SMACKDOWN! Who is the best Diarist? Anne Frank vs. Samuel Pepys
Who is the best diarist – Samuel Pepys or Anne Frank? It’s been the subject of many a furious argument, bar room brawls, and even a murder. But now the decades-long debate may finally be over, thanks to research carried out by the Department of Pugilistic Semiotics at the University of Stockholm.
Researchers used the complete text of the diaries, combined with data about the times and places where the writers lived, to create a like-for-like computerized comparison of Pepys and Frank.
“After all these years,” said team leader, Dr Arno Sunmasen, “we are finally able to determine which of these great diary writers is the best.”
Their results are printed below, in a world exclusive.
Little Annie comes out swinging. Pepys has the advantage of weight and experience, but Anne has youth, speed and stamina, allowing her to dominate the fight from the start. She furiously strikes at Sammy’s ample belly with two solid lefts, before being sent sprawling into the ropes by his powerful right backhand. She scrambles to her feet in time to avoid a follow-up broadside from the Navy Board employee.
Pepys begins by taunting Frank, shaking his long wig, and chanting, “I am the wig-man – goo-goo-ga-jew”. Anne Frank takes the high road, ignoring his anti-Semitic barbs and focusing on her footwork, controlling the tempo of this match. The pint-sized Netherlands resident lands a series of jabs to Pepys abdomen, while dodging his wild swings. Pepys must surely be thinking it’s the Anglo-Dutch war all over again, as he staggers to his corner.
The round opens disastrously for Frank, after she lands a blow to one of his kidneys, apparently unware that he is afflicted with kidney stones. Her knuckles are badly scraped on the sharp stones, and, distracted by the pain in her hands, Frank proves an easy target for several powerful hooks from the London Lion. She is soon against the ropes, desperately attempting to protect her face and body as Pepys lands a devastating combination of jabs and hooks. Only the bell saves her from certain defeat. Pepys retires to his corner, punching the air and shouting “God bless the King!”
Frank bounces from her corner looking as if the events at the end of the last round happened to another Jewish girl, but Pepys still appears hot and exhausted from his exertions. The pair circle, exchanging light blows. Anne Frank can be heard making comments to Pepys in Yiddish, while Pepys responds in his own incomprehensible shorthand. The action is slow until the last 30 seconds of the round, when Pepys, ever the ladies’ man, winks at “a good handsome wench” in the crowd. As he looks away, Anne Frank head-butts the Englishman in the belly, followed by a furious uppercut. She then seizes his right forearm, biting it. The round ends and the referee is forced to issue a stern warning to the feisty Amsterdam ma’am.
Pepys looks like he means business, but Annie seems ready to take anything he can dish out. Frank circles the big man looking for an opportunity, when a lucky blow from Pepys sends her reeling. A second wild hook puts Frank on the mat, but she’s up again before the three count, looking confused and angry. She opens her arms, daring him to hit her again. Pepys seems to have other plans. A boo goes up from the crowd as Pepys summons a platoon of Nazi soldiers to arrest Frank! It looks like it’s all over for the plucky Jewess – until she points out to the stormtroopers that Pepys is a hated Englander. The tables are turned as Germany’s finest turn their fury on the long-wigged Brit scrivener, unleashing a hail of machine gun bullets at Pepys, while he pathetically scrambles to sharpen his quill. As the Nazis arrest Pepys and drag him away, the Nazis thank Frank for her service to the Reich, rewarding her with her freedom, and a vaccination against typhus. It’s a spectacular upset victory for Anne Frank.
A clear victory for Anne Frank in the fifth round, ironically assisted by her Nazi tormentors.