A little creative non-fiction.


french1

ON DIPPING INTO MY OLD, FRENCH GRAMMAR.

I want to live in a language text-book.

“Bonjour Marc”

“Bonjour Jean-Claude”

“Comment ca va?”

“Bien, merci. Et tu? Ca va?”

Communication is clean and clear. No one says anything uneccesary, or unkind. Friendships are built on pleasant small-talk.

“J’aime the le vin blanc”

“Moi, j’adore le vin rouge”.

Everyone can enjoy a drink without getting even slightly tipsy. There are neither wine-snobs, nor cask-drinking boguns. There are no complicated varietals: it’s either red or white.

“Le plume de ma tante est sure la table de mon oncle”.

Nothing gets lost. Things always have a right place, and they are always in it.  Nobody has clutter. Everybody has one of everything.

“ A l’epicerie, je veux une livre de beurre and six oeufs”

There is no mindless shopping. No filling the emotional hole in the trolley. Just enough ingredients are bought for that night’s dinner. Nobody hunts around for “reduced for quick sale” stickers. The shop-assistants are always polite. And you get served straight away.

“Aimes-tu le theatre, ou le cinema?”

“Je joue au ruby”

“Je joue au tennis”

Everyone gets some culture. Everyone plays a sport. Everyone reads. Everyone listens to music.

Nobody talks unless they need to. Disputes are always friendly. If you and your friend follow different football teams, this point is discussed politely over a vin rouge. Nobody bickers. Nobody talks just to fill in space. There are no hidden agendas. In the language textbook, a cigar is just a cigar.

Everyone has a job, or is a student. And if they are a student, they study hard, but still have time to spin some discs with friends, and go skiing on the weekend. Parties are always pleasant. Nobody gets drunk. Nobody has a teary, screaming row with their boyfriend. Nobody fucks anyone else’s boyfriend: in fact, nobody fucks. Children are conceived by internal combustion.  Holidays always go off with only the smallest of glitches, which are easily solved with the assistance of smiling, helpful officials.  Nobody ends up having to blow a customs officer.

In the language text-book, life is efficient, polite and simple.  The present is pleasant, the future is clear and the past is perfect.

Allons! Habitons-nous dans le cahier de la langue!

 

*I apologize humbly to anyone whose French is better than mine…

 

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