Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sacré Bleu!

I have to admit it. I'm terrible at hating the French. Because I just love way too many of the things they have contributed to Western Civilization. Seriously? Can you imagine life without Brie? Without Chanel perfume or Dior gowns? Without the realization that food is so much better, by golly, slathered in butter, doused with cream, and sprinkled with bacon and that, but of course! you can refusé to become a slave to culinary puritanism?!?!

Can you imagine, life without Alain Delon?

(I tried to come up with a suitable double entendre to accompany this photo, but apparently, there is only so much Babelfish can handle before blowing a fuse.)

I can't even imagine expressing myself properly without the French. Hardly a week goes by that I don't trot out an avant garde here or agent provocateur there. Fashion without prêt-à-porter, a meal minus a la mode, or, God forbid, life itself without laissez-faire? Perish the thought.

Perhaps my most favorite French word of all, however, is louche, which means something along the lines of having questionable taste or morality. Americans use it mainly in a sartorial context, i.e., "Those see-through silk hip hugger pants by Alexander McQueen are tres louche."

It is also the first word that comes to my mind when trying to describe Miami. A place that is at once First World and Third, high and low, discrete and obvious, elegant and piss-in-the-gutter vulgar. In other words, just my kind of town.

Still, I simply must ask. In a place so fired up sunny and golden skin glowy, why on earth does the car of choice among the upper crust seem to be this?

I'm sorry, I know I'm going to offend more than my usual share of folks when I say this, but has there ever been put into production a more butt ass ugly car than the Porsche? It totally makes sense that this is what the Germans came up with when tasked with developing their very first sports car. Because it looks exactly, as Lewis Grizzard once so succinctly put it, like a fat lady wearing a tutu.

Driving a Porsche in Miami to flash your wealth makes about as much sense as preventing sunburn by wearing a Michelin Tire Man outfit. If I've learned anything in life it's that, first and foremost, one must learn to choose the right tool for the right job.

Which means if I were wheeling around Miami in all my louche glory? I'd do it in this:

You know who the Germans stole this from? That's right: the French.


Buzz Kill said...

I never understood the Porsche either, mainly because I can't fit into one. "The right tool for the right job." A truer adage has never been said. I've proven this correct time and time again. I barely still have all of my fingers and tthe Mrs says these very words to me all the time - in the bedroom.


h said...

I can imagine a world without Alain rather easily because I have no clue who he is or what he does.

In terms of Porsche/Mercedes/BMW versus Jaguar/Rolls-Royce, I happen to know the answer.

Air conditioning, believe it or not. The expensive and boneheadedly complex "climate control systems" Jaguar and Rolls Royce make simply DO NOT WORK in Dixie. And there's NOTHING mechanics can do to amp them up.

Whether Porsches and BMWS are ugly or not is debatable. There's no question their AC systems work. So, the stylish rich arrive at their destination looking good. Jaguar drivers arrive looking Tammy Faye Bakker in a sauna.

sparringK9 said...

you know, one of the "presents" i bought you for your birthday was the alfa romeo pininfarina. look it up. its you. i might still post it as there are some supreme fashion shoes and other gems from the vault. i never heard of alain but he is handsome. rare, i think for a french man. but my heart belongs to louis jourdan as gaston the french.

troll: there is no debate about the 1985 BMW 635csi.
its a charmer.

Jenny said...

Only you could make a post about the French, Miami and cars make sense.

I'm not a fan of Porsche either. They're not comfortable. Loud. Bumpy. All speed and nothing else and what good is that in traffic?

I love the Jag. That's my "go to" car. I don't care about AC, I care that it's pretty and comfy.

I've never heard of this Alain man, but he's almost too pretty. It's like staring directly into the sun.

moi said...

Buzz: Sounds like you have a very French mariage.

Troll: Okay, I'll buy that. Still: Butt. Ass. Ugly. Next blog meet up? Moi's house for film class so we can bring you up to speed, I swear.

K9: The 1969? If so, OMG. Dribble. Drool. Those Italians. They reign supreme over all :o).

Boxer: You got it spot on about the Porsche ride. That's not a suspension. It's a barn during an earthquake. I'm with you on the Jag. Twill be the car of Moi's dotage. And S.B. better keep his lift kitting hands OFF.

Big Shamu said...

German women are rather rotund. Not sure about their fondness for tutus.

chickory said...


the 2010.

check it out, moi!


