Thursday, July 14, 2011
[Reprinting some of Y.P.R.’s Francophilia. ]

I’ve Decided to Start Acting More French

Hi, honey. We need to talk.

So I’ve decided to start acting more French, and you’re going to be seeing some changes in my behavior. Exactly what this will entail is difficult to determine, particularly because I have never been to France. But it’s my decision, and I’m sticking with it. Anyway, I’ve got some general ideas on how to do so. Hence the beret.

Why have I chosen to do this, you ask? In celebration of my heritage. I’ve recently been made aware that my last name is probably French in origin. This is not certain, but fairly likely—maybe 60 percent. It’s either French or German. Anyway, I don’t really want to act more German, nor would I know how to do so even if I did. So French it is. Want some baguette?

Please don’t object to this. And don’t fight it. If you want to fight about it, I’m going to have to run away. It is widely acknowledged that French people don’t fight. We are lovers, not fighters. Perhaps I could get someone to do the quarreling for me, if you’re insistent on arguing. Anyway, I’d rather not fight about it, as it’s not in my nature. Let’s just have some wine and a long skinny cigarette.

What do you mean it’s too early for wine? Not in France, it isn’t. French people are drunk 24/7. I’m really going for full-on Frenchness here. So when I drunkenly turn my superior nose up at everything you say, please don’t be offended. It might help your situation some if you wore this Canadian flag patch on your backpack. French people dislike Canadians to a lesser degree than they do Americans. Wear this and hopefully I won’t spit on you. Thanks.

So I was thinking we could head over to the Louvre this afternoon, and then maybe go to the café for some cuisine—perhaps crêpes à la carte. Sound good? How was my pronunciation, by the way?

Are you ready to go? We’ll need to allow ourselves plenty of time for the meal. French people take exceedingly long meals—often nine or ten hours in length—because they savor every nuance and flavor of what they are eating. It is also not uncommon for two French diners to go through 27 bottles of Bordeaux at a single meal, so pace yourself, O.K.?

Sacre bleu! I suddenly find myself conflicted, because as a French person, I am also culturally obligated to enjoy and be amazingly skilled at cooking. I stand for hours on end over an old Wedgewood stove in my Parisian flat, pouring spices and wine into large pans and cauldrons, often sniffing deeply and approvingly as I do so. Usually I am making stews or escargot. Do you want me to cook for you? I guarantee you’ll sleep with me after. French people are that good when it comes to food.

At some point here, I have to stop by the dry cleaner to pick up my tight-fitting, horizontally striped shirt, so there’s that to squeeze in to our day as well. Honestly, though, time really doesn’t matter all that much to me. We can go whenever. I’m pretty nonchalant about punctuality, which it is my understanding non-French people often mistake for ennui.

In case you were wondering, I’m not going into work today. You Americans work too much. It’s ridiculous, your capitalist society. All you think about is money. Maybe you should try cutting your work week down to just two days and relaxing a little. That would leave you more time for the finer things in life, like long meals, copious amounts of wine, and long, skinny cigarettes.

That Jerry Lewis! Oh, my God, what a wonderful man! Remind me to do some research on that guy. Can’t exactly seal the old “I’m French” deal without a deep appreciation for Jerry Lewis, can I? Is he still alive? What was he, a tennis player?

Well, O.K. I’m tired now. I’m going to take a nap. Pretty much all of my days now are going to be devoted to two things: eating and sleeping. Of course there will be some drinking and smoking in there too—usually in conjunction with the eating. But you need to understand that naps are a huge part of my culture. Please be quiet while I’m napping, O.K.?

Object all you want, but it’s who I am. This is what life is going to be like from now on, dear. If you don’t like it, you can go back to Canada.

Eric Feezell’s writing may be seen regularly at The Morning News, McSweeney’s, Yankee Pot Roast, and other fine online publications. He is also a contributing writer for The Onion News Network. Please keep a watchful eye out for ice pumas. Thank you.

