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Say That Again, Antonio?

By Scott Roeben

What am I missing? What in the world is this attraction American women have to men with European accents? Seemingly without fail, women express that men with a Scottish brogue or an Italian burr (don't look at me--talk to the Thesaurus guy) are mysterious and sexy.

Aren't these women the same human beings who always lobby men to look beyond the superficial to the inner attractiveness of someone? Aren't they the same ones who accuse men of being attracted to "form over substance?" Well, all that seems to fly out the window when an Irishman walks into the room. This odd fascination is almost as hard to explain as that interrogation you experience when you attempt to make a purchase at a Radio Shack. Both are utterly baffling.

Don't women know that the practice of men being jerks is universal? Why would a woman think that just because a man grew up in a European city he becomes more romantic? European men are just as self-serving and callous as American men, the only difference between them being that European men have the advantage of not having been raised on a steady diet of Pixie Stix and Pez.

Most of the women I talk to agree about their favorite European accents. They are as follows, in order of their S.Q. (Salivation Quotient.)

1) British. By far the most popular accent, this whole obsession may have begun with James Bond. Women have always harbored a love of men who make love to them while stealing their microfiche.

2) Scottish. This accent has become even more beloved of late due to a recent rash of films set in Scotland. A propensity for exposing their lower extremities also keeps Scots in high demand. The kilt and the Scottish brogue go together perfectly, and it is difficult to think of one without the other. Much like the U.S. Postal Service and shooting sprees.

3) Irish. The Irish are full of piss and vinegar. I have no other observations about them, and technically they never would have made it onto this list except for the fact that I wanted to see if I could get away with using that word.

4) Italian. Italian men have long been rumored to be the greatest lovers on Earth. Italy has not been a world power for some time. Mainly because the men of the country have spent a majority of their time and energy perpetuating those rumors.

5) Australian. So, they are not exactly European. Women don't care. An Aussie dialect just does something to them. The Australian accent would have been at the top of the list, but the British need all the help they can get. After all, the Australians don't have a royal family to contend with.

One glaring omission from the list is French. This is not so much because women do not find the accent sensual, but rather because the French are rude bastards and I refuse to give them any free publicity. I should note, by the way, that in France the word "bastard" does not have the same negative meaning it has here. Compared to the other words used to describe these dolts, "bastard" is almost a compliment.

It is apparent to me that women have been fed a constant and injurious supply of unrealistic romantic expectations from the time they were young and being nestled at their mothers' bosoms. (Note: Every Italian man reading this skipped to the end of that last sentence. Ladies, don't say I didn't warn you.) Women must look beyond the apparent charm of an exotic accent, and remember the undeniable truth about being with a man from Europe.

First, if you are a woman, and you thought you were witty, and feel that this is an important or desirable aspect of your personality, the moment you become involved with a man whose first language is not English all bets are off. Because you do not have a common cultural background, it is likely that your European love interest simply will not get your jokes. Tough. It serves you right.

Remember, also, that just because someone is English, it does not mean that they speak English. One trip to England and that fact is clear.

Me: Pardon me, can you direct me to a restroom?

Nigel: There's a water closet at the petrol station two mews beyond the Yard.

Me: Or perhaps I could just hold it in until I return to the states.

Secondly, European men smoke like there is no tomorrow. Unfortunately, because of this whole bothersome lung disease thing, for many Europeans there will not be.

And third, it must be stated that European men are, well, they are...let's just say "differently fragranced." Due to the extreme distance between America and Europe, it seems that our deodorant technology has not made the entire trip yet. Yes, this assertion is a sweeping generalization and stereotype on my part and I am, most terribly, embarrassed by the absolute correctness of my observation.

Maybe the fact that American women love foreign accents has something to do with our country's overall affinity for things that are elsewhere. Otherwise, why would we always be booking flights there? Elsewhere, that is. Anywhere not where we are is more alluring, mysterious and provocative than here, so we assume that the residents of anywhere else must also possess those qualities.

All I know is that the only things a foreign accent really gives a man are: a) the opportunity to seduce American women at will, b) an ability to charm legal professionals and c) the capability to get huge, low interest loans without collateral. This is an embarrassment to women, as well as our country.

There is but one more thing I have to say on the matter.

"Brills! Don't slag me down, bloke--I'll be chuffed. Show friendly to me or I'll sick up."

Well, it was worth a try.


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Scott Roeben, 1999, 2000. All rights reserved.