Saturday, June 27, 2009

Duet For Windshield Wipers in D Minor . . .

Came across this duet of Peugeot 404's submerged under tractor tires in a backwater stretch of woods in southern France a few years ago. This photo of a pair of dream cars is the first to have the privilege of being posted out of a large batch of black and white photos fresh back from the lab after being turned into digital files . . . only a few thousand more to come . . . will anyone have the patience to stick around ? ! ? Hmm, I wonder . . .
Anyway, I loved the way these two old beauties were snuggled up against each other; and maybe they pulled the tires over themselves to try to stay warm in the cold night air. . . For some unfathomable reason this scene brought to mind a poem from Alice In Wonderland . . .

Lewis Carroll
`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two!
And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.
`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.


Buskitten said...

Callooh, Callay! Good Morning Owen! I absolutely love this poem, it's sheer brilliance, isn't it? What a beautiful pair of abandoned pugs - how do you find these things Owen? You must have a magic homing device which tracks cool things, a bit like a satnav! Mimsy is also one of my favourite words!

Quiche said...

Fab photo, and fab poem! Alice in Wonderland is a favourite! Reminds me... when I was about 8 or 9 and broke my left arm, my childhood friend Cece Neal visited bringing the gift of books- Alice in Wonderland, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory- Cece was the niece of Roald Dahl and Patricia Neal. I didn't get to meet Roald, but met Patricia, after she suffered a stroke, and came to visit her brother in Riverdale, GA.

AB said...

Don't they make a wonderful couple?!

Steve said...

Two homeless jalopies sleeping rough under the stars... love it.

Blind Fly Theater said...

Looks like they once had aspirations to become monster trucks and boldly hunt the Jabberwock, but decided instead to hide under the tires, huddled in fear with eyes closed, only risking a quick peek now and then.

Batteson.Ind said...

They look like a couple of aol fellas, huddled in the woods chatting... :-) The poem was perfect for them! Glad I'm not the only one with a billion films to convert.. only found out recently you could do this... if I manage to get a spare bit of dosh I might get some done... anyway, this picture reminds me of a house over the fields from us, (a ruin). My brother and myself were exploring one day and found the crumpled remains of a Morris 1000, it had been parked and then slowly became reclaimed by the earth, with just the odd wing and bumper showing... on closer inspection of the lights (when we found them), one of them was still glowing dimly!...

Owen said...

Callooh Buskitten ! Oh Frabjous day!!! Yes indeedy, always loved that poem, was tempted to write a parody starting something like : Twas brillig and the shining chrome, Did rust and dwindle in the shade... and so on...
I'm not sure why over the years I've been strangely drawn by such phenomena as abandoned cars and houses... I think they give off phemerones that trigger a stong chemical reaction in my reptilian brain, setting me in motion to go find the source... sort of like sharks that can smell a drop of blood in the water from miles away, I can "smell" a decaying car from long distance, and won't rest until I find it... Top of the day to tiddles, I'm sure he loves to chortle joyfully "Callooh, Callay!"

Quiche, wow, that's wonderful... not breaking your arm, but having contact with the Dahl family. I remember when I was little and might be sick at home with whatever, my Mom would read me stories like James and the Giant Peach... am still looking for that peach... and that golden ticket to a chocolate factory ! Aren't we all???

AB, yeah, they certainly do, just like two old folks sitting on a porch in their rocking chairs side by side reminiscing about the old days when they drove wild and free down country roads in France !

Hey Steve ! Well, old homeless cars have to go somewhere after they've been relegated to the rust heap, but some of them won't resign themselves to life in a junkyard, and some fearing the recycling car crusher jaws, go slinking off into the woods and try to hide as best they can, living like hobos, moving from copse to copse, fearful of strangers... I was lucky they let me photograph them, but the same anatomy that lets me find them in the first place, gives off karma waves that instill confidence in them... (or is that car-ma?) A find weekend to everyone at Bloggertropolis!)

