Obedient “to the finger and the eye” is the French “beck and call”

“Obéir au doigt et à l’œil” (“to obey the finger and the eye”) is the French way to say that you’re at somebody’s beck and call.

I found out that it comes from “beckon call”, which makes sense, right? By the way, I learned a word : Beckon – “gesture to come”. 

How do you say that in your language? In common use, what’s the radioactivity of “beckon”? Is it neutral like “to call over”? Or does in imply a little slice of servitude? What are the differences between to yield, to comply, to obey, to submit?

What are the dials and levers here? If you’re at somebody’s beck and call, what does it show? Is it about fear? Power? Is it about persons, or systems, companies?

What about the beckoning person? How come this person expects you to act this way? Has he enough power to get you back in “the right track”? Or does he have to understand that “people are not all obedient”? What a shock!

What happens, in a situation where you’re supposed to comply and you don’t? Failure to comply, disobedience, rebelliousness? Why would you? A frontier has been crossed? Did you change? Did you grow up? Has the whole system changed? Did you change your mind? Why?

In what territory to study this? Kingdom? Management? Spouses? Clients/employees? Politics? Parenting? What are the limits of beck and calling?

suviriggs_-____

 

“A little bike in the coffee pot” : idioms about craziness

Let me present you two French idioms about craziness :

  • Il travaille du chapeau (he works from his hat)
  • Il a une araignée dans le plafond (He has a spider in the ceiling)

Both say the same of course. I found in english :

He has a screw loose (I love this one!), he has bats in his belfry, but also “go bananas” (more angry? Then we’d say “Il a fait un caca nerveux” : He made a nervous poo) or “Out to lunch” (which seems slightly different and both made me laugh for ten minutes, at least).

OK, we have more too in French :

  • Avoir les fils qui se touchent (his strings are touching each other)
  • Parler aux murs (he speaks to walls)
  • Il lui manque une case (he lacks one compartment)
  • Il a un pète au casque (he has a bump at the helmet)
  • Il est pas fini (he’s not finished)
  • Il a un petit vélo dans la cafetière (he has a little bike in the coffee pot).

Like it? Try this page in French. For example, Portuguese say “He has little monkeys in the attic”.

Well, there’s something weird upstairs, right? 🙂

Thanks for reading!

#dance #bw #farist

 

Good Old #French #Idioms about farting

“Péter plus haut que son cul” means “To fart higher than your ass”. Makes sense? Of course it means “to be pretentious” or “to be vain”. I think you say  “Think you are the cat’s whiskers”. Cute!

“Ça vaut pas un pet de lapin” means “It doesn’t worth a rabbit’s fart”. In English you say “It’s not worth a bean”, which I understand, but is also less funny, right?

“J’en n’ai rien à péter” means “I have nothing to fart about it”, of course it’s the English way to say “I don’t give a shit”. Oohhhh!

“Péter un câble” (“To break a cable”), yes it’s “To blow a fuse”.  Because in French, péter can also mean “To break”. J’ai pété une assiette : I broke a plate. Yessss, I know 🙂

I’ll find more idioms. Idioms are great, right ?

#cats #car #lovers #instared

 

 

 

 

Riding the Tiger’s Back… and fall

This comes from a Chinese idiom : “Riding on the back of a tiger and finding it hard to get off” : someone is stuck in a difficult position and has no way out.

Once you start riding the tiger you can’t voluntarily get off or you will be eaten ! Let’s find it fascinating for many reasons…

  • It’s a tiger, dangerous and maybe powerful. So you can choose to STAY on the back of the tiger, and try to master it, or tame it (well, you can try…). You’ll fail, though, almost evidently.
  •  You probably chose to ride the tiger : why ? Are you crazy ? In despair ?
  •  There are colors on this picture : sarcasm probably, including auto-sarcasm (“haha, you’re stuck, you idiot”), fear, resignation, fatality !
  • Illusion of power, with the secret inconscient knowledge that it’s a fake power or a dangerous one.
  •  It’s maybe a story of destruction : choosing to climb the back of the tiger creates a situation which will force you to change something.
  •  Jump and be eaten OR Kill the tiger yourself OR “use it” until someone understands…
  •  When someone understands that you’re stuck, he can kill the tiger, or you, or both.
  •  When the tiger’s dead, this person will cuddle you in love and will forgive you for having invented this stupid tiger. “Why did you do that, silly !?”
  • Or not. So there.

This is linked to the concept of the Wrong Way Up – of course : it is often a wrong and dangerous solution to climb on the back of the tiger. But sometimes of course you have no choice (which, from the inside of you, is called nihilism).

If you have examples, write to me : jeanpascal@wanadoo.fr – love ? job ? military ?

Tool/Lever/Dial : Play with dynamite, smart little man, invent a tiger situation and climb on the back of it – you probably have to. Don’t lament you’re dead and eaten, as a consequence. Wrong way up is wrong. The idioms says : there’s no way back. Don’t expect forgiveness.

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“In Love with a Project” – The Marbles Syndrome

“I try on stories like clothes” Max Frisch.

 

In the Abécédaire, Gilles Deleuze explains that one never desire something of someone, but rather desire an aggregate : in desiring an object, a dress for example, the desire is not for the object, but for the whole context… So there is no desire, says Deleuze, that does not flow into an assemblage, “aggregate of skirt, of the sunray, of a street, of a woman, of a vista, of a color, constructing a region.”

I like to keep this idea in mind when love in involved. Someone loves you, but in fact this person loves the project around your story. It’s a bit strange to realise that someone does not love you “as you are”, but loves all the changes and the life you could bring to him or her… Or the money and security and the house coming with the horse, too ! Pure love has its ways…

Think about it when she/he doesn’t love you anymore. The boredom maybe came because the aggregate around you isn’t very funny or doable anymore, that’s all…

I one day read an interview of Claude Chabrol, a well known director of the French Nouvelle Vague, saying that to keep his wife in a good mood he had to “invent projects”. As he had no time, had his own projects (to work on his movies), he said that he had to move to another house every seven years. Voilà !

Idioms :

  • To pick up your marbles and go : Reprendre ses billes.
  • Battre de l’aile (literaly : shaking a wing) = To be on the skids (or on your “last leg”, which one is better, dear ?).

Tool :

If you feel that your lover is picking up his or her marbles, your couple is on the skids. Act quickly and invent a project. It can work. A big travel, a new home, whatever. Aggregate !

(If it pleases you, forget the project and try to be a little mean-and-evil : it could help this person to hate you and go away for good. After all, you maybe want your marbles back too, hé hé !)

Thank you Gilles Deleuze !

 

“I try on stories like clothes”

Max Frisch

#fall #autumn #autumnleaves
#fall #autumn #autumnleaves