I just can’t finish off the week without one more nod to a produce proboscis. With the last of my Tulameen raspberries gracing but a few stems, I felt the need to have one also grace the end of my nose; and thus Cyrano de Raspbergerac was born.
Balancing the bodacious berry, I recited a few lines in my best fake French accent, finishing with a emphatic “En garde!” Unfortunately I sounded more like Pipi le Pew than Gerard Depardieu. With the vigorous dispatching of my invisible sword, I also managed to dislodge my ample berry nose and send it to the floor and Boz’s awaiting choppers. (That’s a way to end a scene.) I then turned to You Tube for a snippet of the real thing.
Here is Gerard Depardieu’s 1990 performance in Cyrano de Bergerac with general translation below. And while my favorite French actor made news this week for streaming something other than an in-flight video, I still hold the rake in high esteem as one of the best actors of our time, as seen below.
You Tube: Cyrano de Bergerac, “Le Nez” (1990 film)
Young man, I am afraid your speech was a trifle short. You could have said at least one hundred other things, varying the tone of your words. Let me give you some examples.
In an aggressive tone: “Sir, if I had a nose like that, I would amputate it!”
Friendly: “When you drink from a cup your nose must get wet. Why don’t you drink from a bowl?”
Descriptive: “Tis a rock! A peak! A cape! No, it’s a peninsula!”
Curious: “What is that large container for? To hold your pens and ink?”
Gracious: “How kind you are. You love the little birds so much you have given them a perch to roost upon.”
Truculent: “When you light your pipe and puff smoke from your nose the neighbors must think the chimney’s afire.”
Considerate: “Be careful when you bow your head or you might lose your balance and fall over.”
Thoughtful: “Place an umbrella over your nose to keep its color from fading in the sun.”
Arcane: “Sir, only the beast that Aristophanes calls the hippocampelephantocamelos could have had such a solid lump of flesh and bone below its forehead.”
Cavalier: “A hook to hang your hat upon.”
Emphatic: “No breeze, O majestic nose, can give thee cold – save when the north winds blow.”
Dramatic: “When it bleeds, it must be like the Red Sea.”
Admiring: “What a fine sign for a perfume shop!”
Lyrical: “Is that a conch shell? And are you Triton risen from the ocean?”
Naïve: “Is that monument open to the public?”
Rustic: “That don’t look like a nose. It’s either a big cucumber or a little watermelon.”
Military: “The enemy is charging! Aim your cannon!”
Practical: “A nose like that has one advantage: it keeps your feet dry in the rain.”
There, sir, now you have an inkling of what you might have said, had you been a witty man of letters. Unfortunately, you’re totally witless and a man of very few letters: only four that spell the word “fool.” But even if you had the skill to invent such remarks, you would not have been able to entertain me with them. You would have uttered no more than a quarter of such a jest, the first syllable of the first word, for such jesting is a privilege I only grant myself.
Raspberries like these always inspire my theatrics. (And I wonder why I live alone.)