Jenny said...

bwahahaha to the lift kit.


Pam said...

Your very blog screams French sayings (uh, Moi) .... interesting comments about the Porsche by Mr. Troll re A/C ... I have to admit that a car MUST have A/C for me and if it goes fast while blowing cool air, I wouldn't say no to a Porsche. How do they drive fast with all that traffic though?

fishy said...

"elegant and piss in the gutter vulgar"

You definitely used the best word "tools" to describe Miami! So in this scenario I agree the Porche is all muscled, pushy, showy, gutter vulgar as compared to the curving, refined elegant profile of the vintage Mercedes.

If I were to be driving an open car in Miami it would need to be turquoise or lime with white leather interior. I too am quite partial to the vintage jaguars. But a million years ago, when I did actually drive in Miami, It was a British Leyland Spitfire . Loved that car, loathed the every 6 weeks maintenance regimen.

Looking forward to more of the Miami report!

moi said...

Shamu: Yup, I think they lend themselves more to opera than to ballet.

K9: Wow. That is one mighty fine car. I like the history behind it, too. If I were ever rich enough, it just might make me cheat on the Corvette.

Boxer: I was certain I'd come home and the Jeep would be lifted another 2", but somehow, the man restrained himself.

Pam: I drove around for years without A/C, but it's a dry heat, and I just opened the windows. We have a swamp cooler in the house, which is more than enough "cool" for me. A/C can freeze me out in an instant, regardless of how hot it is outside. So even in summer, I've usually got either a cardigan or some kind of jacket with me.

moi said...

Fishy: Yes! A water-colored exterior with white leather interior is spot on. Off to Google the Leyland Spitfire. And do tell about your time in Miami!

Chick9 said...

boxer: V is holding you know what aside for my dotage. i asked for the sealed and warehoused 6 with only 17K miles but he said NO NO NO.

fishy: the 1987 XJ-SC V-12 convertible? not a bad ride. ;-)

Heff said...

As long as they bathe, I've got no problem with them.

Are you honestly going to let Troll hijack the Culinary Challenge ?

BamaTrav WON the April Culinary Smackdown, and has the right to DECLARE and JUDGE the next challenge. The only thing rigged about the April challenge was that TROLL DIDN'T EVEN BELONG in the coin-toss. Troll even admitted that he didn't use lobster in his dish - what's legitimate about that ? It's apparent that TrollY2K is only going to play by his own rules.

Your choice here, but please consider BamaTrav the April Culinary Smackdown Champion who will host and judge for mid-May.

Jenny said...

Chickory - ***sigh*** That was a ride to remember. For many reasons. And for the fact that Moi was able to recognize a quality car through a small photograph.

fishy said...

A CUSTOM British Leyland Spitfire 1500! The custom part was the cranberry exterior, the white leather interior and the white leather rag top. The car was a special order by the only British Leyland dealership in Central Florida. Poor man ordered it for a birthday surprise for his wife's 40th but she delivered a surprise of her own via the club golf pro. I got the car at an amazing price cause my Dad knew the dealer.

In my early 20's I had a Miami native beau. His folks had a charming home in Bal Harbour a block off Collins. The evening stroll to study the windows at Dior, Hermes, Gucci, Ferragamo was a must. Too poor to buy anything but oh what dreams were spawned.

And the food! Only place I've ever seen a Cuban-Jewish deli.

Cruisin Collins in my Spitfire?
A Priceless memory!

moi said...

Chick9: You lucky ducky.

Heff: Absolutely not. When I visited Troll a couple days ago, I assumed his win was legit. But I just now got around to catching up with my blob homies, including your tomato post and declaration of the Culinary Challenge winner to discover – French expletive inserted here – that BamaTrav was actually declared the winner. Ergo, if I have any say in this at all, I will use my magic wand to smack Troll on the bottom, shake my finger at him, and say, "No, siree! This one's BamaTrav's."

Boxer: I can tell fine leather from a mile away :o)

Fishy: What great stories! I can't afford anything from the shops at Bal Harbour, either, but that's so beside the point. It's like looking at art.

Heff said...

"Thank you for your support", lol !

czar said...

Ta-DA! Troll and I agree on something: "I can imagine a world without Alain rather easily because I have no clue who he is or what he does."

