Wednesday, June 25, 2008

WHAT did you just...?


I was walking down the street today in my own world when a man walking past me gave me the leary eyes and said "something something mon cigar". My first thought was, hmmm I am not smoking a cigar, why would he...maybe he meant cigarette...but I'm not smoking a cigarette either so...I was 20 meters past him when it hit me....ohhhh WAIT A MINUTE (as the anger started to boil)...
That guy just said SUCK MY DICK to me.
"Mon CIGAR", of COURSE!

Maybe it was the heat outside or the fact that I just had wasted 30 seconds of my life trying to translate what this guy had said to me...but I was SERIOUSLY enraged. I had just come from Savate class too so it took no time at all for me to wheel around, march right up behind him and yell "BOIS VOTRE CIGAR! TOUT SEUL!" (my bad French roughly translating to Drink Your Dick! All Alone!....it's all I could think of). Then I added a firm "AAAASSHOLE!" just to drive my point home. Before he had a chance to respond, I marched off in a huff. Some people on the sidewalk were laughing and said something else to me but I had already decided my "translate what the nice French people on the sidewalk say" game was OVER for the day and I just kept marching, thinking of a litany of curses I could have said in English.

Five minutes later I entered my neighborhood bakery. Every single person who works there is always really nice and smiley with me (I am there every single day) EXCEPT this one woman who messes up my order every single time and then acts like I killed her family when I correct her order. She is seemingly the only person in Paris who can't ever understand me, she rarely makes eye contact except to sneer at me and oftentimes she will not say the mandatory "Au Revoir" after I have already said it upon exiting the shop. So there she was, Miss Sunshine in all her glory and me, fresh off a badly executed French insult and still racking my brain trying to figure out how to say "suck".

I ordered two baguettes, she gave me one, I said no two please, she sneered, briskly took another baguette out and just dropped it clumsily on the counter, not even wrapping it for me. We've played this scenario out about 650 times since I moved here and frankly, it is getting a little old. As I paid today and said "merci" twice followed by "Au Revoir!" she was silent. I stopped in my tracks and thought, "You know what, Sneer Lady? NOT TODAY. NOT. TODAY. Because I have officially HAD IT." I turned back around and said "Au Revoir!" again.
(pause)
Still, nothing.
So I walked back up to the counter where she could not possibly miss me and gave my best stickily sweet "Au revoir!"
(pause)
Zero.
I clearly wasn't ever going to win this battle so I just said to her "Vous etes siiii gentille, merci beaucoup." (you are soooo nice, thanks a lot) before smiling, mumbling "asshole" under my breath and waltzing out the door.

Au revoir!!!! :)

16 comments:

Auntie Charro said...

I am so proud of you. I couldn't have done it better myself!

David said...

You should give credit to the guy for originality...
It's rare that they use metaphors when saying gross stuff...

An advice though, the best possible response with those guys is not saying something but looking down at them meaning "you're pathetic".

Samantha said...

wow, you're brave - it took me a good three years to work up the courage to say stuff like that!!

amanda said...

hey dana,
I found your blog through the paris group blog. I was just in paris a few weeks ago, and I was hoping to take a martial arts class while I was there-- I'm almost a black belt in tae kwon do here in NYC. I didn't have the chance, but I'm hoping to come back later this year. it's my dream to kick ass in every language! love reading your adventures in France, especially the cigar-sucking episode!
amanda

amelie said...

Haha! That's incredible!

I know you had a bad day, but the way you dealt with it makes me laugh out loud. Good for you for being sickly sweet to that stupid bakery lady: the French get so upset if you don't say "Bonjour;" you deserve an "Au revoir!"

ChezLait said...

I think the verb "to suck" is "sucer". The VIE French employees that come to Houston love to teach their American colleagues how to say "hello how are you" in French. According to the mechant VIE, you say, "suce ma bite salope." It's all very charming.

Misplaced said...

Excellent!!!!!

I've found mostly nice and polite people here but every once in a while you get a real asshole. I'm really enjoying your blog- Thanks

KFD said...

FB just politely informed me I nearly said "I drink your dick! By myself!" (JE bois votre cigar...). Uh...oops. No wonder why everyone on the street was laughing. Now I am practicing "Suce ta queue". :)

Pont des Arts said...

Paris. Paris.

Sophie said...

Oh Dana this is so well done! Go girl!:)
And next time she's acting like that with you, do the same thing, she will probably give up before you do.
Do you think she's the owner of the boulangerie or one of the employee?
You could also have said something loud like "VOUS NE VOULEZ PAS ME DIRE AUREVOIR MADAME?" and make sure there are clients around you:)

expat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Autolycus said...

I thought the proper riposte to someone being offensive to you like your cigar man was simply to say "Et ta soeur!"...?

David said...

Autolycus, yeah this is the proper answer if you want the Zidane treatment..

kirsten said...

I drink your dick! By Myself! I am SOOO happy to know how to say this in French. I will whisper it often now and maybe become a NJ legend like the mata hari.

By the way - in my book - you are fluent when you can yell and insult like a new yorker in another language. Kudos.

David said...

Just one detail, "cigare" is not exactly common when referring to a dick.

Fabulously Broke said...

LOL!!!.... Oh French...

Yes, disdain works.