Monday, July 14, 2008

Uh ... la Jour de la Bastille

I'm not a particular francophile, but I was disturbed, as you'll recall, that my calendar has no listing for Bastille Day, which is today. Ole. Today, according to my Women of the African Ark calendar, brilliantly purchased by Mike at the Museum of Modern Art, is merely a bank holiday in Northern Ireland. Or is that just North Ireland?

My lovely datebook from the Sierra Club has nothing planned for today, either.

What's up with that? My mind -- ever ready to blame B's collection of demons and idiots (I can't bring myself to mention that lame-brained duck's name here) -- wonders if perhaps all mention of Bastille Day was stricken from all the calendars right about the time that French Fries became Freedom Fries. Do you remember that? Can you imagine such inanity coming from the government of one of the most powerful nations in the world? Well, of course, that power's been draining away -- sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly -- in part because of such things, although I don't suppose B and his thugs made the changing of the name of our favorite junk food an actual law. (God. Sometimes it really sucks to be a Libra.)

Still, how third grade! And not quite half the citizens of B's own country were praising the French for having zee bolls to just say non.

But wait! I can't be talking about politics! It makes me sick! Let's rush back to the French in general, shall we, before I cough up a hairball?

Dismayed by the absence of Bastille Day on my calendars, I did some extensive research on the topic. That is, I asked Liz. She has a datebook from American Express and it has Bastille Day noted. Whew. I feel a lot better, don't you?

Right after high school, I went to junior college in Rochester, NY, where I lived on the third floor of an orange house on Argyle Street with Margie French and Pat French. (That's where I lost my virginity, but I only bring this up because Janet might be reading.) I mention these young women separately because they weren't even related. And get this -- they both worked at the French Mustard Company. I merde you not!

I just googled French's Mustard because I'm pretty sure my roommates went to work on Mustard Street. I was young. I'd never imagined that companies would build their factories and then name streets after themselves. I had the idea that streets belonged to everyone, so I was impressed with that.

For my wedding, Margie and Pat gave me a gift set from French's, a wicker basket which included boxes of, oh, instant mashed potatoes and instant scalloped potatoes, but also tins of spices. I thought the whole thing was very elegant. I envisioned using the basket to go off on romantic picnics with my new husband, drinking French wine and eating French bread and, well, really, eating Velveeta because I couldn't imagine something as bizarre as, say, Camembert. I wasn't fantasizing about French wine because of French's Mustard, but because -- at least in those days -- French equalled romance. The end.

So I went to check on the address of the company, and look (or don't!) at what I found from 2003:

"We, at the French's Company, wish to put an end to statements that our product is manufactured in France. There is no relationship, nor has there ever been a relationship between our mustard and the country of France. Indeed, our mustard is manufactured in Rochester, NY. The only thing we have in common is that we are both yellow."

Let's see if we can ignore the terrible diction. "We are both yellow," indeed. It should have been "our mustard and the French are both yellow." And those commas around "at the French's Company" hardly need to be there, while one after the second "relationship" would be a comfort. But I digress ...

Again I say unto you: How third grade!

Well, I suppose that's something we can say for The Duck: He brought a childlike flavor to our nation.

I clipped a great article about la Tour Eiffel to give to a friend who's an aerospace engineer. It was something about all the lights on the Tower and the intricacy of the blah blah. I don't remember the content, except I knew an engineer of any sort would probably be interested in it. I told him about it but he didn't want to read it because -- you guessed it! -- that Tower is in France.

Oh, I click my tongue and moan out loud at the idiocy of some people! I can't believe such morons exist, let alone that some are my friends. What are they thinking? Well, they're not, of course. Their minds are so closed that --

And then I realize, of course, that I'm exactly like they are. It's only a different flavor. I am just as convinced of my side of the issues as they are. They shake their heads at my ignorance as often as I do mine at theirs.

My apologies to third-graders everywhere -- even in Texas, even in France.

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