Le Fight Club

You’re not a true, hardcore fan of ‘Fight Club’ until you’ve watched the movie in French with no subtitles to aide you. I am not a true, hardcore fan (as of yet) but last night I did watch the movie in French. It made me feel bad for the French people because you really don’t get the full effect of the movie. The dialogue is interpreted slightly different. There’s something about Ed Norton with blood streaming down his face saying “How about next month?” that cannot be properly mimicked by a Parisian in front of a microphone.

Call me a purist, but that’s just the way I feel. I’ve been “French” a lot lately, and I’ll explain why. First we must go back hundreds of years to when my mother was in High School. My mom took French as a second language back then. She thought it’d be a good idea to be an exchange student for a semester. Well, it wasn’t. She hated it, was homesick the entire time, and has currently no knowledge of French save some dirty phrases and useless salutations. The good thing to come out of it was that the family she stayed with had a son that was a bit younger than her. From what I hear, Benoit would fit perfectly into our family (meaning he’s sarcastic, amicable, and insane) and actually came to visit the states a bit after my mom got back.

His 15 year old daughter, Camille, has been learning English, and her father thought it might be a good idea for her to take the “sink or swim” approach to English. This involved sending her on a train to Paris, then on a plane to Cincinnatti, finally on a plane to Minneapolis where a strange family of Americans would take her to their house for a month in the middle of nowhere. I told you this guy would fit in our family.

I didn’t get to spend much time with Camille. It was mostly weekends that we would get to talk. Most of my Camille intelligence came from Bryce who, of course, saw her every day. I felt like I was getting debriefed every time I came home. “She likes walks, she said. And in France she usually goes shopping for fun. Oh, and America is crazy.” I was a little jealous of Bryce. My overall plan for Camille was to have her fall madly in love with me (read guitar playing American virtuoso) and trap her in my charismatic noose of wit and charm. It’s hard to do that on just the weekends.

This weekend was devoted to bringing Camille back to the airport for her journey home (a five hour train ride after her plane ride, thanks to her father). On Sunday there was a going away party from the softball team she played with. For fun they watched “A Hard Day’s Night” until Bryce came down and put in “Goldmember” instead. That’s the last time we let Molly pick the movie.

On Monday, early, we drove. On the ride down, Bryce, Camille and I made a list of curses in French and English. I will admit that I made some up that I thought would be funny if she were to say them, but we didn’t practice our pronunciation.

We spent the day at Valley Fair. Bryce spent most of the early moments of the fair by saying “oh god oh god oh god” under his breath. “Bryce are you scared??” So, I sat by him to give him brotherly comfort. As “Wild Thing” began it’s climb upward, he suddenly burst into a quavering version of “Here Comes The Sun”, and, as the coaster finally rounded the peak, he began his falsetto rendition of “Across the Universe” with myself on back up vocals. Aside from the random boughts of screaming, we did pretty good. We got off the ride and our group (which consisted of a large number of relatives) tried to decide what to go on next. “How about Wild Thing?” So, we went on it again.

The next ride was the Power Tower. This ride is one where you sit in a chair and get strapped in. They hoist you an unGodly distance into the air and drop you. It’s the theme park equivalent of falling off a deck in an arm chair, minus the reclining possibilities. This was the only other ride that Bryce was afraid of. It was a good second choice. This time Camille showed up. She was at the airport with my parents straightening out a ticket problem (she had the opposite ticket for the ride because they took the wrong one) and showed up just in time to just to the front of the line with us. The song this time was “Yesterday”.

The rest of the rides were like this. It became “What song next” instead of “Are you still scared??” and I started to get into it. We finally left the park soaked (thanks to a great idea by my sister to go on ALL the wet rides at the end of the day) and cold. We had pizza at my cousin’s house, slept there, and rose the next morn for some shopping.

Ironically, in our shopping, we saw a man and a lady that had been on our last ride at the park the day earlier. I don’t think either recognized us, but we saw the man on two occasions, and he almost looked right at me. We had Japanese for lunch (which was excellent) and I bought nothing. Camille bought some gifts for friends and family. Bryce and I contemplated getting Camille something, but we figured it’d be best to wait until she was gone. After more than enough walking to make Chris Reeve jealous (oh, so jealous), we made for the airport.

We checked her bag, and then we waited. The line was terribly long. I took some photos which may become wallpapers. We sat and had soda. Camille had seen Zoolander while she was here, and she has a great Blue Steel. It’s not great because it’s a good impersonation. It’s great because, well, she looks more disturbed and concerned than she does sexy. She also tends to throw this pout into it. So, to bide the time, Bryce would do Blue Steel, and Camille would do Blue Steel, and we would film it. Then she would realize we were filming it, and she’d get red and try to destroy us. We said our goodbyes and watched her go through the line. They found some scissors in her bag, so we had to keep those.

The ride back was demure and a bit contrite. A month is not a long time. There is so much more we could have done and shown. A foreigner became a girl became a friend became dear. She may have duped us about the swear list, though. We can’t find it. Oh, well. I think I can pick everything up from Fight Club. They say pretty much everything I need to know. A couple more weeks with subtitles on and I’ll be ready for Paris.

[ report ]/[ humour ]

4 Replies to “Le Fight Club”

  1. I was in France for 8 wks in the summer and I didn’t hate it but I was very homesick… my mom used my letters home as blackmail for my whole senior year… you wonder where I get it from… ;)

  2. The camera isn’t steady cause if you knew Camille you would realize how impossible it would be to hold the camera steady, you’d be laughing too hard.
    For God’s sake, she’s doing Blue Steel.

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