****Note**** Flash ******
To any reader who stops in this comment box from time to time who has not clicked on the link in my sidebar for Bloggertropolis under "Don't Miss These Worlds" there is some mighty fine writing going on there coming from the wickedly sharp edged pen of Steve, who does not hesitate to make rapier thrusts to the heart of whatever subject his spotlight has fallen on... (or just click on "Steve" here...
************End of Flash*******

David, Love that ! Monster Trucks on ancient tractor tires, mmm, that would be cool to see... maybe in fact at night they transform themselves? But then again, the Jabberwock with jaws that bite and claws that clutch is a terrifying beast, so perhaps best to hide in the woods after all... I'll be by soon for some of your excellent and colorful coffee !

******Message from Sponsor******
My apologies, I haven't been out and about nearly as much as I'd like this week, the band of Frumious Bandersnatchers at work has kept me way too busy these past few days... but am hoping to be out to make the rounds tomorrow, and catch up with all the goings on at your various and wonderful blogs !!
An EXCELLENT weekend to all ;-D

James said...

I love the photo, but I always thought that Jabberwocky was a monster so horrible that people caught the plague to avoid it.
I guess I sould have read more books and watched less Pythonesque medieval humor movies back in the 70's. :-)

Jenny said...


It is funny because I have associated your photo+text observations with "Alice in Wonderland" before. Then, you are like the Alice meeting all sorts of anachronisms wherever you go. Really brilliant observations!

Chris said...

Super cool photo, and interesting blog! Not that it matters, but these are 504's... The 404's have round headlights and more of a bubble shape...

jeff said...

La vision de tes 2 voitures me donnent l'impression d'une grande fatigue d'un coup ! La fin de l'année scolaire qui approche certainement ! Tu as un faible pour peugeot je vois !

Comme j'aime bien faire parler les objets, je les vois se dire :

-He Raoul !
-Quoi Fernand ?
-Bouges pas ! i nous ont pas remarqué ! Ton idée des pneus pour la planque est géniale ! Par-contre, j'ai le pare-choc arrière qui commence à me gratter légèrement !
-Ben quoi ?
-Ben quoi !... Tu pourrais pas discrètement me faire passer le démonte-pneu...!
-J'peux pas Fernand !
-Et pourquoi donc ?
-J'ai pommé les lunettes tout à l'heure !
-Et moi ducon, j'ai cassé le verre droit ! Alors magne !
-Fernand !
-Quoi ?
-Mais t'es une voiture !
-Et alors ?
-Ben les voitures... ça porte pas de lunettes !
-Tais-toi et bouge pas ! Ya en un qui approche la-bas !

Ouaih ! Léger, léger !... mais j'ai essayé !
je reviendrais pour tes tracteurs Owen !
Vais les faire parler moi ces en foir..( bip ) !

Ciao pixelpote !... A bientôt ...!...;-)

Margaret Pangert said...

How fun! Personifying Peugots. I remember when the dream car was the Peugeot 505 (cinq-oh-cinq), looked about the same. After having a Deux-Chevaux, I proceeded to a Renault Dauphine! One of these Peugeots still has its license plate. Beware the Jabberwock!

Alex said...

Hi Owen Great shot, i,ll stick around till you get the rest of your prints done. Sounds like a brill idea about the bonfire on the beach, maybe one day eh. Cheers.

Lynne with an e said...

I would say that this time the mome raths have definitely outgrabed themselves!

-K- said...

That's a really terrific photo.

Cathy said...

Ah yes...the "Tumtum tree" my favorite line as a kid. Thanks for bringing back smokey mems. And that pic, what a story it tells wordlessly and so clear.

Prospero said...

I like that photo of the cars. I remember Terry Gilliam's Jabberwocky and you reminded me of that just now.

Owen said...

Louciao, I'm whiffling, burbling, and galumphing off to bed now, but will be back on line Sunday afternoon... if I don't get some sleep, the vorpal blades are going to snicker snack me....

Lydia said...

