Sunday, October 3, 2010

Vive l'histoire!

Lately, I’ve been negligent about blogging.  This is all college’s fault.  It’s very hard, although I should clarify that this is not what people usually mean when they say college is hard.  What they mean is this.  (Excuse me while I get into character.  Preparation is crucial to an actor.)


Whereas what I think is hard is not having the time to write stuff that actually matters to you, defined as “stuff that does not have the words ‘neo-teological bifurcated gender dichotomy’ in the title.”  Because what college really is, if you ask me, is basically just a big fat old time-sucker, with the only pay-offs being (a) eventual social status (so I’m told) and (b) occasionally the vending machines give you two bags of animal crackers instead of one (this will appear on your next bill). 

So it’s time to multitask.  Today, I’m going to allow academia to seep into blogging (as in, “Ewww! This blogging has academia all over it!”), which means today, we’re going to review for midterms.  Thus, without further ado, I give you:


40,000 B.C. – Cro-Magnon.

30,000 B.C. – Sno-Magnon.  (These were Magnons who sold sno-cones on street corners.  Recently, fossils were found at the corner of 79th and Broadway.)

12,000 B.C. – Rise of the Gauls, whom historical artifacts suggest to have been a comical race of tiny little yellow-bearded men with big fat sidekicks.

55 B.C. – Beginning of the colonisation of Gaul by the Romans.  Having conquered it, they commence building FNACs.  Of course, nobody knows what the “F” stands for.

45 B.C. – Gérard Depardieu stars in first film.

50 B.C. – The Romans slap their foreheads as they realize B.C. numbers actually go backward.  While the Romans are preoccupied slapping their foreheads, barbarians invade.

500 A.D. – Barbarians slap their foreheads, realizing their invasion actually wasn’t supposed to occur till now.

500 A.D., later in the afternoon – Barbarians get bored and flee, leaving their trash behind.  Everyone else is left picking up White Castle wrappers for days.

800 A.D. – Charlemagne becomes emperor in a special ceremony at Charles de Gaulle airport. 

987 A.D. – Domination of the feudal lords by the monarchy, who merge to become Feudal Lords-The Monarchy Amalgmated Enterprises, LLC, now Time Warner Cable. 

987 A.D. – 14th and 15th centuries – Nothing happens during this time.  Everybody gets frankly pretty bored sitting around waiting for the 14th and 15th centuries.  “Where the heck are the 14th and 15th centuries?” are their exact words.  They are confounded, and with good reason: they did not know they spoke English.

14th and 15th centuries: Finally we get back to business with the toe-tapping Guerre de cent ans contre les Anglais (literally, “the Time Warner Cable Guerre de cent ans contre les Anglais”).  The English respond by putting them in English hotels.  France surrenders instantly.  No one blames them.  Also during this time, the exploits of Jeanne d’Arc, played by Gérard Depardieu.

The Middle Ages, Absolutism, and the Enlightenment – These all happened in the same day (“vendredi”), which as you can imagine meant schlepping all over creation.

15th-16th centuries: Introduction of the Renaissance in France, a beautiful and enriching era of endless discovery and creation, during which the finest artistic figures in the history of Western civilization – Shakespeare, da Vinci, Lady Gaga, Pikachu, etc. – all go bowling.

16th century, a little later on that evening – The French decide to appropriate the word “bowling” and pronounce it comically, as in, “Elle fait du bouh-linggg.”  Americans, who do not exist yet, snicker secretly.

1515 – King Francis I takes the throne.  Cards featuring beloved comic character Bécassine are sent out for the occasion.

1562-1589 Wars of religion between the Catholics and the Protestants.  In a stunning upset, they are both defeated by the Knicks.

1589 Henri IV crowned king of France, followed soon by his sequel, Henri V Strikes Back.

1804-15: The First Empire, so called because it is – pay close attention here – the first empire.  People decide that if THIS kind of thinking is the end product of the so-called “Enlightenment,” they want their money back.  Customer Service is invented for the express purpose of denying this request, in a historic ceremony featuring Broadway songs.

1848: The Second Republic, so called because there weren’t any republics before it.

1870: The Third Republic, which causes people everywhere to mumble, “What, another one?” in French.  (“Quoi, another un?”)

1936-8: Le Front Populaire of Léon Blum, followed by the Side Unpopulaire of Léon Blum, then finally the Back, which is so unpopular it goes straight to DVD.

1946-58: The Fourth Republic happens, but by this time no one is even paying attention.
Independence of many of the French colonies, which show their discontent by burning their bras.

1981 – Francois Mitterrand “cohabitates” with Jacques Chirac, which raises eyebrows, especially when they get matching towel sets.

1991 – Election of the first female prime minister, Edith Cresson, played by Gérard Depardieu.

1992-present – France continues to pronounce “bowling” funny.

Thanks for helping me study.  You guys are great.  You’ll let me know if there are mistakes, right? 


David Barry said...

You’ll let me know if there are mistakes, right?
Mitterrand has two r's (because he had two reigns!).

Nicola said...

ooops! merci bien :)

Anonymous said...

I'm a French historian and I want to thank you for making my day. This is beyond hilarious. Formidable!

Nicola said...

Merci bien! (J'adore l'histoire française) :)