dVerse prompts us for a poem to celebrate Bastille Day, July 14th.
The French Connection
In school, the French got scant attention,
Only a few battles got much of a mention,
But it seems the French have been jumping
Since King Harry gave them a thumping.
They’ve brought the frog out of the pond
And denim is now the ‘fabric du monde’.
They invented latex for the Bourgeoisie
And, for the kinky poor, made PVC.
They made the letter-box that we’re now all using
But not the French Letter, which I find amusing.
While they didn’t discover how to stop babies
They did discover how to stop rabies.
They invented the stethoscope to hear the heart
And little black dresses to make it start.
They made bayonets that would then perforate it
And blood transfusions to re-oxygenate it.
They invented the bra, to help breasts park,
And Braille, to help find it in the dark.
They invented the bikini, but only barely,
And Cartesian Coordinates, rather squarely.
They invented Aspirin, or so it’s said,
For those pains of the aching head.
If that didn’t work, they invented codeine.
Or, for the ultimate headache, the guillotine.
The food processor they claim as theirs
And baguettes, to eat with camemberts,
And margarine to make arteries thicken
And rude sounding meals, made of chicken.
They discovered radiation and radium (specific)
Then spread it all over the South Pacific.
They also claim the first manned plane flight
But no-one told the brothers Wright.
They created Moulin Rouge and Folies Bergère
Then invented Neons to lead you there.
There’s artificial silk on the chorus girls,
There’s hairdryers for their bouncing curls,
Other bodily bits also bounce a lot,
(They invented the bra but apparently forgot).
They invented Roulette, to take your rent,
And probability theory to show where it went.
The Metric system is a gift that lingers,
A boon to people with just ten fingers.
The International Olympic Committee
Forbids playing Petanque, which is a pity.
Both are French in their extraction
And both have a certain back-handed action.
They invented bicycles, perhaps by chance,
And then invented the Tour du France.
To make bike wheels spin, with less wearing,
They invented the balls to go in the bearings.
Bagpipes, oboes and flintlock guns,
Crepes, who can forget the orange ones?,
Metronomes, scooters and coffee percolated,
Aqualungs, taxies and car tyres, inflated.
There are more things I could list
But I’m sure there would be some I’d miss.
So, to the French, I just say “Encore!”
“You’ve come a long way since Agincourt!”.
© 2012 J Cosmo Newbery
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