Thursday, January 31, 2008

As the duke said to the actress

Cate Blanchett is accustomed to playing the part of a monarch. She was the elf queen Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Recently, she portrayed the great Tudor queen Elizabeth, for which she has received an Oscar nomination. Apparently, though, Cate's talents at being a queen have made no lasting impression upon a man who's quite at home in this domain. Upon being introduced recently to Prince Philip, Cate told him that she worked in movies. Philip must have thought that this pregnant woman was some kind of a technician, for he immediately started to tell her about his DVD player: "There's a cord sticking out of the back of the machine. Might you tell me where it goes?"

Cate was obliged to point out that her specialty in movies was acting, not handling machines. [I can't help imagining that Cate, if she were less of a lady, might have told the duke exactly and curtly where he could put it: this dangling cord.]

I recall a similar misunderstanding on the part of an old lady in the flat next to mine in Paris, back at the time I was making science shows for French TV. "Monsieur William, you work in TV. Would you mind having a look at my set. The image is all blurry."

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