This morning I made my famous Beefaroni Omelet, or as I call it when I have company in the form of some woman who has flown in the face of reason and actually slept at my place, “Oeufs à la Ordure Blanche”. Ain't French beautiful?
Speaking of oeufs: in the course of trying to construct the French name for my omelet I ran across a headline in my old pal the Daily Scotsman: “Supermarket to sell free range oeufs”. Who cares what the article is about? Read it if you want. The part I like about the title is the mental image it forms for me: somewhere in the sprawling French egg ranch country there is a lush, verdant field of grass. In this field are scattered a bazillion chicken eggs. Nothing moves. There is dead silence. And the eggs freely range over the countryside, as only French eggs can do.
And speaking of foreign (to me) languages: I was thinking today while driving in to the redundantly-named Nina's Coffee Cafe that I really only know how to say two things in American Sign Language (ASL). The first phrase I can sign is made by holding the middle finger of your signing hand straight up in the air with the back of your hand pointed at the person to whom you are signing. This means in ASL, “You are more than somewhat annoying, and if I could time travel I would go back into the past your age in years plus one and give your father a pack of condoms and a booklet with lots of pictures and only a few big words that explains how to use them.” As you can see, ASL can be a very expressive language.
The other ASL phrase I can sign is “I love you.” Did I hear someone groan out there1? You make the sign by holding your palm facing the person to whom you are signing and raising the index finger and little finger straight up and extending the thumb out at right angles to the index finger (all at once). This sign is really a combination of the sign letters “I”, “L”, and “Y” which start the words of the phrase.
I use the ASL “I love you” when I'm sitting in a bar and am either too drunk or too lazy to get off my bar stool and go flirt with the pretty girl five seats down. Many times I get the other ASL sign I know back, but hey, it saved me a trip. I just wish I knew a third phrase in ASL: “Honey, I own a Lamborghini and a yacht and I'm taking my Gulfstream to Monaco in three hours and forty-five minutes, so get your cute little ass over here and enjoy a nice adult beverage with me prior to sexing me down in the Ladies' Room.” I'll have to ask my friend Julie, whose sandwich Garrison Keillor stole the other day. I wonder if I'll stammer with my fingers when I say it, like I do with my voice every time I try to tell The Big Lie.
Still on the foreign (to me) language topic: I started learning Portuguese yesterday. Really. I'm taking an online language course (actually two language courses -- Gung and Ho are my two middle names, which makes me the only person I know with two middle names and no first name). I can already say:
“O meu nome é Hulles. Falo inglês. Sou de Saint Paul, Minnesota. Queria um Cardhu.”
Oh yeah -- if you're curious about why I thought about American Sign Language while I was driving in, it's because I was assiduously practicing one of the ASL phrases I know with the other Sunday drivers out on the road this morning. Some of them even knew the same phrase. I would have pelted the bastards with some free range oeufs if I would have had a carton or two.
1 What the hell did you think it was going to be: “Say, did you know that Patrick Roy was the youngest player to ever win the Conn Smythe Trophy?” This phrase, while true, would have at best limited utility in my life. Although come to think of it, the only way I'll ever be able to pronounce “Patrick Roy” correctly is to do it in ASL.