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Funkel Nostrum (1858-1921)

by shandypockets 

Posted: 26 April 2005
Word Count: 631
Summary: Treaty's murder
Related Works: Baxter Gumshield (1953 - 1999) • Malachi of Hereford (1190 - 1227) • Myopia Darjeeling (1889 - 1936) • 

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Funkel Nostrum (1858-1921)

June 1919, and a spirit of demented optimism reigned over Europe after the Allied victory in the Great War. Germany surrendered Alsace-Lorraine to the French after secretly negotiating a contnued supply of cut price quiche, though this wasn't to be the only cover-up of irregularities at the Treaty of Versailles.

As delegates gathered to sign the historic document and drink until they couldn't see, one man was about to cause the biggest international embarrassment since Spain temporarily "misplaced" Gibraltar, just to annoy British diplomats in 1898.

Funkel Nostrum, a high-ranking and trusted Dutch lawyer and politician, had been charged with the final proofing of the treaty. His war record had been impeccable, especially his initiation of express cake deliveries to men in the field. No-one paid much attention as he took the document for a final inspection minutes before the singing, claiming that the part about Germany demilitarising the Rhineland was "too sarcastic".

Unbeknown to the assembled posh nobs, Funkel had been discovered as an hour-old infant in a litter bin just outside Berlin. In rabid desperation for human guinea pigs, the baby Nostrum was initially the subject of a fierce bidding war between the scientific community and baked beans industry, a judge finally granting custody of the boy, by now aged seven and legally known as "Kinder X", to the Dutch behavioural psychologist Muttlange Nostrum.

They moved back to the Netherlands to live a life of simple duplicity, and Muttlange took Funkel's true nationality to his grave, as well as everywhere else he ever went. As it was widely believed he was a true Dutchman, Funkel had been free to sleep his way to the top of Holland's political ladder, legal profession and lawn tennis rankings.

Secretly proud of his true heritage, Funkel had vowed to humiliate the Allies from his position of power, and as the assembled bigwigs prepared to dip their quills, he deftly added his own clause. In amongst the bit about Belgium, which he knew no-one would read, he inserted a law that would make him, Funkel Nostrum, a one man nation state. The plan worked perfectly as the top brass all absent-mindedly signed the document, each with one eye on the nearby awaiting canapés.

By the next morning, letters had gone out to each Allied head of state to tell them of a new rogue nation that they could never control. Funkel launched himself out to sea in a specially made floatation device, and sat six miles off the Baltic coast, legally replete with political status as a country, his own fishing quotas and eligibility to enter any future Miss World competitions.

The Allies were caught on the hop, and were adamant that Funkel not be discovered, despite heavy lobbying from the suddenly greedy Cartographer's Institute, who were keen to foist updated maps on an unsuspecting public. Ambassadors were immediately appointed and dispatched to float around Nostrum, though diplomatic communications were limited to puerile name-calling as the new nation worked on its demands.

Nostrum finally instructed the gathered diplomats, who had already blown their entertainment budgets on overpriced liebfraumilch. In return for his sparing the new Europe any further humiliation, the Allied forces were to return to Germany the large areas they had surrendered to Poland, the ban on rearmament was to be lifted, and discount quiche could once again be enjoyed without fear of retribution.

Europe was on the edge of a buttock-clenchingly awkward U-turn, and the nation state of Funkel Nostrum was staring victory up the wazoo. In the nick of time, though, it was remembered that the United States had not been present at the Treaty of Versailles as they were making arrangements to sign their own peace accord with the defeated forces.

Nostrum didn't survive the heavy bombing.

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Comments by other Members

laurafraser at 08:21 on 27 April 2005  Report this post
get it published!

again adore this i love the way that you write, i think it is brilliant.

the only part not sure about is miss world contests, is the only bit that to me doesn't seem to fit with the rest, a little too sarcastic.

This is satirical writing at its best.



Beadle at 10:40 on 27 April 2005  Report this post
very funny

jules verne on acid.

Do you know any artists, as I think this would make a great graphic novel.

Kinder X - ho ho ho (I want some chocolate, something delicious and a surprize as well!).


Okkervil at 20:18 on 27 April 2005  Report this post
Everyone that says this is brilliant is entirely correct. It reads surprisingly well for something composed pretty much out of a series of two-long-sentence paragraphs. I agree with Laura. Get it published in a place. 'Funkel launched himself out to sea in a specially made floatation device, and sat six miles off the Baltic coast, legally replete with political status as a country, his own fishing quotas and eligibility to enter any future Miss World competitions,' was a sentence I had jotted down in a notebook upstairs under the title 'Sentences No One Will Come Up With, Ever.' I had to tear the whole page out 'cos of this, and I couldn't be happier.



Bav Dav at 10:13 on 05 May 2005  Report this post
This is great, if a little bizarre.

Where do you go about getting this sort of thing published?


bjlangley at 11:28 on 05 May 2005  Report this post
Excellent, made me chuckle at numerous points. I'd like to see a huge number of these together in an alternative history book...

All the best,


shandypockets at 12:55 on 05 May 2005  Report this post
Thank you all for your very kind words...publishing these would be a dream, but I'm not really sure who to approach. Any suggestions gratefuly received, of course, but in the meantime, thanks again. I will put up a couple more just for the hell of it.


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