Monday, August 20, 2007

Elegance and Etymology

You know the conversation's going downhill when you find yourself having to explain who David Niven is.

Not to be confused with Larry Niven, who is (as far as I know) rather a better science fiction writer than David, but is not as likely to wear a cutaway and kid gloves in public.

David Niven played James Bond in Casino Royale. You know - the real one, with the Bacharach theme music. I consider him to belong to the same breed as James Mason, with an impeccable, yet unstudied and wholly good-natured elegance. He's a little more polished than Mason, though. And here's an interesting bit of trivia for you: Audrey Hepburn once glanced at him over the rim of her champagne glass and hiccupped, and that's how the word "debonair" came into existence. Look it up if you don't believe me!

Nonetheless, it pains me to tell you that one of the very best friends I've ever had did not know who David Niven is. I can't reveal the details of the conversation that led to this, but I can tell you it nose-dived pretty quickly, with my friend finally offering to have me whacked by the transportational stalker who lost his job over my former cube neighbor Audrey.

Not to be confused with Miss Hepburn.

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