Letter From Europe

Once again, my extraordinarily droll and talented friend, Larry King, has written a letter from Europe. I reproduce a few highlights here. You can find the entire letter here.

As before, I must say, the letter is studded with gems. Here's just some samples. On Thanksgiving…

A holiday featuring a vast amount of carbohydrates fits right in in the Czech Republic, where the basic food unit is the dumpling. You can do a lot with a dumpling -- fill it with cheese, garlic, and various meats and smother it with gravy, for example -- and whatever you do, anyone who eats a few will spend the rest of the day in a caloric torpor, occasionally belching but otherwise inert. Throw in football, and you've got the kind of afternoon any American who's endured a traditional Thanksgiving dinner would recognize.

On Karl Marx…

Actually, I retain a sneaking affection for old Karl. He was such a complete scoundrel. Did you know the champion of the working class never actually worked for a living? He sponged off his bourgeois family while he bummed around Europe preaching revolution until he was thirty-one. Then the Belgians, usually an even-tempered bunch, threw him out of their country. He'd already exhausted the patience of the authorities in his native Germany and in France, so he moved to London. From then until his death thirty-four years later, he sponged off Frederick Engels. Engels, incidentally, had arranged his life rather neatly -- he earned his living oppressing millworkers at his family's textile factory in Manchester, and between times wrote books expressing his shock and horror at the oppression of millworkers.

And finally this on Mass Transit…

But in fact the Paris Metro is a model for how public transport ought to run…The trains are clean and comfortable, they come along every few minutes, and breakdowns and unexplained delays are rare. Anyone who puts up with the London Underground on a daily basis would cheerfully vote for Josef Stalin if he got anything like the same performance out of the Circle Line.
… So maybe left-wingers are uniquely suited to building and running public transport systems. The best subway systems in the U.S., at least in my experience, are those in San Francisco and Washington D.C., two notorious nests of pinkos, commies, anarchists, fellow-travelers and Lord knows what else.

There is MUCH MUCH more like this in his letter. Click over here, print it out, and read it as your leisure. I continue to believe Mr. King is a New Yorker-class writer (in the spirit of Perelman and Benchley) waiting to be discovered.


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