Picture: The Maltese dwarves at a party: (top to bottom) Lazy, Lazy, Lazy, Lazy, Lazy, Frengo and Lazy
There, we have it on black and white now. Maltese are the shortest and laziest among EU citizens. Why am I not surprised? Have you ever been to Amsterdam or any Dutch town for what that matters? If yes, did you not get the distinct feeling that you might have inadvertently chewed on a magic mushroom in the Shoarma shop and that you were now experiencing a Looking Glass experience where everybody was at least a foot taller than you?
And when it comes to laziness. Just move to a foreign country and try to explain to other people why you just have to park infront of your next destination and avoid any extra walking. How do you explain that jogging is just not an option when the weather outside is polar? Playstation vs Jog round the Park? Give me a break.
What gets at me is that this short & lazy label gives all the pretentious, snobbish bastards situated north of Tripoli point some excuse to snort down at us as though this was the ultimate answer to the existence of the Maltese. The bureaucratically desperate Luxembourger with his squishy squashy language and whose idea of a time out is a trip to Auchan will be giggling his arse off between a moien and a schweier. That really will be the limit.
All the other 24 will follow suit in a concerto of laughter and glee and have a great ball laughing at the "nains faineants" of the Med. But the truth is that the ones who should be laughing are il-Maltin. In fact while being short is nothing that we can control short of interbreeding with the taller races (which is where I am doing my bit by dating a six-footer), being lazy is a matter of perspective.
Laziness in Europe is equated with not wanting to work. With going against the work ethic. In fact the earlier you wake up, the longer you stay at work, the more extra hours you put in in cleaning your home, the more you walk to work across the Kirchberg bridge in sub-zero conditions, the more medals you should earn. And of course you should laugh at the Maltese who steals that extra half-hour in bed, drives to work in a heated car, parks in the parking and gets a lift straight to his office, skips the morning coffee conference at the canteen (shit coffee anyway), reads the papers and listens to music while working, and even manages to leave a little early (say six as against ten pee emm). The output on the workplace is the same. The quality too (if not better) but the appearances really lose out.
You see. What the rest of the EU does not get is that what they call laziness is really a secret to a good laugh. Less stress, better time management and a philosophy based on the idea that "my body is my temple and I am not dragging this temple for a useless twenty minute jog when I could be sitting in the warmth of my house". What the EU will go on to forget is that while we are short and we are "lazy" (I prefer laid-back), we still top the list of the happiest people on the continent.
That should count for something should it not? You bunch of grumpy, clumsy, clanking, overworked good-for-nothings you. I'm off for a ciggy break - coz I've just decided I'll take up smoking again... health was never my thing and there's nothing more relaxing than a little puff for this short but happy lazy bugger!
PS. And does anyone remember the rule of thumb? You know what they say about short men? I guess now we know why our shores are full of women from the north every summer. :)