Sunday, March 06, 2011

Life of the Velominati

A reimagined scene. 

[Frank is writing graffiti on the road to Alpe d'Huez. Bernard Hinault catches him in the act] 

Bernie: What's this, then? "Oportet eos parere praeceptis fieri"? You must them the rules be obey?
Frank: It says, "Cyclists: Obey the Rules"
Bernie: No it doesn't ! What's the latin for "Speed"? Come on, come on ! 
Frank: Er, "Velo" ! 
Bernie: Vocative plural of "Veloci" is? 
Frank: Er, er, "Velominati" ! 
Bernie: [Writes "Velominati" over Frank's graffiti] "Perere"? What is "parere"? Conjugate the verb, "to obey" ! 
Frank: Er, "Pereo". Er, "obederitis", "parent", "obsequimur", "obediunt".
Bernie: So, "parere" is...? 
Frank: Third person plural present indicative, "they obey". 
Bernie: But, "obey the rules" is an order. So you must use...? 
[He twists Frank's ear] 
Frank: Aaagh ! The imperative ! 
Bernie: Which is...? 
Frank: Aaaagh ! Er, er, "parere necessi" ! 
Bernie: How many Velominatus? 
Frank: Aaaaagh ! Plural, plural, er, "praecepta" ! 
Bernie: [Writes "praecepta"] "eos"? Nominative? "obey" is motion towards, isn't it? 
Frank: Dative ! 
[Bernie holds a chain ring to his throat] 
Frank: Aaagh ! Not the dative, not the dative ! Er, er, accusative, "Audus" ! 
Bernie: But "Audus" takes the locative, which is...? 
Frank: Er, "Audi" ! 
Bernie: [Writes "Audi"] Understand? Now, write it out a hundred times. 
Frank: Yes sir. Thank you, sir. Hail Merckx, sir. 
Bernie: Hail Merckx ! And if it's not done by sunrise, I'll cut your balls off.