Friday, October 18

(We interrupt this transmission for a picture)

Alec Jones, in his first appearance on a blog, celebrates Dad's upgrading to BlogSpot*Pro with its image-hosting feature by jumping into his brand-new sandpit and promptly filling a bucket with nice warm sand.

Friday, October 11

(Surgeon General's Warning: no accents on any characters in any of the French words in the following, only because i don't remember how to do them, not because i want to intentionally insult the French. If i wanted to do that i'd fart La Marsellaise or propose dropping Francais altogether as the official language of France and replacing it with American English.)

It's a shame Jacques Cousteau is dead now, as it effectively ruins my chances of ever persuading him to swap places with Marcel Marceau for a year. Wouldn't that have been fun?

I came up with the idea when I had Jacque's name on the tip of my tongue but just couldn't get it out, and instead all I could think of was "Marcel Marceau". In the end I just said, "You know, the French guy, not Marcel Marceau, the other one..." My friend patiently trotted out Mitterrand, Basquiat, Belmondo, Tati, Proust (was he French? Deserved to be) and finally Cousteau. "Yes! I cried, that's the fella!"

Then I realised that the reason I kept thinking Cousteau and coming up with Marceau was that the two men are essentially interchangeable. Both very successful, both world ambassadors-at-large, both very French, both pretty old (fatally so in Cousteau's case), both dressing up in silly outfits, even their surnames sound similar. Furthermore, it might actually be fun to get them to swap jobs for a year.

Remember the Jacques Cousteau TV series? "The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau" or something similar? Imagine, for a moment, how much fun "The Undersea World of Marcel Marceau" would be. Here is Marcel miming the act of swimming into a strong current. Here is Marcel pretending he is about to be attacked by a great white shark. Here is Marcel 90 feet underwater in only his miming clothes and face-paint, trying valiantly to hold his breath long enough to deliver just one more solo performance piece.

And the comedic potential of Cousteau, on stage in a theatre, trying to capture the imagination of a capacity crowd as he mimes walking into a strong wind while dressed in full scuba gear? I hardly need to paint the picture for the laughter to begin...

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