Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Functional Map of France

My son, who loves maps, gave me this link to a functional map of France (click to enlarge).

Well, the jury is in. The country with the most functional geography is… France. As proved by this diagram, France’s jagged, hexagonal shape makes it the ideal, multiple-use household utensil:
  • The Pas de Calais, at the very top of the country, bordering Belgium and the English Channel, is transformed into a diamant coupe-verre (glass-cutter)
  • Peninsular Normandy doubles as a handy décapsuleur (bottle-opener)
  • Brittany, stabbing into the Atlantic Ocean, makes for a nice fourchette (fork)
  • Broadening out into the Bay of Biscay downstream from the city of Bordeaux, the Gironde estuary is a coupe-ficelle (wire-cutter)
  • The Pyrennées, the mountain chain forming the border with Spain, are transformed into a hâchoir (meat-mincer)
  • The sharp edge where the Alsace-Lorraine region juts furthest into Germany serves as a pied-de-biche (crowbar)
  • France’s interior is taken up by a gril (grill pan)
What a great country, though I'm not sure I'd be good at getting the fork in my mouth without slitting my throat with the hâchoir.

A nice touch in the link, at the end of the description of the map, was this acknowledgment:

Merci beaucoup à Emmanuel Parfond de m’avoir envoyé cette carte.

It means, "Thank you very much to Emmanuel Parfond for having sent me this map." Well, this is from me: Merci beaucoup à mon fils aussi.

Of course, my son won't understand that. I'll need to put it in (probably bad) German (pause while I look this up in a dictionary): Danke sehr, mein Sohn.

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