May 2006 Archives

Today's piped-in soundtrack at the Palais restrooms: the theme music to "Lawrence of Arabia," and, shortly thereafter, "Carmina Burana."

The only thing missing was the movie trailer voiceover guy intoning, "Let your bladder take you on an epic adventure."

My Expertise


There are two lines that seperate the elite from the hoi polloi along the Croissette. I've mentioned the metaphorical line represented by the presence of a festival badge around the neck. There is also a literal line--a rope fence running in front of the national pavilions, with the badge-wearing sneeches on one side and the plain ones on the other.

On Wednesday, as I was walking along the elite, national-pavillion side of the line, two young boys leaned over and gestured for my attention. "Bradpeet?" one of them said.

Seeing my confusion, he repeated himself: "Brad Peet? He weel be here tonight?"

It's true that the powers granted by my Cannes badge are nearly limitless. But, alas, a complete knowledge of the current and future whereabouts of Brad Pitt falls squarely within the few limits there are. I told him, apologetically, I didn't know.

Cheeky Tony

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I'm back in the UK Film Centre. Apparently, an actor named Tony Resta has been using this computer before me, since he's set Explorer to automatically launch his CV and headshot when opening a new window. Cheeky, Tony. Very cheeky.

In the bathrooms at the Palais, speakers mounted in the ceiling pipe in classic movie music while you go about your business. Thus far, I've heard "Can You Feel The Love Tonight?" and an orchestral version of "My Heart Will Go On," as well as Darth Vader's Theme. While the first two didn't do much for me, the last one undeniably added a majestic feeling of dignity to the act of using a urinal.

A Tip For Cannes

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The German pavilion has a much faster Internet connection than the UK Film Centre. The only problem is that the Z and Y keys are reversed on the German keyboard. If I make anz strange tzpos, zou'll know whz.

More impressions:

One of my first purchases in Cannes was a black bowtie. I lost mine some time ago, and I gather that if you show up to a Gala Premiere in the Palais de Cinema without a black tie, you won't be admitted. Apparently, in response to this, there are enterprising local residents hanging outside the Palais in the evenings, selling black ties for up to 100 Euros apiece.

My one celebrity sighting thus far has been Jason Schwartzman, straightening his tie in the bathroom of the Majestic Hotel shortly before the official Cannes screening of Marie Antoinette. His tie, I noted, was a straight tie, not a bowtie. I wondered if he would be ejected from his own premiere.

I hate windows


I'm once again in the UK Film Centre on the beach at Cannes.

I've just written up a lengthy addition to my Cannes journal, butit suddenly vanished, replaced by a helpful notice from Internet Explorer that the form I was using had expired, and therefore, as a security precaution, it was throwing out everything I had entered into it. Argh!

And now I must go and shmooze. More entries when I have the chance, or when I am back home and safely on a non-crappy OS.

Cannes Journal: Monday


Notes from Cannes on Monday, Part I:

As I take the train from Nice to Cannes, I eavesdrop on a group of American tourists. They are making a day trip to Cannes in the hope of seeing celebrities. Thus far, they have already had one celebrity sighting during their European tour: Matt Lauer stepped on their feet in Barcelona.

In Cannes itself, the streets are mobbed. It is easy to distinguish between two groups: the lucky festival goers, with their festival passes hanging around their necks everywhere they go in town, and everybody else. Since I decided to come to Cannes after the registration deadline, I will have to apply for late registration, and there is no guarantee I will be given it. I therefore look longingly at the lucky passholders. I feel like an ordinary sneech gazing upon a star-bellied one.

More to follow; I'm typing this on a public Internet kisok at the UK Film Center, a tend along the beach. The breeze from the sea is tickling my neck as I write it--but so are the gazes of other people waiting for the computer. I don't want to monopolize it.

The Yankee Fog Code


I had a dream the other night that Dan Brown had kidnapped me and was forcing me to write his next novel.

I have no idea what that means, but perhaps Mr. Brown was on my mind because I'm about to head off to Cannes, where the film version of The Da Vinci Code premiered last week. I'm not sure what my internet connectivity will be like on the French Riviera, so if I don't post for a week or so, there's no need to worry.

If, however, two weeks go by and I still haven't posted, you better have the police break into Dan Brown's basement.

