So far, my Canadian readers are polling 3 – to – 1 in favor of me not being such a connarde after all. Thank you, Commentors Michelle, Risa, and Monique, who wrote in about last week’s post about my landing on the wrong side of the Great Quebec Accent Issue.
For the record, it wasn’t me who compared the Quebec accent to the quacking of a duck (on page 96 of Le Road Trip). I was merely reporting what a cranky Malouin shopkeeper had said about the thousands of French Canadian tourists who flock to his beautiful walled city of Saint Malo on the Brittany coast. Oh sure, yes, I laughed at the whole “quacking like a duck” thing, but I also put myself on the record as finding the Quebec accent enjoyable (right there on page 96) which does not preclude it from being somewhat like the quacking of a duck — a freaking gorgeous Mandarin duck:
O, Canada, what would we Americans do without you to give us cover as we travel through this American-hating world?
One last Canada story:
I wrote (on page 90 of Le Road Trip) that my husband and I did not travel through France pretending to be Canadians, as was the fashion of Americans abroad in the fall of 2005…remember? 2005 was the thick of that kerfuffle in Iraq that Bush and Company started when they lied to the United Nations about those Weapons of Mass Destruction and all? Brought about a decade of death and disaster to innocent Iraqis and brave men and women in uniform? And Americans could barely show their faces in public without claiming to be Canadian (or crying for permission to emigrate to The Great North)?
No, Top Cat and I copped to being Americans and took the heat.
You’re welcome, Canada.
But the whole story is about this illustration on page 90 (for those of you who are reading along, that’s page 90 in Le Road Trip):
I have a deep dark secret about this little picture. It’s a fixer-upper.
This, below, is the original sketch I made of my husband, Top Cat, thumbing us a lift to Mont St-Michel in Brittany:
As you can see, there was a problem with that weird right hand there:
Yes, that hand looks completely non-human.
Luckily, I am left handed. Which means that I can fix this simply by re-drawing my own right hand (a really tiny drawing of my right hand) and then putting it on a copier to ensmallen (that’s the technical term) it even more:
And then I drew this teeny tiny version of the right right hand, along with the whole arm, on a piece of plain bond paper. I painted it, cut it out ever so carefully (it’s really, really s-m-a-l-l), and I glued it on top of the weird right hand and arm on Top Cat, like so:
Problem is, now he has two thumbs. I have to get rid of the old thumb from the old weird old right hand. Watch how I do it:
If I hadn’t told you, you’d never know.
Speaking of Canadians who don’t hate me, take a look at Canadian (Newfoundler) Bobbi French’s Friday blog at www.findingmeinfrance.com. Yeah, that’s me, standing in Times Square traffic for the sake of Canadian literature. Again: You’re welcome, Canada.
And I’m sure there are more than a few Canadians who are reading Carol Gillott’s wonderful blog Paris Breakfasts today (it’s about me!)
So, Quebec. Are we good now?