Thursday, March 13, 2003

I have nothing to add to this. Take it away, Neil:

And according to (which is, curiously enough, not an Onion parody) Congress has renamed French Fries (for people who didn't need any explanation of who Bob Monkhouse was, that's what the Americans call chips. They keep the word chips in reserve for crisps.), er, anyway, they've renamed them Freedom Fries, to signify their displeasure with their perfidious former allies. Coming soon in America: sticking your tongue in someone's mouth will be known as freedom kissing, condoms will be freedom letters, while British Actor, Coraline audio reader and the new Harry Potter, Dawn French, will, for appearances in America, be forced to change her name to Dawn Freedom. In Congress they will breakfast on Freedom toast, smear Freedom mustard on their steaks and drink, well, Californian Wine I expect.

However, at least when shown on TNT, we can assume that the film The French Connection will be shown as, simply, The Connection, and that any specific source for this connection's location will have been digitally erased.


I have very mixed feelings about Americans disliking the French. I'm English, after all. We have a special relationship with the French: we are in awe of their sophistication, their cuisine and their wines, we think their women are beautiful, we like them as individuals, we badly want to go and live in their country when we retire, while at the same time we are deeply suspicious of them. It's like having people living next door to you who may be snappier dressers and better cooks, but who, after all, borrowed the lawn mower sometime in the thirteenth century and never gave it back. Anyway, the English dislike the French. We're really good at it. We've been doing it ever since we got up one day and realised that the Norman Conquerors were now, like it or not, Us, and weren't conquering French people any more. We feel, frankly, that if anyone's going to dislike the French, it's going to be us. On the whole we manifest our dislike for them by drinking their wines, buying up their cigarettes, and, despite the fact that all English people can naturally roll their Rs and speak perfect French, declining to do so, and when forced by circumstances to speak French the English do it with an English accent on purpose.

These are tactics we've worked out over the course of hundreds of years, and if carried on long enough, they will bring France to its knees. I'm English. I know these things.

Changing the name french fries to freedom fries, on the other hand, will just make them laugh at you.
And, for that matter, everbody else.

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