Judy & Jim in Paris

Ooh, jim, take a picture. No, not of the Tower, you dunce—we already have a million of those. Turn around. All the way. Use your eyes! Well, I’m not going to point it out for you. Yes, finally. Isn’t that just the most adorable little beggar gypsy boy you’ve ever seen?

Give him a euro, Jim, then take a picture when he plays that precious organ-grinder of his. No, I don’t want to get too close to him—I’ve got our passports in my fanny-pack. And ask him to play … I don’t know, “God Bless America”? Wait, that might offend his religion. How about our song?

I can’t believe you don’t know what our song is. I suppose you don’t remember what happened the night of February 18, 1979, either. I’ll give you a hint … the Foxy Mama Discothèque, you were out with the other junior partners, I was with my Kappa Kappa sisters, and I came up and asked you to “take a chance on me.”

Yes, you idiot, our first kiss. Now, tell him to play some Abba.

Of course he’ll know it—everyone knows “Take a Chance on Me”! So, if he doesn’t, hum it and he’ll pick it up. Those people are so musical.

“We can go dancing, we can go walking, as long as we’re together …” Now I’m in the mood for some dancing tonight—and maybe a little merlot! For God’s sake, live a little, Jim—we’re on vacation. Look in the Rick Steves for where the good nightclubs are. You left it at the hotel? What do you mean, you wanted to “explore on our own”? Um, O.K… . answer me this. Do we know our way around Paris? No. Do we speak French? Non. Smart thinking, Flaubert. I just can’t understand for the life of me how Bob won the promotion over you.

I’m chilly. Gimme your anorak.

Jim, don’t turn around now, but—I said “Don’t turn around,” you moron … O.K., now. A real prostitute! We must be in the red-light district. Bob and Suzy are going to be so jealous when we tell them! Ugh, look at that cellulite. You’d think she’d cover herself up a little—they look like Suzy’s thighs. I may have three kids under my belt, but I do my Pilates and Atkins. Jim, stop staring.

Oh, look at that cute top! The green one! I’ve been looking for one like that all over San Diego. I should’ve known—only in the Gap in Paris! Give me the MasterCard, Jim. I know I just bought pants this morning—this matches with them, dummy. And how do you think we got the frequent-flyer mileage for this trip, anyway?

Wow. Do you think that salesman is also a model? I bet he is. He looks like Marco. Oh, just some guy I dated my J.Y.A. in Florence. He just looked in my direction! Boy, if I weren’t married … I’m kidding, Jim, lighten up! Are you jealous-wealous of all the attention your pretty wittle wife is getting in Paris? Hmm? What’s the matter, a little ticklish?

Eww. Nothing. Just … you should probably lay off the cheeses and desserts while we’re here, honey. And think about switching back from golf to squash. Then wear a knee brace, you wimp.

Let’s see, we can shop for another half-hour, then we’re meeting Bob and Suzy at the hotel for lunch at two … or, should I say, “fourteen”! Yes, it’s a late lunch—remember, we’re in Europe, you caveman? I don’t care—grab a frappuccino at Starbucks or something. The kids are dying for McDonald’s. The bellhop told me that here they call it “McDos.” Isn’t that wild? It’s like a different world. Coming here was my best idea yet. Give me a kiss, you big, useless lunk. Of course you should ask the salesman to take a picture—why else would we do it? God, sometimes you’re really so fucking stupid.

Teddy Wayne is a writer living in Manhattan. His work has also recently been published in McSweeney’s (here, here, here, here, and here). He runs a 4.3 40 and was a Southwest Conference First-Team selection at cornerback.
French bread.

Useful Phrases for the American in Paris

Je recherche un talonneur appelé Marie. Elle peut avoir ma pochette.
I’m looking for a hooker named Marie. She may have my wallet.

Ce goût du vin comme la pisse de chien. Où peux-je circuler un Pabst ici ?
This wine tastes like dog piss. Where can I get a Pabst around here?

Je l’aime bizarre-modèle.
I like it freaky-style.

