Jun 4, 2006


The English Beat gave a show last night at a street fair near my apartment so I checked it out and had a great time. They played a few General Public songs, since GP was, after all, an offshoot that lead singer Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger put together. The crowd was all nodding along to "Tenderness" when I realized that I had been enjoying the song for, what?, twenty-two years? Well, the rest of the crowd was in my immediate peer group, too, (give or take) so I didn't dwell. It's just a long time, is all.

The rendition of "Stand Down Margaret" was absolutely fantastic and spirited, as Wakeling managed to keep the pointed message to Margaret Thatcher (yesterday was, after all, her birthday), while adding fresh venom for George W. Bush.

Afterwards, on the train home, a frat boy sat with two very drunk women, trying to teach them to speak French and trying to convince them that "every time" he finds himself in Paris, his accent is "totally spot-on" so everyone assumes he is native.

I doubt that very much. He was teaching the women to say things like "Je voudrais another beer! Yay!" and "Je voudrais to take off my top! Woo!" and his pronunciation was more like "Gee voo-DRAY..." which made my brain hurt. The ladies asked him to name things in French and he couldn't... assuring he couldn't quite remember (How can you not remember "bicycle" in French? It's soooooo close!) and once going so far as to make something up (Um, "handbag" is not, I repeat, not translated as "rue", which is "street".)

I was text messaging this scenario to my friend, who remembered a conversation we had about both wanting to brush up our high school and college French again. Somewhere in our discussion, all those months ago, we realized we both were academically required to memorize the same Victor Hugo poem and, somehow, still managed to remember it. She called:

Me: Bonjour!
Her: Ah, yes fuckin' perfect. Bonjour, yourself.
Me: Comment ca va? (I was beginning to pick up on her idea.)
Her: Is the douchebag still there? On the train?
Me: Ahhh, oui.
Her: Cool. Ready? Demain, des l'aube, a l'heure ou blanchit la campagne...
Me: (laughing) Je partirai. Vois-tu, je sais que tu m'attends. J'irai par la foret, j'irai par la montagne. Je ne puis demeurer loin de toi plus longtemps.
Dude on Train: (blank stare of panic)
Drunk Women: (blank stare ofdrunkennesss)
Woman #1: Brock, is she totally speaking French?
Her (my friend, in hysterics): Je marcherai les yeux fixes sur mes pensees...
Me: Sans rien voir au dehors, sans entendre aucun bruit...

...and that was it. I said the last line there as I was walking off the train.

Good enough. I don't like hurting people, but I sure enjoy helping to push along a little comeuppance now and then. What can I say?

"La verite est en marche et rien ne l'arretera."

1 comment:

OriginalRudeBoy said...

Wow, I love the English Beat. Glad to see that the 2nd Wave Brit ska bands are still around. Did anyone else hear that Desmond Dekker passed away?

Love the blog, cannot wait to read your book.