Hope you are resting and dreaming well...
I love old cars so much. I had a 1956 Ford Customline, robin's egg blue, in the 80s. I love the way you described them pulling the tires over themselves to keep warm. How whimsical. But my car, "Buster," often stirred whimsical thoughts. How many cars come with a Marty Robbins Greatest Hits tape in the glove compartment? Yes, Buster had a tape player but everything else was original.
I still have the tape...

Anonymous said...

Loved the association of the Peugeots and Lewis Carroll.
I had a car just like those in the U.S. when I was in University. It cost me $50 at a garage sale.

J said...

Perhaps they're the abandoned cars of a slain jabberwock? ot two?

Arnaud said...

Owen, Chris, those 2 cars are neither 404, or 504, those are 204.
My parents had one in the early seventies, then bought a 304, then 305 and 505.
And to close the discussion, you have those photographs in high resolution so you can read the model number !
In any case, this shot is marvelous, and I like it !

Yvette said...

surreël it

Lynne with an e said...

I suspected you might be the galumphing type.

Anonymous said...

LOL, I love your imaginative mind! Snuggled up together! Really nice image!

Marguerite said...

Your creativity astounds me, Owen. Fabulous poem and pic!

Anya said...

Cooooooool shot,
I love that POEM ^__^

Owen said...

To Chris & Arnaud,
I'd really like to thank both of you for pointing out my editorial error... I thought I had read "404" on the hood of the car at right, but in fact the number was broken in half, and just looked like a four to my tired eyes the other night. In fact, Arnaud, you are correct, in the full size version of the photo, it is clearly "204". Many thanks to both of you !!! And glad you enjoyed it despite my mistake ! Am going to correct it in the text...

Jeff, Raoul & Fernand are wonderful ! Merci bcp pour cette fabuleuse conversation entre deux vieilles bagnoles échouées dans un bois ! Trop chouette cet esprit Jeffersonienne !!! Vraiment, tu m'étonnes toujours... LOL ! merci... Mais quand même, tu as du avoir bu un peu de *bip* pour avoir entendu des voix de voixtures si clairement !

To One and All,
I'm one happy camper blogger to see all your fantastic remarks and feedback here, you all are just beautiful day in and day out... believe me, it is your amazingly observant, fresh, creative, hilarious, witty, and wicked words here that really keep the blogging sails billowed out... Ahhh, yes, beware the Jabberwock, with eyes of flame !!! Glad you all enjoyed a little refresher course in Lewis Carroll. I'm back out to hunt for more anachronisms ! ;-D

The Sagittarian said...

Great photo, looks like a fantastic place to play hide-out!!
Also reminded me of an old car-boneyard photo that I took, many years ago...must go and fish it out for you!

Owen said...

Hey Amanda ! Oh, please do... can't wait to see your boneyard car photo !!! Your other old photos from Holland were so much fun !!! Hope you are all well in NZ... please give a wave across the sraights to Oz, my daughter's over there in Brisbane at the moment...

Dear H2O Cats,
You slipped that comment in here yesterday just while I was typing the other responses to the first go round... I almost missed it (1h34 vs 1h44 pm). Sure hope you can do some more busking to raise some dosh to get some of your older photos transformed into the digital age... I'm breaking the piggy banks around the house to do it, but the hankering to see what was in all those thousands of negatives was just too much for this old Toad... Your story about the half buried Morris which still had a gleam in a lamp is amazing. Might be a miracle in fact...

Lydia, love the notion of a car that comes with a Marty Robbins greatest hits cassette... too much... the two he did I love the most are "Big Iron" and "El Paso"... "El Paso" got picked up later on by the Grateful Dead, played numerous times at their shows, and Big Iron was on one of Bob Weir's solo albums I believe. Anyway, thanks for that story, that's great !

Maggie May said...

I put this poem up at Halloween- I love his writings!

Owen said...

Hi Maggie... welcome ! one can't get too much Jabberwocky... :-D

Lena said...

hi :) I absolutely ADORE Jabberwocky!!! and your photographs are great! :)

Owen said...

Lena, hey, thanks for dropping in here, the more the merrier... and glad you enjoyed the photos !