12 October 2009

Le Petit Nicolas

I went to my first film at the ciné tonight.  We went to see Le Petit Nicolas--a comedy about a boy who thinks his mom is going to have a baby . . . and he's not happy about it.  So he and his friends scheme a bit.  Even though I couldn't understand all the specifics of the dialogue, I was able to comprehend the general idea and found a lot of humor throughout the whole film. 

The story was based on a series of popular French comics from the 1950's.  If you're interested in learning more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_petit_Nicolas

As we were coming home, one of the much-further-along students commented on pronunciation, adding that it will be easier for me in the long run that I am trying to pronounce things correctly now.  I shared a story, that in light of the film tonight thought I'd pass on to you. 

I've always been good at accents and mimicking peoples' voices or facial idiosyncrasies . . . sometimes without even realizing it (which has great potential for getting me into trouble).  When I was little . . . 5 or 6 maybe, we had a tree in front of our house in NY.  We called it The Talking Tree, because there was a big branch toward the base of the trunk that, when stepped on with just the right leverage, would lower towards the ground, like a bottom lip, making it look like the tree had a mouth.  The leaves were always very full and a maroonish color, so if my brother or I were in the tree, chances were an onlooker wouldn't see us.  Anyway, across the street we had a neighbor named Patsy.  He had to be old, because his mother was ancient!  He had hit his head on a piano as a kid which resulted in life-long brain damage and resultant cognitive and speech deficits.  But his was a nice guy and would wonder around the neighborhood and talk to everyone.  His mother had a very distinct European accent, and she would call to him from inside the house if she ever needed anything.  Now this lady was old, but she could yell! 

One day, my dad was out working on the car in the driveway.  PAT-SSSSSSSSSYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!  He heard.  YEEAAHH, MA?  Patsy answered, as the screen door to his house slammed behind him.  Wha do you wunt, PatSY?  I deeed not cull you?  Patsy went back outside.

A few minutes later . . . PAT-SSSSSSSSSYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!  Again, YEEAAHH, MA? as the screen door slammed.  Wha do you wunt, PatSY? I deeed not cull you? Patsy went back outside.

After a few rounds like this both Patsy and his mom were getting frustrated with one another, Patsy knowing full well what he heard, and his mother knowing full well what she didn't say.  My father, still working on the car in the driveway had been listening to this go on for a bit.  He must have seen my shoes at the base of The Talking Tree . . . DEBBBBORAH!  Oh how I knew that tone . . . and I knew what was coming!  Yes?? 

I don't remember much more than that, but I do recall sitting on the big-at-the-time loveseat, slouched with my little hand-me-down-from-my-big-brother blue sneakers dangling off the edge.  I think it took them a little while to spank me that time as they were wanting to do so without laughing.  No wonder my mother never had any more kids.


Anonymous said...

Patsy was at least 49 at the time and his mother was in her 80's!

Deborah said...

Well, when you're five, there's no difference between 49 and sixty-something . . . and back then, 80 was pretty anceint.

Anonymous said...

Patsy was at least 49 at the time and his mother was in her 80's!