Archive for December 1st, 2011
Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy famously began his epic “Anna Karenina” by claiming happy families are all alike while every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Writers Mike Bender and Doug Chernack have also found something else that’s universal with modern families: all of them, happy and sad, have taken awkward family photos.
They made this discovery through a life-changing lunch in 2009.
“I went home for the weekend, and Mom was hanging up a really awkward vacation photo,” Bender told HuffPost Weird News. “I told Doug and he said, ‘I have a ton of those,’ and then we thought, if we have them, other people must have them too.”
Strolling through a peaceful Swiss village — charming pastoral greens studded with rustic farmhouses between an alp and a lake — my friend walked with me to the door of a nondescript barn. He said, “Stand here,” and slid open the door to reveal a solitary mighty gun — pointing right at me. Crossing a field, kicking a stray soccer ball back to a group of happy grade-schoolers, we came to another barn. This time I noticed the “wooden” door was actually metal with a clever paint job. Inside was a military canteen, now selling snacks to civilians, and a steel ladder leading down into a military-gray world that felt like a vast submarine. A network of passages, just big enough for heavily armed soldiers to race down single file, led to a series of gun barns and subterranean command rooms with charts locating other installations in the area.