Universal Oddities
September 19, 2002

History’s Debacle

What can be said of the day Cheryl Tiegs encountered Honoré de Balzac?

One a master of literary form, the other a nutrition guru, supermodel, and staunch atheist utterly devoid of compassion and totally without fear of God.

As she declared in her famous Declaration Against Communism or Declaración Contre Communismo, “I fear neither God nor man!”

Their meeting by sheer happenstance would lead to one of unrecorded history’s most magnificent clashes. It was quite a roundabout and odd meeting as well, considering that Balzac (1799-1850) had died nearly a hundred years before the birth of fraeulein Tiegs (1947-20?? [barring advances in the bionic sciences which could potentially result in 1947-30??; yet operating under the assumption that Cheryl Tiegs has not already been bionically altered]).

The meeting took place in an isolated cafe in southern Ireland frequented by the intellectuals of the time (i.e. 1496).

Balzac was sipping at a whisky cappuccino when Tiegs entered the cafe (or “café”, as they say in Ireland). What immediately struck him about Tiegs was the fact that she hadn’t been born yet, nor would be born for another few centuries. This greatly impressed Balzac, a man who was not easily impressed.

Balzac’s philosophy, espoused within the pages of his numerous works, was one of words. As La Comédie Humaine demonstrates, most of Balzac’s philosophy was French, and thus slightly offensive to foreign audiences. Nevertheless, through such works as Père Goriot, Sir Malcolme DeForest: The Wiggler, Le Hominid, El Intamutiable Terminable, and A Modern Examination of Germ Warfare, Balzac was able to capture the imagination of 15th century Ireland’s in a way that none of his contemporaries could.

To Tiegs, the only philosophy worth considering was Sports Illustrated. It was not simply a magazine; it was the attainment of perpetual bliss. To her, life was encapsulated entirely within. Its helmets shouted passion; its spherical objects spoke of wisdom. Yet its glossy pages were a perpetual reminder of her own fragile mortality (barring potential bionic alterations).

Unlike Balzac, Tiegs’s philosophy was one of philosophy. And it was extremely philosophical.

As she strode into the cafe (or “café”, as they say in Ireland), the tangy aroma of goat’s ale and fermented mule hit her like poop on a cannonball. She ordered a carbonated horse drink and leaned against the bar as they mashed it in the back.

It was then that Balzac nodded his head in her directión and she turned her eyes to acknowledge the writer. And with that, the endgame was met as Balzac’s comment drifted across the room upon the stench of freshly mutilated horse; a challenge to her very existence.

“I say madam, you have not yet been born.”

Cheryl Tiegs gingerly scratched her arm before lifting a fresh mug of horse to retort with a response now legendary for its terse simplicity: “neither have you.”

A pause ensued.

“Touché,” Balzac responded. “Well played Ms. Tiegs, well played.”

And, upon that note concluded one of history’s most spirited and memorable exchanges, the likes of which mankind is, lamentably, not likely to ever witness again.





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