Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In Celebration of Bastille Day

From Pynchon's Vineland:

Zoyd needed cash... from the landscape contractor Zoyd did some lawn and tree work for, Millard Hobbs, a former actor who'd begun as a company logo and ended up as majority owner of what'd been a modest enough lawn-care service its founder, a reader of forbidden books, had named The Marquis de Sod. Originally Millard had only been hired to be in a couple of locally produced late-night TV commercials in which, holding a giant bullwhip, he appeared in knee socks, buckle shoes, cutoff trousers, blouse and platinum wig, all borrowed from his wife, Blodwen. "Crabgrass won't be'ave?" he inquired in a species of French accent. "Haw, haw! No problem! Zhust call -- The Marquis de Sod... 'E'll wheep your lawn into shepp!".... Little by little he kept buying in and learning the business, as well as elaborating the scripts of his commercials from those old split 30's during the vampire shift to what were now often five-minute prime-time micromovies, with music and special effects increasingly subbed out to artisans as far away as Marin, in which the Marquis, his wardrobe now upgraded into an authentic eighteenth-century costume, might carry on a dialogue with some substandard lawn while lashing away at it with his bullwhip, each grass blade in extreme close-up being seen to have a face and little mouth, out of which, in thousandfold-echoplexed chorus, would come piping "More! More! We love eet!" The Marquis leaning down playfully, "Ah cahn't 'ear you!" Presently the grass would start to sing the company jingle, to a, by then, postdisco arrangement of the Marseillaise --
A lawn savant, who'll lop a tree-ee-uh
Nobody beats Mar-
Quis de Sod!

Have a good one, Frenchies!


Linkmeister said...

Damn, that's funny. I need to read that book.

Will Divide said...




jimintampa said...

"For deMille, young fur henchmen can't be rowing"

Gravity's Rainbow - 1974

Jean@Yardworkerz said...

Funny story to me! I wannt hear that music of the grass!