Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Where could this possibly have come from?

At first I thought I had read: “I now play Champlain” which was nice, really. “Now I am playing Lake Champlain.” Of all the lakes I have ever heard of, Lake Champlain is the one that I have wanted to play the most. Why? Because it sounds so much like this: “Champagne” which, in French, is pronounced like this: Champagne. 

When suddenly, I woke up from my dream of playing Champlain to realize it was really Champagne I was playing. Not playing with, which would be nice. Just playing. I had a dream about that. Skating across a river of Champagne. I was in New York state, and I was a very accomplished skater. I wore a turtleneck sweater. I was playing. Slowly I drifted into Canada. I became concerned. This is getting serious, which isn’t like playing at all. “Woe!” I stated. 

But the border was filled with fur trappers and there was no escape from, well, them. But I am not kidding, I do know how to skate. But how could I play Champagne if I was skating on Champagne on a lake, in New York state, Lake Champlain. Look at their eyes, they are like little red mouse eyes in the dark. I am not afraid; I am charmed. Je suis charmin, Champlain. There is a beautiful place that I don’t know. That’s where Lake Champlain is. I squeeze its irresistable softness between my hands. Lake, and it is with Champlain Champagne, that I often find comfort, served in tiny cups, clear as crystal, and exceedingly often. 

A final note: Champlain was named after one Samuel de Champlain, in celebration of his marriage to a young lady with three accent marks over her name. “How I play now, with Champlain” is what dear Hélène Boullé said. Which she would. Which makes me wonder: How now, could I play Boullé? No way, said Samuel, who always wanted to be called ‘José.’ Most might say: No way, as did Samuel, née, José. However, Hélène would oblige. Wrapped in fur, she approached him beguilingly and people fell into the ice. "Ah, José," she would say.  It was a jolly good marriage, although one never knows. 

Now I play.

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