I got an e-mail this morning from my friend Lee, who lives halfway to Iowa, practically. Every so often one of us makes the long trek on the suburban bus to visit each other, and Lee's subject line read,
"Do I dare to eat a peach--on the bus into town--sometime next week?"
I was amazed because I had heard that phrase about a peach, really recently--yesterday?--but couldn't remember where.
Could it have been Downfall, which I rewatched last night? Surely that wasn't something anyone would have said in Hitler's last days.
Nor does it seem likely it's anything I've read about Slovakia under Communism, though it wouldn't have been a bad slogan for the Velvet Revolution.
So that leaves one other option: Stephen Colbert.
Aside from research, movies, and walking Karla's little dog, who doesn't talk, that's been my main pursuit lately--watching bits and pieces of the Colbert Report. (Since I never heard of it until the other day, I have a lot of catching up to do. Jen has been assisting me by sending me links to her favorite clips.)
Just last night, I watched Colbert's fireside chat on the topic of Leap Day (2008). This day doesn't really exist, he says, so moral laws do not apply. On this day, he suggests, "Blow off your job. Sleep with that forbidden coworker. Dare to eat a peach."
I wrote back to Lee, asking him if that's what he was thinking of.
Why, no, he replied, he and Colbert were both ripping off that master of rip-offs: T. S. Eliot. Specifically "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," which, when I re-read it just now, seems to me must rank among the Most Ripped Off Pieces of Poetry ever, though it won't even celebrate its hundredth birthday for another eight years (2017).
Eliot himself said, "Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal." ( Alas, one can't turn that sentiment around and claim stealing proves one's maturity as a writer. Or we bloggers would all be ripe peaches indeed.)
Anyway, just for fun--a break from researching Slovakia (not that that's not fun--in fact, it's taking over my brain, which is always fun, in a weird way)--I googled "colbert peach images" and found the other famous Colbert: Claudette (and the peach shortcake, above).
Rather unlikely she and Stephen are closely related, though they look a little bit alike (uh... well, they part their hair on the same side, anyway), as he's of Irish ancestry, not French, and she was born in France. I checked.
Wow, it's hard to find a photo of this guy when he's not making funny faces. This one's from the Vanity Fair article about him, Oct. 2007.
So, this blogpost GNDN (goes nowhere, does nothing), but there you have my Venn diagram for the day.
Oh, no--there's a gap here, next to the photo. OK, one more random overlap, courtesy of google:
Baked chicken stuffed with peaches is a Slovakian dish. If Mr. Colbert comes to dinner, say next Leap Day (2012), that's what I'm serving.
P.S. [two hours later] I just got home from Target, and the guy in the line behind me was buying Van Morrison's Astral Weeks. Coincidence? I think not! Surely a Cosmic Message. Please let me know if you can decode it.