Thursday, October 9, 2008

How Hero Pommes (mit Mayo) received his name

Image of an elderly Uighur gentlemen sitting outside the mosque in Kashgar, Xinjiang, China

Hello Gentle Reader,

A couple of you have made bold stabs at your Hero's, Pommes', name, in vain, and come to the conclusion that he is "Apple".

But you might be wondering why Pommes would be mit (German for with) Mayonnaise (Mayo in German) as per the subject line in today's e-pistle.  

(Well, not if you have been to Japan.  Everything can be had with mayo in Japan (Kewpie Mayo, to be precise).  From octopi to mice, Kewpie is King, but that is a digression best left for another day.)

...So, a couple of you have put one and one together (your scribe being Canadian and therefore English/French bilingual (?! hmmm...) and Geneva being a French-speaking Canton, to determine that your lovely hero Pommes was named Apple because Pommes is French for apple, so you might be rightish.  

But Pommes, besides being the apple of our eye, is an apple of the earth, a potato-head, pommes de terre in French (technically, pommes de terre is only a potato).  

Pommes Frites are what the French call fries (or what the English call chips), and England (plus China) is where your heroine did her undergraduate studies and her graduate work.  Image of cut and deep-fried potato strips

Furthering the confusion, in Germany, after previous cultural exchanges, like Alsace and Lorraine, the avuncular Germans have sort of developed an understanding of the French.

So the Germans call fries/chips "Pommes" and it is pronounced in Canadian English very similar to "pumice", as in the stone.

So what, Scribe?

Well, in Taiwan, where your heroine and scribe met, they had an Italian cat named "Chips".  

When your heroine and scribe had returned/moved to Canada, a new cat bought the rights to your heroine and scribe.  

Regina wanted to call the new cat Chips too, or Chips 2 (it was verbal and therefore ambiguous).  

Your scribe thought that this was outrageous, an egregious suggestion; "You can't name two animals the same name, even if you use numbers for differentiation" exclaimed your scribe.  

"Why not?" pouted your heroine, "I had Dini and Dini too (2?) before I met you..."  

Well, you will doubtless be reassured to know that your scribe asserted his manorial rights in feline naming. Your scribe declared that under no conditions would any hero cat be called Chips...

Your heroine, recognizing the power of the pen, dutifully acceded to the wishes of the all-mighty scribe.

She then suggested "Pommes" as a name.  

"What an unusual name; I like it!" said your scribe in a pleased, magnanimous, and surprised acceptance. Your scribe did not look a gift horse in the mouth, he was just pleased to have won.  But the gift horse was Giftig (German for poisoned)...  

The next morning your scribe realized his error, remembering that Pommes was German for Chips, but it was too late.  

So that explains Pommes' name for you, Gentle reader.


Chris, Regina, and Pommes (mit Currywurst)

Postscript: A couple of you have wondered why your Heroine is called Regina.  That's easy, because, of course, she is the Queen.

1 comment:

Glennis said...

About as clear as mud, but twice as amusing!
I knew Pommes meant potatoes so I must have German ancestery.
Thank you.