Thursday, October 06, 2005

Mon Dieu!


The drumbeat of bad news has been unrelenting. The Arctic ice cap: melting. The pillars of our pro-family, pro-flag, pro-morality Republican leadership: under indictment or investigation. The city of New Orleans: first under water, now caked in mold. And our President ... oh, our President.

It's not as if I've taken all this in stride. I spend most mornings muttering at my newspaper. My wife has to restrain me from flipping the bird to humvee road hogs, cruising down Main Street to the nearest Starbucks. I turn my TV off when King George comes on.

But all-in-all I've coped fairly well as a liberal in America, 2005. Until this. Today I learned that I may soon be pumping Pinot Noir into my tank -- French Pinot Noir. C'est vrai. C'est tragique. I love the land where Freedom Fries are still simply just French. France, to me, is the home of all things stylish, all things romantic, life carefree. It is the country of three-hour meals, wide boulevards and women worth watching as they walk down them. A place where guys really do wear berets and argue animatedly on street corners while their dogs sniff each other indelicately. The cradle of consuming cuisine -- and overflowing carafes of vin blanc and vin rouge to wash it down.

And now this? I have it on the authority of my New York Times: By the end of this year, France will turn 100 million liters of wine -- "enough for 133 million bottles" -- into crystal-clear ethanol. What next? Camembert converted to crazy glue? Mon Dieu.

"If my grandfather could taste what I'm turning into alcohol," vintner Olivier Gibelin told The Times. "he'd turn over in his grave."

So please. Forgive me in advance, if you see me stopped by the road in a few months, siphoning gas from the tanks of those humvees. What is afternoon cheese and crackers without wine? I might as well enjoy a bit now before the Bush-authorized Army marches into Lexington, birthplace of the American revolution, to cordon us all behind the lines of the killer bird flu quarantine.


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October 6, 2005 at 2:57 PM  
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