Cooper Brown: He's Out There

'The Swiss are the most officious bunch of people I've ever come across'
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The Independent Online

I'm skiing in Zermatt in Switzerland with Ben and some of his chums. What a place! It's like somewhere out of The Sound of Music, Nazis and all. I thought the Swiss were just extra-cowardly French but the ones here speak German so they must have been invaded in WW2 before we came over and saved your asses. A lot of them seem to find it difficult to let go of the past as they are the most officious bunch of people I have ever come across.

We're staying at the big expensive hotel in town - the Grand Hotel - and we must be the youngest residents by about four decades. We got totally Jägermeistered on the first night and ended up trying to have a singing session by the grand piano. The room was full of old people draped in fur and they started complaining before we'd even finished "Bat Out of Hell." This fat German/Swiss guy comes up and he's dressed like a tin-pot parking attendant. That, regular readers will know, is not a good thing to do to the Coop.

"Pleeze, gentlemen, refrain from your singing as you are disturbing ze ozer guests." The guy has a little moustache that's quivering up and down.

"Zeez iz not a nightclub, please be aware of your surroundingz."

Ben tells him to fuck off and calls him a Nazi. We all start howling with laughter but he gets really pissed off and asks us to apologise saying that this is inappropriate behaviour and that he is Swiss not German and that we should be ashamed of ourselves. At this stage Ben and two of his friends start doing this goose-stepping around the dining room while the rest of us are singing the German national anthem.

It was total chaos and so Ben. The next morning at breakfast it was quite a delicate situation but Ben spoke to one of the managers and, apparently, he knows Ben's dad, so everything was sorted out.

The totally weird thing about Zermatt, forgetting the abundance of local Nazis, is that the place has been totally invaded by the Russians. The town is heaving with them and they have a serious amount of cash. God knows where these guys get their cash from as I thought they were all queuing up for bread and Levi's 10 years ago? They are a bit like the oil Arabs in the Seventies; they want to spend their money and spend it now. The manager who knows Ben's dad says that a lot of them keep asking him whether there are more expensive suites available, despite the fact that they are already dropping a cool seven grand a night. It looks to the Coop like the management is desperate to lose the old fur brigade and let in more Russkies but has got to wait for lots of them to die off so that they can change the clientele. I guess this is how the Swiss have survived over the years? Follow the money.

I've never met any Russians before but I'm now seriously thinking about taking a trip there. The women are frickin' unbelievable. Every one of them is a statuesque blonde bombshell with razor cheekbones and clearly desperate to break away from the thuggish brutes who are paying the bills with huge wads of cash.

I have never seen a bigger distinction between men and women. Every table is like Beauty and the Beast. I guess most Russian men were killed off by the Nazis and then the Commies, so they're dealing with a particularly weak gene pool? I reckon that however they made their money (and let me tell you, it wasn't anything legal) they've decided to come and rub the Nazis' noses in it. I've got no problem with these guys enjoying their cash but they seriously need some fashion tips. My guess is that Dynasty has just been enjoying real popularity in the homeland. The women dress like it's 1985: NFL-size shoulder-pads, big curly hairdos and everything glittery and sequinned. It's hilarious. The men all wear tight Dolce & Gabbana-type sweatshirts and sport unbelievable mullets and ponytails. It's like a Steven Seagal movie set on main street.

I'm a pretty mean skier as I spent a lot of time when I was younger around Lake Tahoe. Ben and I did one superb run right from the top of the Sunnegga all the way down into town without stopping. The Matterhorn was this amazing backdrop for the town and it felt like we were skiing right into a Swiss chocolate box. It's so cool that you can ski from bar to bar, Glühwein to Glühwein, with no problems here. By the time we finished skiing I could barely stand. Back in the States they'd be coming down hard on this but not here.

Last night we ended up in a huge Italian restaurant with lots of different levels that made it look like some kind of stoned pirate ship. Hanging over out tables were these enormous fake plastic sausages and salamis. It was only a matter of minutes before we were all having a sword fight. We got kicked out of the place but managed to hold on to our fake sausages by squeezing them down our ski pants. Back on the high street we started ogling Russian blondes and showing them the bulges in our pants. It was just a bit of fun but two Russian meatheads took exception and attacked Ben's friend Toby. We ended up in a big fight, with Ben knocking one of these guys out with a store mannequin. Yeah, 2007 is gonna be a great year, I can feel it already.

Cooper out.;