Didn’t you just love those ads that Direct TV used to have? The one that comes to mind right away is the one that goes “Don’t have a grandson with a dog collar.” They all started with “When you pay too much for cable, you… and when you… then you…and when you…then you…” and ended up with hilarious outcomes for paying too much for cable like “Don’t re-enact scenes from Platoon with Charlie Sheen” or “Don’t have your house blow up” Of course, all these terrible things can be avoided simply by switching from cable to DirectTV. But they were funny because of the convoluted storylines leading to the inimaginable results.
Which brings me back to the SoCS. I learned a new French word last week, grâce à mon amie Agnès. I was explaining to her the plot of a story we are reading in one of my French classes, and she said it was une histoire “alambiquée.” Which means “convoluted” but it means that because of the convoluted tubing of the alchemical still called an “alembic.” So if a story has a complicated plot-line, or a roundabout way of getting to the point that the story was making in the first place. Most farces have these types of storylines, which is what makes them so much fun! According to Merriam-Webster, we don’t use “alembic” in quite the same fashion as the French use “alambiqué.” There is a sense that is close, but not quite exactly the same.
One of my favorite movies in the whole world is like this: “Christmas in the Clouds.” This was a film featured at the Sundance Festival in 2001. It won awards in Austin and Santa Fe film festivals. It was about a ski resort run by a Native American tribe. There is this whole big convoluted story, all to be summed up in the last line read by the narrator. I cannot say another word. You’ll need to find a copy of this DVD (I don’t really know how easy that is, but hey, Amazon has *everything* right?) and find out for yourselves. It is, in my opinion, one of the best Christmas films ever made. Ever. Just go find it.
Here’s a real-life “histoire alambiquée” from my work! I have changed all the names and places, of course. But it goes like this: Some random guy had to buy a new car because my captain called in sick on a trip. Whaatt?? So here goes: My captain got sick during a trip and had to call in. Because of this, they got a reserve captain for us. But he came from Houston, so we had to wait a long time for him to join us, so our flight to Chicago was delayed. Then we had a small mechanical issue with the plane. Because of that, we were even more delayed to Chicago. Because our flight to Chicago was extra delayed, the replacement Captain would have missed his flight home to Houston after the trip. Because of that, he called the company and had them get us yet another Captain when we got to Chicago, so he could fly home from there instead. Because we had to wait on another Captain, we were really delayed getting home. Now, once we got back to Colorado Springs, my crew was done, but another crew was going to take our airplane to Denver, which is not too far away, just a 15-min flight. But, because we were late getting the plane to the next crew, the typical summer thunderstorms started brewing over the mountains. Because of that, the next crew got stuck in Denver. Because they got stuck in Denver, they had to stay there overnight. Because this was an unplanned overnight, the captain of that crew had his wife come pick him up and went home instead of staying in Denver. Because he went home, he went to the airport to get his truck and run some errands. Because he got his truck and ran errands, a guy who was probably texting and driving rear-ended him. The captain had a big truck with a trailer hitch on the back. Because the guy rear-ended the captain’s big truck with the trailer hitch, he totaled his car. So there you go. Some random guy had to buy a new car because my captain called in sick on a trip.
Wow. That was way too much typing to simply explain the word “alambiqué.” Sorry about that. But I told you all of that because Linda suggested finding a word with the consecutive letters “mb” and that is the first one that came to mind because I just learned it! Anyway, c’est un mot intéressant, n’est-ce pas ?
Alors, Agnès, si tu lis cet article, est-ce que tu penses que je comprends le mot ? 🙂
Et vous, chers lecteurs, do you have any “histoires alambiquées” to share in the comments?
This post is part of Linda G Hill’s “Stream of Consciousness Saturday” — Click and read, click and join in!
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “mb.” Find a word that has those two letters in it, in that order, and base your post on it. Have fun!