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Happy St. Hugh Day!

April 1, 2008

Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Hugh. Hugh was appointed the Bishop of Grenoble by the council at Avignon in 1080, which was impressive as he was not yet ordained as a priest. Apparently, his piety was so great that everyone just knew he was destined for great things.

What kinds of great things? Well, he had a dream in which he saw seven stars. This, of course, inspired him to form his own monastic society, which is naturally named the Carthusian Order. He founded the Carthusians (along with St. Bruno of Cologne, who perhaps taught him many things about how to be a bishop without being a priest) in a snowy, alpine village called Chartreuse. The Carthusians are famous for their lurid yellow-green robes and their ability to craft very fine fishing lures.

Hugh (also know as Hugh of Châteauneuf, which means "Nine Castle" en français) was the Bishop of Grenoble until his death in 1132, though he tried to quit and enter a monastary at Cluny two years after taking the seat of bishop. After his death, Hugh wasn't done. No, his body was burned by the Huguenots during the Wars of Religion. However, at this point, Hugh had already been canonized. Clearly, they didn't like sharing a name with poor Hugh.

Also, today is April Fool's or All Fool's Day. Since it's also Hugh's day, and he was French, I'll add that it's poisson d'avril en France. What is poisson d'avril?, you might ask. I'll tell you. Poisson d'avril means "fish of April" or "April's Fish" (get your mind out of the gutter now), and it is the day set aside for hanging small paper fish on the back of your friends. Oh, those plucky French, what won't they think of next?

As you may have been able to tell, I do have the ability to quickly and easily translate all of these French terms into English (or a reasonable facsimilie of English). That is because I studied French for four years in high school (I mentioned that a while ago, but it's always good to remind folks who might be new or it allows me to add the extra level of yet another parenthetical clause). And, what would high school be like if you could not torture some poor, unsuspecting fool on poisson d'avril? It would be even more painful than usual, let me tell you. Of course, the unsuspecting fool in this case was our French teacher, Ms. Knipp.

Madamoiselle Knipp was, perhaps, the one person in all of history I've met with a heart of solid, 18K gold, mostly because she put up with this stupid shit and didn't beat the hell out of us with her enormous yardstick, knicknamed Spanks. Anyway, the first time we learned of poisson d'avril, a couple of my friends (since I lived in a tiny village in the eastern part of the county and I didn't have a car nor parents who were willing to drive my ass around for such stupid endeavors) sat around most of the night of March 31st drawing thousands of tiny fish on little post-it notes. They arrived at school early, a few minutes after the janitors went around unlocking all the classroom doors, and snuck into Ms. Knipp's room, covering the walls with all of these little fish. A good time was had by all, and we were finding tiny paper fish for months after the prank, which would have been legendary by French standards.

The following year (when I was a junior), right before the third period, someone in the office paged Ms. Knipp to come to the office. Confused, she obliged, and as she went around the corner, my friends came running in with an electric skillet, oil, and, yes, fish. They fried up fish for everyone in the class, and when Ms. Knipp returned from her fool's errand, everyone yelled in unison "poisson d'avril!" Incidentally, I think that's when I got a fish bone caught in my throat and I ended up puking (I did make it to the restroom). It took me several years before I could eat fish again.

So, let us celebrate Hugh of Châteauneuf, his yellow-robed friends, and French fish everywhere today. Also, since it's St. Hugh day, let's celebrate guys named Hugh. [1]

Also, today is FitzChivalry Farseer's Beloved day. Yes, that's an obscure reference. No, I don't expect most of you to understand it (if you do, post it in the comments, you vile lurker).

[1] Two of the three of these men, my wife finds very, very sexy. The third is simply cute and on the list because he has a British accent. I hope everyone appreciates how hard I had to work on this picture.


Chemgeek said...

Too bad you had to ruin a really good post with a picture of Hugh Grant. I've been forced to watch too many of his movies, all of which are the identical tripe.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I couldn't think of any other Hughs to put in there. Except Hugh Hefner, and I decided that searching for pictures of Hef while at work could be hazardous for my continued employ.

Plus, Hugh Beaumont and Hugh Downs didn't really fit in with Hugh Laurie and Hugh Jackman.

Chemgeek said...

Yeah, the Hefner search may have been problematic.

What about Hugh Jass?

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Oh yeah, the one time Bart's prank phone call to Moe backfired.

I brought that up today in a conversation at lunch. I totally dropped the ball on that one.

Lisa-tastrophies said...

That's OK any pictures or gratuitous mentions of Hugh Laurie are fine by me. I dreamt of the days I could say half the things his character House says (to his beloved minions) to the morons I used to work with. Plus, Hugh Grant is a pansy :-)

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I have very House-like conversations in my head all the time, especially when I think about my old job. *shudder*

And, yes, you've all picked out the one my wife doesn't like. And, yes, she doesn't like him because he's a bit too wussy.

Which begs the question...why does she like me?

Jelena said...

*points out in the comment*
Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one seeing April Fool's to be Beloved's day :D
I do have a question - what about a name Hugo, like Hugo Weaving?

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

*gasp* A fan of Fitzyfitz and all his self-loathing! Oh, my new favorite blog-reader!!!

As for Hugo Weaving...I thought there was a separate man under the name of St. Hugo, and so my discussion of a saint with the penchant for words starting the letter "v" will have to wait for another day.

Anonymous said...

doubly pithy, with double entendre to call him beloved of fitzchivalry and as he was named beloved, I approve . (I also seem incapable of a cohereant sentance, for which I apologise)

gen said...

yeah, FitzChivalry and the Fool.. it's good to know that my Beloved Fool has his own special day.. *smile smile*.. love them both!

Pinkie said...

Oh Fitzy Fitz... *hearts*

Anonymous said...

'fitz' ... understand it ... don't be a fool!