Monday, December 05, 2005

How To Celebrate The Birth Of Christ

From Jessica Warner in the Globe And Mail: We'll take manhattans
Christmas is fast approaching, and with it, the dilemma of what to give the less likable people in our lives: office mates, ex-spouses, born-again Christians. You could enroll them in the Potato of the Month Club, something my friend Nancy once did to her in-laws. You could give them exactly the same thing you gave last year, as clear a signal as any that your relationship is safely stuck in neutral. Or you could give them a pretty little book about a frivolous topic: Toronto writer Christine Sismondo's charming Mondo Cocktail.
. . . . .
Caution: This book is recommended for ironic readers only. Some people might be shocked to read that the best cure for a hangover is a "Bloody Mary with two shots of vodka," that people who have neither the time nor money to drink Grand Marnier in the morning are to be pitied, that the abolition of drive-through bars is a minor tragedy bespeaking a lack of political will on the part of lushes. There is, of course, an element of épater le bourgeois in all this -- reason enough to give the book to the born-again Christians in your life.

Jessica Warner is a research scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Her most recent book, The Incendiary: The Misadventures of John the Painter, was short-listed for the Governor-General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction.
There were three things I didn't understand in this book review:
  1. Is that "lickable" or "likeable"?
  2. What is the meaning of "épater le bourgeois"?
  3. What are "ironic readers"?
Lickable or likeable: you say potato - I say potato. The phrase "épater le bourgeois" means pretty much what I thought it would mean, but I am still wondering who , or what, "ironic readers" would be. Perhaps the phrase construction is a peculiarity of Canadian dialect. I guess there is one more thing I would like to understand - what would be more bourgeois than a research scientist/author publishing in the Globe And Mail? (Hat tip to sda.)