Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Walking English Megaphone

So I just got back from the Tabac where I bought the Duke's Father's day old Daily Mail, and whilst I was there, I thought it probably best to apologise for his behaviour yesterday, and for what he may do in the next few days he is here.

You see, he's 72, hard of hearing, non-French speaking, more inclined to side with the Germans than the French, and pissed off that we live here and not with him in the UK. So he makes this apparent each time he comes to visit. He speaks loudly, and quickly, in English, to any French person that catches his eye, any woe betide anyone stuck behind a counter, they won't even know what's hit them. One of his favourite sayings is 'Why don't you speak my language?'. Mortifying.

The Duke and I conducted an experiment when we first moved here by taking him to an out of the way pizzeria. We were testing him, and he failed. I finally managed to catch the eye of the waitress to bring the bill, and nudging the Duke, who by this time had almost slide underneath the table with embarrassment, we made a pact that this would be the last supper au restaurant for father. Which actually suits him fine, as his usual philosophy is that it's too expensive, we can cook it better at home, and that there is no substitute for a homecooked meal. Okay, then, we're agreed on the decision to eat our dinners at home...... Whew!

I don't know why I feel so embarrassed by him, or why I feel the need to apologise for him. Lord knows I'm past the age where I should feel mortified by parents......

I guess it's the fact that I'm reminded on a daily basis that I'm foreign, and the last thing I need is for someone who is known to me to pass through the village like a walking English Megaphone, asking for the Daily Mail.

We are just off the Pezenas Market now, so if you hear someone shouting loudly in English, come over and say hello, I'll be the one hiding between the stalls.......


Gabrielle said...

I think I love your dad! Remember that moment in The Usual Suspects when Benicio Del Toro is mumbling and someone (one of the Baldwin brothers?) says "Speak f***en English!"--that's what I feel like saying somedays ;-)

Rachelle said...

You can have him! lol

Papadesdeux said...

Well, I'm sure most of us that have been blown across the ocean into this savage land would occasionally like to have the opportunity to make the natives suffer in the same manner as we do. Helas, we pretty much have to grin and bear it. And though loud, aggressive in-laws provide infinite fodder for our keyboards, I completely understand the "slide under the table" response.

Very pleased to have found another enthusiastic but time-challenged blogger.

Nice stories, well put.