But I'll tell you this. If he were a she-goddess instead of a he-whatever-he-is, put that cigarette in front of her face, and--keeping sorta on the French theme--for me that's transforming Jackie Bisset circa 1974 into Maggie Thatcher.

Kymical Reactions said...

First off, Happy (belated) Birthday.

Next, Stupid Porsche. Noone really knows how to pronounce it properly, either. Is it Porsche, or Porsch"ah"? Too much trouble. It's like word vomit.

d. I miss Paris. Le Sigh.

moi said...

Heff: Fair is as fair does.

Czar: Cigarette smoking has never bothered me, but then again, I was also a smoker for many years. I hate the stale smell, though. Fresh is much preferred.

Kym: I don't see you for a while and then you breeze in here with something brilliant like "word vomit." Good job!

Heff said...

I dig BMW's myself. Incredible handling.

Karl said...

Good afternoon Moi,

Good that you were able to see the first world part of Miami, I've only seen the third world part. Although the last time I was there we were enjoying the hospitality of Hurricane Andrew.

I agree with you reguarding right tool for right job. If it can't haul a ton of stuff wherever I wanted to go. I have little interest.

Aunty Belle said...


I'se allergic to german cars--the Italians make dreamy machines.

Wish't I coulda seen our Moi whirling
about town !

Alain is elegant, even wif' the cig.

kudos to kymmical fer word vomit--hee hee.

moi said...

Heff: Not a fan of those, either, although to be fair, I'm talking purely cosmetic here. BMWs, (today's) Mercedes, Lexxus, etc., all look so FASCIST to me. G-men type cars. Built for stealth and protection instead of fun.

Karl: That's S.B.'s philosophy, too. He loves him some BIG ass vehicles. Is yours lifted a gazillion inches off the ground, too?

Aunty: Unfortunately, I write for a living. Which means my out of town car budget? Ford. Focus. Shakes like a washing machine over 60mph. Yeah, buddy.

h said...

Wow. Heff's polluting half the comment sections and email inboxes with that silly lie.

It was fixed. Trav was to win "all along". They admitted it. Bragged about it. Sent Emails bragging about it before the "rigged contest". All as a practical joke that didn't even work.

LaDivaCucina said...

Something that bugs me is how the French word niche went from being pronounced as "neesh" to nitch. You are not creating a NITCH in the marketplace but a NEESH! Sheesh!

I also was talking recently to a friend about a magazine called "haute living" and pronounced
"haute" as "ote" to which he looked at me like i was insane and then proceed to chastise me for my pronunciation. And he's a poet. Shameful!

If we are going to use French words, does it not make sense to at least pronounce them correctly or in typical pigheaded American slob fashion state "that's the way WE pronounce it" simply because of how the word is spelled? blech.

My car of choice while living in Sydney was a 1984 Peugeot sedan, refurbished and painted ruby red with the best suspension you could imagine!

Vive le Francais and have an enchanted weekend! x

MommyHeadache said...

I don't much like the French as people nor Paris even - couldn't see the magic - but of course I love their food, cheese, their style, love all their movies, Au Bout de Souffle, Belle de Jour plus Alain Delon. Apparently he never found love, sob which shows beauty doesn't buy happiness

moi said...

Troll: Well, dahlink, here's the thing. Kym declared Heff the winner fair and square, which meant he was in charge of the next Smackdown, which meant choosing the theme AND the winner, whether any of us likes it or not. I don't know how you can prove rigged. I watched the video, read the blog, read all the comments, and studied BamaTrav's entry. It looks bona fide to Moi.

La Diva: And, while we're at it, let's schimpf those folks who Anglicize Hispanic names.

Emma!: Well, you know he tried with Romy Schneider but then had to fork it up by cheating on her with Nico and then abandoning their son. But what are you gonna do? Dude's FRENCH.

LaDivaCucina said...

Yes, I suppose once we start, where do we end? Los Angeles would not have the hard G but the soft G.

I was always confused when Angelenos would say Los FEE Lez for Los Feliz instead of Los FEH LEEZ. My AM Mee becomes MEE Ah MEE.

Sheesh. What a mess we've made of other country's beautiful languages!

Karl said...

No mine is factory height. Center of gravity, outweighs ground clearance in my applications. One of my boat trailers is about 11,000 pounds, pull it with a truck too high off the ground. And you would have a wild ride.

Aunty Belle said...

How's the writing coming? Cain't wait to read up on Me Ah mee.