Prince Charles

Most Ill-Favored Nation Status

When it comes to beauty, Kiwis must be graded on a curve.

I know this statement is hard to take, but I have every reason to believe it’s true because of the high regard I hold for my own opinion.

Thus it is with a heavy heart and a generous dose of self-satisfaction that I hereby grant New Zealand “most ill-favored nation” status.

Kiwis, please don’t be upset. Look on the bright side. At least you’re not British.

In fact, if anyone is responsible for causing offense in this post it’s obviously the British.

The British spent hundreds of years dumping their most wretched citizens on distant shores. Scientists say this explains why Australians, for example, are so difficult to look at.

And historians agree that the British established their empire mostly out of a painful awareness of their own horse-like countenances. The unfortunate teeth, the flaring nostrils of an endless schnoz, the galloping around on all fours and the immitigable desire for salt-lick. Of course you’re thinking, “But that’s just Prince Charles. Surely there are good-looking Brits?”

Yes, there are. Now that the wretches have been sent away, the best-looking Brits, like Amy Winehouse, finally have a chance to stand out, (assuming they can stand at all.)

New Zealand’s membership in the Commonwealth obviously means it was not exempt from Britain’s off-loading scheme. The ill-favored were dispatched here beginning in the 1830s and 1840s. The worst of these were sequestered in a “wanker colony” called Parnell, today considered Auckland’s most thriving community of ill-favored wankers.

A window in Parnell. A window on Parnell.

For the rest of New Zealand, Britain’s plan took an unexpected turn. Former Brits improved themselves through such local circumstances as miscegenation with the Maori, the introduction and application of toothpaste and dental floss, and a switch from British cooking to actual food.

So, chin up, Kiwis. You’re not as bad looking as you think you are.

Unless you’re my neighbors, the Von Trolls. Thanks to a mix of Australian, New Zealand and British blood, the Von Trolls are ill-favored par excellence. They seem engaged in a kind of genetic “race to the bottom” in terms of looks, intelligence and personality.

The Von Trolls recently tried to ingratiate themselves to human beings by getting into the spirit of Halloween. They bought candy and decorated their porch with fake cob webs. To add to the illusion that their house was an authentic portal to hell, they had young Polly-Anastasia do her voice exercises on the front steps. As a music major (with a minor in Manatee Vocalization so she’ll have, you know, something to fall back on) Polly-Anastasia was able to scare the shit out of every living creature in the South Pacific.

It was this disturbance that had Jacquie run out of the house.

“What’s that terrible sound?” she said.

“Relax,” said Dabney Von Troll. “It’s for Halloween.”

“Oh, I see,” Jacquie said. She turned to Polly-Anastasia. “I should have guessed. What a wonderful mask your daughter has on. So grotesque. Rubbery, yet lifelike. What are you supposed to be? Let me guess: deranged mule?”

“I’m not wearing a mask,” Polly-Anastasia said.

“Oh,” Jacquie said, “well, that’s ok. It’s still a great costume. Your parents must be proud.”

Maybe, Jacquie, maybe. But remember, she’s being graded on a curve.