Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

NabkhaRant: What're YOU Lookin' At?

Note - from June 24th 2009, this blog has migrated from Blogger to a self-hosted version. Click here to go straight there.

Tell you something for free (since I'm feeling a teensy bit of a buzzafter four 'deb-catcher' glasses of peach Kir).

I hate flies. Flies, mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, leeches, politicians and stockbrokers. But right now, flies top the list - mstly because there is a fly the size of Tasmania bumping its idiotic head against the window, spoiling the 'vibe' of my little dormer window view onto the forest.

For a while I had convinced myself that it was the forest of Fontainebleau (a chateau near here), but actually it's a little piece of the Foret des Trois Pignons (forest of the three pine trees). Stupid name, nice forest (and since it's been a cold start to spring, the forest is still not as green as I think I deserve). To mangle some more French, the feuilles are not pousse-ing to the desired extent (although let me say that the surrounds are - to use teen-French - hyper-sympa. (Pronounced 'eee-per-sum-pa').

French gives me the shits from time to time. It annoys the crap out of me that 'leg' is feminine. So is ankle (but knee is masculine). So it's la jambe, but le genou.

So if you wanted to say "his knee" you would say "son genou" which seems sensible enough. He is. after all, a he. So things ought to be his. His leg, his ankle, his knee. And so on, right to the groinal region.

Sounds sensible, don't it? Not so fast, Gunnar (I like that name a lot - maybe I will ignore the pact and name my first-born Gunnar instead of Rumpelstiltskin).

If your Frog busts his leg, he babbles that he has broken sa jambe. And here's where I start getting riled.

In English, your leg is a bit of YOU, and so it has YOUR gender. If you're a she, your leg is 'hers' to outsiders. Likewise, your car is yours (hers, if I'm telling someone else) and your bank account is hers too. So all you have to remember is the gender of the owner.

Not so if you're trying to gabble in your dago-lingo. Froggish, Eye-talian, Spain-ish... all the same. Even Krautish has this annoying feature. It annoys me that a table has a gender in those languages - where are its genitals?

If you want to know why English is the lingua franca of the world, look no further than that. Sure, our spelling makes absolutely no sense; nobody could argue otherwise. But in terms of being easy to pick up the spoken word, a child could do it. Plus, the irregularities of verbs like 'do', 'be' 'go' and 'have' areless byzantine in English than just about any other ngo going(except maybe Indonesiac which only has about forty words anyway). If you never had to WRITE anything, it should take you about five weeks to learn decent English, I reckon. And most of the saving comes from not having to piss-ass about with giving a rat's ass about whether a coffee-cup is a boy or a girl.

Speaking of large flies (I am sure I was doing that before), there was a bee the like of which I have never seen outside on the wisteria when I went out to patch a hole in the muffler of the RantWagen (a 1987 VW Passat, which took me to Germany and back in a day without so much as a whimper). Anyhow... this bee was big, it was black, and it was hairy. It was bigger than any wasp I have ever seen (and remember, it was a bee). Its abdomen was about the same size as the abdomen of a funnel-web, but hairier. It was just futtering about going from flower to flower (as you do if you're a bee, I guess... if you're not stinging someone), making a noise about as loud as a Chinook during an ammo resupply.

Speaking of Kir, for the first three months of my stay in France I thought it was some sort of aniseed concoction; the fact that it started with a 'K' made me suss that it probly wasn't Froggish. Wrong - as I found out, it is named for the Abbé Kir (who invented it) and its 'default' is a glass of 'vin blanc de table' (crap white - the crappier the better) with a shot of creme de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur).  The good Abbé invented it to get rid of some crap white he had lying about, and used creme de cassis because he was from Dijon - and Dijon is famous for two things... blackcurrants and mustard. History does not tell us whether the Abbé first tried the mustard route, but suffice it to say that nowadays if you don't like Ribena you can substitute a different liqueur (for me, it's peach).

Yes, you're right - this post seems to be going nowhere; sorry about  that. It's just a test to see whether I have made the right changes to the CSS file (I am trying to repalce all <p></p> sets with <br/>, you see). If it works, great. If not, back to the ol' drawing board.

Kir is a good idea. At the risk of being branded a heretic to my own religion (G&Tism - the worship of Tanquerray and Tonic with a twist of lime), I might have to declare that Kir is almost as nice as my own invention - the "GeoffreyT" (which is a pint of Guinness with two shots of Tia Maria in it... go on, you know you want one...). Of course as you well know, Bro. Lawrence, if I had a reliable source of Sloe Gin I would be in no condition to even WRITE this sentence...