Let’s start with what are sometimes known as the dumb laws in Switzerland. Take for example, the old chestnut that “men may not urinate standing up after 10 p.m.”
To my knowledge, it’s not actually a law at all, although I do recall seeing something like it in the general rules when I lived in an apartment in Bern.
Those who criticise the rule always fail to see it from the point of view that you really don’t want to hear your neighbours peeing when it’s quiet late at night.
It’s therefore quite reasonable to assume that they don’t want to hear you either. The rules presuppose a live-and-let-live attitude that I for one find perfectly acceptable. Most of the time.
It’s taken me a long time to work out why rules which work brilliantly for 360 days a year can so readily be suspended. But finally I think I have the answer.
It’s a hard one to take on board, I know, but hear me out on this.
True, I haven’t spotted any pointy ears, or witnessed anyone rendered unconscious by a neck pinch, or seen any funny salutes that you can only do if you push your fingers into place with the other hand.
But compare the serene and peace-loving ways both Vulcans and Swiss go about their daily lives. And, crucially, consider the pon farr.
For the non-trekkies among you, this is a key aspect of Vulcan physiology. The only way they can sustain their long periods of peace and tranquillity is to have infrequent loud and violent blow-outs when absolutely anything goes.
Just like the Swiss. Or just like my neighbours, anyway.