A movie log formerly known as Bookishness / By Charles Matthews

"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."
--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thoughts While Showering

I considered giving the title of this post in French, which Google Translate tells me would be pensées sous la douche, but I thought better of it. Never mind why.

I am one of those people who are restless when they don't have something in front of them to read, so this morning I found myself fixating on the label of a bottle in the shower. It belongs to someone else in the household, and is a product called "therapy reconstructor." Since I could do with both therapy and reconstruction, I was intrigued until I realized it was just for hair.

What really caught my eye, though, were the words on it in French. For some reason grooming products always seem to have French on the label. The therapy reconstructor explains that it is pour revitaliser et renforcer les cheveux abîmés, gros ou cassants.

I like a challenge, so I summoned up my college French and read it as: "for revitalizing and reinforcing abysmal, fat or broken hair." I rather like the idea of abysmal hair. We've all had mornings like that. I'm not sure I've ever met anyone with fat hair, but it certainly sounds abysmal. And I guess if you use too much hairspray you could break your hair, though it also seems to me you might run the risk of breaking it if you reinforced it too much.

The English on the label assured me that my translation was faulty: "repairs and strengthens stressed, coarse, brittle hair," it says. I like my version better. I'm sure it would be abysmal to have stressed tresses. And though my French may not be up to the task, I found the translation experience to be both therapeutic and reconstructive.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"I considered giving the title of this post in French, which Google Translate tells me would be pensées sous la douche, but I thought better of it."

Priceless! XD