiter. There was a choice of sushi or something edible. I decided on soup followed by a mushroom vol-au-vent and fruit. Pierre opted for the sushi as a starter followed by sushi for the main course and actually hesitated about having sushi for dessert. However, prudence prevailed.
Day two saw sandwiches already laid out on the tables. I sat down with my freebie copy of the Financial Times and began nibbling away whilst awaiting a coffee. A vaguely familiar journalist who goes by the name of Otto something or other, asked if he could sit at the table and in his prominent German accent asked if he could have one of the sandwiches. I nodded and pushed the plate over. “You are English ya?” To avoid a lengthy explanation about being Scottish and British I said yes.
“Zo, vy is a sanvich called a sanvich?” he asked with raised eyebrows.
I explained to him that in the 1760s, John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich, was playing cards and despite being hungry didn’t want to stop for a meal. So he asked a serving wench to bring him some roast beef between two slices of bread to avoid getting his fingers greasy from the meat thus enabling him to continue gambling whilst eating.
Impressed by my knowledge of useless information, he then said, “I know joke for sanviches,” and without waiting for my reaction continued. “Three men vorking on high building stop for lunch. First man say, ‘Ham sanvich again. I am sick of ham sanvich every day. Tomorrow I jump off building if I haf ham sanvich.’ Second man say, ’Everyday cheese. I sick of cheese. I jump off building if I haf cheese sanvich!’ Third man say, ‘Sausage, sausage, I sick of sausage sanvich every day. I jump off building if I haf more sausage sanvich!’
“Next day, first man see ham sanvich and jump off building. Second man see cheese sanvich and jump off building. Third man see sausage sanvich and he also jump off.
At funeral, the wives are crying. The wife of first man say, ‘If only he had told me I vould not haf made another ham sanvich.’ The wife of second man say, ‘If only he had told me I would not haf made another cheese sandwich.“The third wife say,”I not know why he jump. He always make his own sanviches!"
He laughed boisterously and I smiled politely as I left claiming an early appointment.
The following day I had lunch with Pierre again (more sushi) and this is where the story really heats up. We talked about this and that and touched on a contentious global warming report, based on the work of some 2,500 scientists in more than 130 countries, that concluded industrialization, deforestation, and pollution have greatly increased atmospheric concentrations of water vapour, carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases that trap heat near the earth's surface and can no longer be absorbed by the trees and plants fast enough.
Well, I have another theory: I believe that in the twenty years since the SIHH was founded it has become a major factor in the global warming problem. Let me explain.
As we sat through lunch, at least fifty or so young ladies walked past, each one prettier, more elegantly dressed and sexier than the next. As the song goes, the temperature was rising and it wasn’t surprising. Then three sublime visions of ethereal beauty, wearing miniscule mini-skirts and with legs as long as the day, sauntered past. Elbows nudged, eyes winked, mouths were agape and there was the sound of silence – with the exception of the grating noise of male eyeballs as they swivelled to follow the long lean legs of the girls as they high-heeled it through the halls.
The word ‘watch’ was never more prevalent than at that moment and the only ticking to be heard was from hyper-active hearts as they manfully pumped testosterone laden blood through bulging veins. The temperature had now risen perceptibly, not only within the halls but also outside as it melted Geneva’s blanket of snow. If the SIHH had been created in 1912 there would be far fewer icebergs and the Titanic would still be sailing today.
And that’s my global warming theory. Sandwich anyone?

lakin@large210


Source: Europa Star April - May 2010 Magazine Issue