Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Royale Weekend

Very good weekend with family and friends. Got to catch up with some old friends on Catbook... I mean, Facebook (Catbook is only for Flirty Cat). I also finished Fleming's "Casino Royale" in one morning. Sat in Starbucks, SS15 with my wife. She read "The Immortal Iron Fist Vol. 2" and I read "Casino Royale". Never read Fleming before. Pretty funny shit. Kids asked me what it was about. I explained. Oh, it's about James Bond gambling with this bloke (who was a banker for SMERSH). They asked me why Smurfs needed a gambling banker. I didn't know what to answer. Anyway, Bond lost all his money and the US gave him more money. Then he started winning. And the other bloke got pissed so he kidnapped Bond's girlfriend and then tortured Bond by beating his balls with a cane. My kids were laughing hysterically by this point. Then a SMERSH assassin cycled to the torture room to kill the banker but being a smart-ass, decided not to kill James Bond. Kids asked me why a Smurf-assassin "cycled"? Again, I had no answers. Kids these days with their pesky questions. Sheesh! Bond recovered in a hospital but refused to allow others to bathe him because his balls were swollen. Then he went on a holiday with his girlfriend. While the girlfriend was sleeping, Bond went skinny-dipping. When he got back, he caught the girlfriend making a phone call. That led to the end of their relationship and the girlfriend swallowed some sleeping pills. The End. My kids thought it was the funniest story that I'd ever told them. Go figure.

In order to make sense of what I read, I went back to Simon Winder, who wrote probably the best book on Ian Fleming and the whole Bond-mania ever! If anyone had any answers, I thought that Winder would've been the man to talk to. Winder explained that "Casino Royale" was all about the avocado. I was scratching my head by that point. Winder then explained that the avocado was not available in Britain until the late 1950s so when Fleming had Bond eating an avocado in the novel, it was the height of exotica. In short, Bond is all about fantasies of bored Englishmen struggling with the loss of their former glory as "Britannia". Winder also explained that Leiter, the US Agent, handing Bond the envelope containing money to go for another round of baccarat summed up the entirety of Anglo-American relationship. I agreed heartily.

In the evening, I watched "Thunderball" with the kids and they laughed some more. Especially at all the underwater scenes. "Thunderball" is all about water, sharks and voluptuous women who thought that sleeping with a villain named "Number Two" was a good idea. It was interesting in a way so I decided to spend the rest of this week going through the Bond films on DVD.

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