The Cat de Sejour: Part the Last
Try as I might, I can offer no witty peroration to this epic tale of bureaucracy, frustration, and the love of a boy for his dog. Two weeks ago, Mr. Cat in Rabat and I returned to our favourite hangout, the Préfecture de Police, whose plethora of underemployed clerks and guards milling about confirms that these are indeed Morocco's plummiest of plum jobs.
Once again we passed through the security gate, setting off all manner of lights and bleepy noises, and went upstairs to the carte de sejour office where we once again meet the same Sullen Silent Automatons, still fumbling about the corridor in a deaf & dumb funk. We peer into the office and find to our surprise that the Dyspeptic Civil Servant is sitting in a different desk and that the library card drawer of completed cards is being jealously guarded by Scowling Woman. Not willing to duplicate our queue-cutting faux pas from our previous visit, we slip out the door but are then impatiently waved back in by Scowling Woman. Mr. CinR's temporary card is produced and Scowling Woman with great precision and expertise pulls his card out of the drawer.
Interestingly, his date of birth, which was recorded incorrectly on his temporary card, is correct on his permanent one. Go figure.
Da Veni Da Vidi Da Vinci Code
Yes, dear reader, I finally saw the film. Now I am the first to admit that rarely does viewing a film from the comfort of your living room, bereft of stadium seating, a THX sound system, and a massive screen, do a film justice. This is doubly and painfully so when your movie screen is a laptop balanced precariously on your lap. But I did make a humongous bowl of popcorn, so attempts were made to simulate the movie experience.
I quickly learned that in the film’s opening line “Arrêtez! Dites-moi où elle est!” or “Tell me, where is it!”, the “it” clearly referred to my good judgement. Where in fact was "it"? Having already seen the first 5 minutes of the French-dubbed version four times (or was it five?), I should have already clued into the fact that “Arrêtez! Dites-moi où elle est!” is code (hence solving the film’s profoundly erudite and complex puzzle in record time) for “have you nothing better to do?”.
I may have mentioned that we were not only fully prepared to hate it, but rapturously anticipated every cornball moment. Did the film disappoint? Reader, it did not.