Friday, 10 February 2012

Sn Sn

Alors Tintin
Despite your advanced years
Your fresh face and orange
Quiff continue to delight.
You first appeared in January
1929, just before Swallows and
Amazons in England although
They were not actually cartoons;
So that would make you about 103
Years old, and Snowy your faithful
Fox terrier about 87;
Your surname was never revealed
Thus you were the
Nomenclatural opposite
Of Inspector Morse
We know you in translation
From the original Belgian bien sûr,
Your confrères were Milou,
Le Professeur Tournesol,
The detectives Dupont et Dupond
And of course the irascible
Capitaine Haddock lui-même.
This alcoholic seafarer was
Named after one of the
Titanic's skippers;
His impressive sweary vocabulary
Includes such gems as
"tonnerre de tonnerre de Brest"
And "mille milliards de mille sabords"
Which we know as "thundering typhoons"
and "blistering barnacles";
Drawn in simple ligne claire
You raced around Europe as
A notebook-clutching boy reporter
With your flapping gabardine
And implausible trousers
Until the Boche occupied Belgium;
Hergé your creator prudently
Promoted you to boy explorer
To avoid the attention
Of the Geheimsstatspolizei;
Despite mocking the fascists
With the character Musstler
In King Ottakar's Sceptre
Hergé emerged unscathed
From the war and devoted
His life to you, producing
A total of twenty four books
Set in increasingly exotic locations
Ending up on the Moon,
A similar plot inflation to 007 in fact.
My favourite is Red Rackham's Treasure
Where the mystery is solved by pressing
A hidden button... oops;
I also enjoyed Tintin in Tibet
With its delightful monks and yaks
Before the Chinese cultural Holocaust;
You were in hot eau recently
For the unsophisticated natives
In the Congo adventure;
Despite le kerfuffle the book
Is still available and selling well;
The books are completely free of
All trace of vous savez quoi ~
Despite malicious rumours about
Captain Haddock's mainmast
You do not seem to have a
Flourishing emotional life;
There are rude versions of Tintin
If that is your pleasure
In which all the characters
Are intimately explored;
Over two hundred million
Tintin albums have been sold
The surprisingly thin books
Are instantly recognisable
By their huge covers
A format adopted by both
Babar and Asterix
Two more Francophone
Cartoon legends
Au revoir then
And Archibald
A la prochaine
Zouave interplanétaire
Sapristi marmotte mal réveillée !!
Espèce de loup-garou à la graisse de renoncule de mille sabords de mille millions de milliards de mille tonnerres de Brest
Que le grand cric me croque et me fasse avaler ma barbe ;)

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