Something Is Rotten in the State of Denmark
If my high school literature class and my occasional forays to the theater have served me well, it was in “Hamlet” that Shakespeare wrote the memorable line, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” And if he was incorrect about it then, he is being vindicated in late 2005.
Denmark does not normally hit the radar screen of average Americans. It hardly comes up for students of foreign affairs.
To be honest, even many Scandinavians forget that it’s there.
But all of that has changed. The Danes are wound up in a tale of royalty and international intrigue—and possibly something far more nefarious—because Australia is giving a first edition of the “Snugglepot and Cuddlepie” children’s book to the Danish crown prince and his wife as gift for the birth of their child.
According to Prime Minister John Howard, the 1918 copy of the “classic” Australian book is an “appropriate Australian gift” to the Danish prince and his Tasmanian-born wife.
At least that is what he would have us believe. My research suggests that this gift, this shameless attempt to publicize an old children’s book, may actually be the harbinger of a heinous plot.
Let’s start with the name of the book itself: “Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.” Does this sound like a great book for kids? The lead characters clearly nuzzle with marijuana—and hump pastries, à la Jason Biggs in “American Pie.”
Some may claim that these names are not really subtle references to such activities and try to convince us that the plot of the book is innocent and heart-warming. Carefully placed news reports, for example, say that the book actually does not promote drug use or strudel screwing but instead relates the adventures of babies living in gumnuts.
Yes, that says “gumnuts.”
Now I’ve heard of many different kinds of nuts—most of them from Christopher Guest’s character in “Best in Show”—but “gumnut” sounds more like one of Michael Jackson’s tricks to get boys to play with his beanbag, if you know what I mean.
So we have established that this cannot really be a good book. What is the real story behind this gift?
Some voices are saying that this present, in fact, may be the first step in a Canberra-Copenhagen conspiracy to corrupt the world’s children via bad Aussie literature, enabling Denmark to reassert Viking supremacy over Europe and Australia to play a global role befitting its status as a whole continent.
Simply put, the Danes want to pillage their neighbors like in days of long ago. Reports speak of a palpable gold lust in the early winter air of Denmark.
It cannot be a coincidence that the name of the Danish royal family’s founder, the Viking king Old Gorm, is an anagram for “MOR GOLD.”
From the Australian side, motivations also abound. It does not take a CSI team to notice that the land down under is not exactly dominating the world’s children’s book market. This PR offensive will increase sales of “Snugglepot and Cuddlepie”—fulfilling Australians’ “Harry Potter” envy.
And increased sales of this book will lead children worldwide toward idle lives of drug-doing and pie-poking, thus weakening other societies and allowing the Aussies to create an empire of their own—fulfilling Australians’ “Why Did Other English-Speaking Countries Get To Invade Places and We Didn’t” envy.
Of course, I could be wrong about all of this secret plan stuff.
Maybe the Australians are just giving the Danish royal couple a really rotten gift.