263 – Functional Geography 2.0: France, the Ideal Household Utensil
Well, the jury is in. The country with the most functional geography is… France. As proved by this diagram, France’s jagged, hexagonal shape makes it the ideal, multiple-use household utensil:
• The Pas de Calais, at the very top of the country, bordering Belgium and the English Channel, is transformed into a diamant coupe-verre (glass-cutter)
n• Peninsular Normandy doubles as a handy décapsuleur (bottle-opener)
n• Brittany, stabbing into the Atlantic Ocean, makes for a nice fourchette (fork)
n• Broadening out into the Bay of Biscay downstream from the city of Bordeaux, the Gironde estuary is a coupe-ficelle (wire-cutter)
n• The Pyrennées, the mountain chain forming the border with Spain, are transformed into a hâchoir (meat-mincer)
n• The sharp edge where the Alsace-Lorraine region juts furthest into Germany serves as a pied-de-biche (crowbar)
n• France’s interior is taken up by a gril (grill pan)
And while several US states and other countries boast purely geographical panhandles (e.g. Oklahoma, West Virginia, Namibia), France gets a real one stuck in its Franche-Comté region – probably Swiss-made, by the look of it.
This handy household item, named Le Gaulois (‘The Gaul’), looks like it could be a big hit on those all-night tv shopping channels. Wouldn’t you want one?
Merci beaucoup à Emmanuel Parfond de m’avoir envoyé cette carte.