Thursday, September 9, 2010

Talk to the Hand

It’s September in Paris. Back to school, back to work, back to the très Parisian routine of métro-boulot-dodo.

But for some Parisians, it’s time to get a little action on the side.

At kindergarten.

Wait, let me explain. Big Fry is Big Man on Campus at school this year. At the ripe old age of five, he already has two years of maternelle under his belt. So when a new kid started speaking to his Papa in a mixture of French and English on the first day of school, he was there to show him the ropes.

That’s what French Dad thought La Mom was doing, too. But the ropes he had in mind were more along the lines of light bondage.

Here’s how the conversation went down:

La Mom:
So, your son is bilingual?

French Dad: Oui, Paul speeks both French and Eeenglish very well. He weel go to a private Eeenglish class on Wednesdays this year.

La Mom:
Is it in the 8th? Big Fry’s going there, too!

(Polite conversation in French ensues.)

La Mom (extending hand): I hope to see you again soon. By the way, I’m La Mom.

French Dad (looking at proffered hand as if it is a dead animal): Comment?

La Mom:
Je me presente. You know, I’m introducing myself?

French Dad (stammering): Ah, oui. Je m’appelle…D-d-d-d-didier.

La Mom (light bulb going on over her head): Well, don’t hesitate to let me know if you need any…help…with your English. (Slight raise of eyebrows for added effect)

No matter how long I live here, it still leaves me gobsmacked. Just because you talk to someone of the opposite sex doesn’t mean you want to play touche-pipi.

Well, I’m looking at the bright side. Parisiennes have to get coquetted out in high heels and thigh-grazing skirts to turn heads. All an American girl needs to do?

Tell them to talk to the hand.

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