Madame, vos seins sont remarquable : grand, bouncy, et parfaitement en rond.
Madam, your breasts are remarkable: large, bouncy, and perfectly round.

Et vos quartiers arrières ne sont pas gâtés non plus.
And your hindquarters are not bad either.

Est-ce que, la manie inexplicable de camionneur-chapeau de maille me dit a balayé votre nation aussi bien, pétillant aussi rapidement qu’elle a mis à feu?
Tell me, did the inexplicable mesh trucker-cap craze sweep your nation as well, fizzling as quickly as it ignited?

Yo, maisons, vous savez où je peux marquer de l’énergie hydraulique?
Yo, homes, you know where I can score some hydro?

Je veux donner une fessée à cette chienne méchante.
I want to spank that nasty bitch.

Par la “chienne,” naturellement, je me référais au carniche femelle qui a chié devant mon hôtel. Je ne me référerais jamais à une jeune dame française comme vous-même employant de tels termes vulgaires.
By “bitch,” of course, I was referring to the female poodle that has crapped in front of my hotel. I would never refer to a young French lady like you using such vulgar terms.

Cette merde est whack.
This shit is whack.

Elle a des décharges comme un camion.
She’s got dumps like a truck.

Est-ce que ceci viennent avec “une fin heureuse”?
Does this come with a “happy ending”?

Monsieur, je voudrais avoir le sexe avec votre épouse, chien-modèle.
Sir, I would like to have sex with your wife, doggy-style.

Mon anaconda n’en veulent aucun à moins que vous ayez obtenu des brioches, hon.
My anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hon.

Pouvez-vous recommander un bon hôtel avec des taux par heure ? J’ai seulement l’heure pour rapide.
Can you recommend a good hotel with hourly rates? I’ve only got time for a quickie.

Cette prostituée a pu avoir en fait été un homme. Veuillez tenir mon chapeau pour moi tandis que je vomis.
That prostitute may have, in fact, been a man. Please hold my hat for me while I vomit.

Sheen Machine: Every Single Episode of Two and a Half Men Since the CBS sitcom is on hiatus in wake of Mr. Sheen's galactic shitshow, Y.P.R. hereby republishes all 177 episodes of ribald mediocrity, handily condensed into one easy page.
Money-Saving Holiday Shopping Tips from the Wizard of Oz I AM OZ, THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE. Those who come before me cannot help but to cower and quail at my flaming visage. But I still have limits on my credit cards, and during these recessionary times, even mighty despots with enormous Heads have to count their pennies.
It's a Wonderful Life: Alternate Ending In which a middle-aged Harry Bailey, no longer a war hero and still depressed about his older brother’s attempted suicide, himself begins to consider jumping off a bridge but is interrupted by an absent-minded angel.



RSD | RSS I | RSS II | Atøm | Spanish









From the Y.P.aRchives


Fun, Fickle Fiction (for Free!)
Fact, Opinion, Essay, & Review
Poetry & Lyric
Advice, How To, & Self-Help


Spectacular Features, Calendrical Happenings, Media Gadflies
Media Gadflies
Calendrical Happenings
The Book Club


Semi-Frequent Columns
Letter from the Editors
Disquieting Modern Trends


Interviews with Interviewers
One-Question Interviews


Correspondence (Letters To and Letters From) Letters from Y.P.R. Letters to Y.P.R. Birthday Cards to Celebrities


The Y.P.aRt Gallery Illustrious Illustration Photography Photomontage Graphic Design Logo Gallery


Pop Stars in Hotel Rooms Shreek of the Week of the Day What's Up with That? Fuit Salad Nick's Guff Vermont Girl The M_methicist Daily Garfield Digest Polish Facts: An Antidote to the Polish Joke


New & Noteworthy Et Cetera, Et Cetera, Et Cetera


Contributors' Notes


The Y.P.aRchives

This journal is powered by Movable Typo 5.02.

Y.P.R. & Co.