Superhero Registration

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If you look over to the right-hand side of Yankee Fog, you'll see that I am now an officially registered superhero. Once upon a time, obtaining this exalted certification required hours of grueling testing, but thanks to the miracles of modern technology, it can now be obtained instantaneously at the Bureau of Superheroics Online Superhero Registry.

Everybody's Backup School

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Spotted over the weekend:

Photo of a van from 'Goodenough College'

(Yes, that's a real school.)

Asbestos Attorney

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Poems Based On The Most Desirable Adwords, Part IV: A Limerick On The Theme of "Asbestos Attorney"

A wily asbestos attorney
got a job as an ER intern. He
knew a new client
would prove most compliant,
anesthetized there on the gurney.

Top Secret

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I have just learned through top-secret channels (*) that The Government Manual for New Superheroes is being sold at the gift shop of The DC Spy Museum. That is way cool. I am delighted to know that the men and women of our nation's secret services (and the tourists who love them) have easy access to the important costumed crimefighting tips they need in today's dangerous world.

I don't see the book listed in the museum's online store, but that is doubtlessly because the book is too sensational to be sold online; it can only be sold in person, where the store's highly trained clerks may assess whether the purchaser intends to use it for good or for evil.

(How then, you may ask, is the book available through Amazon and other online retailers? National security prevents me from answering that.)

(*) Actually, a college buddy told me(**).
(**) Well, actually, he told my co-author Matthew, and Matthew told me. This kind of serpentine information retrieval is exactly the kind of thing that earned me the approval of the DC Spy Museum.

A Song Parody On The Theme of "Lasik New York City"
(sung to the tune of Boy From New York City)

Oo ah oo ah oo oo, Kitty--
Tell us about lasik, New York City.
Oo ah oo ah come on, Kitty--
Tell us about lasik, New York City.

If you can't see things
when they're 10 feet high,
they shoot these laser beams
into your eye.

And no joke--when all that smoke
clears away, your cornea is OK-doke.
Oo ee-- you suddenly can see.
Goodbye, crap (yeah, yeah)
corneal flap. (Yeah, yeah.)

Oo ah oo ah Kitty,
tell us about lasik in New York City
Oo ah oo ah Kitty,
Tell us about lasik in New York City.

These are my author's copies. If you'd like your own, Amazon claims they are currently shipping the book within 24 hours, although I haven't gotten any independent verification of that.

In any case, it is not too soon to begin checking your local bookstore for The Government Manual for New Wizards. Nor is it too soon to begin an angry picket line if they don't have it.

A Higgledy-Piggledy On The Theme of "Mesothelioma Lawyers"

Asbestos tragedies,
happen most frequently
inside folks' pleuras.

Then they get bloodthirsty
lawyers to harass their
stingy insurers.

Can a poet make a good living in this modern world?

I've decided to find out. I'm going to write a series of poems based around the highest-paying search terms. If all goes well, I will soon be raking in the advertising dollars. Plus, I'll be writing beautiful verse that will live in glory for all eternity, so I got that going for me, too.

The first installment:

A Clerihew, On The Theme Of "Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer"
Jonathan Worthington Serrington Sawyer
(a Chicago personal injury lawyer)
achieved his fame
through the length of his name.

Alert Readers


I don't get many tipoffs from readers, mainly because I don't have that many readers. (I am excluding the vast throngs who seem to find me via google, read my Snakes on a Plane trailer, and then wander off, never to return, leaving me feeling used and lonely.)

In any case, when I post something a link that somebody else e-mailed me, I have generally described my benefactors as "alert readers." Alert they certainly are, but I always feel a slight pang of guilt when I use the phrase, since I so closely associate it with Dave Barry.

Henceforth, when readers are kind enough to send me a tipoff, I will use a different adjective for them each time, steadily working my way through the alphabet until I reach Z. Then I'll start over again.

Alas, while Lauren and I were traveling in the US, we missed the chance to taste the world's most expensive sandwich: £100 worth of "rare Wagyu beef, the finest fresh duck foie gras, black truffle mayonnaise, brie de meaux, rocket, red pepper and mustard confit with English plum tomatoes in a sour dough bread."

As Selfridge's points out, "for real food lovers this represents a remarkable value." By failing to purchase one of these--or, indeed, dozens of these--value sandwiches, we have displayed a shameless disregard for frugality. Where will we ever get rare Wagyu beef at such a reasonable price?

(Thanks to brainy reader Adam Price for the link.)

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