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I Love The French

I love the French. I suppose that’s not a particularly popular thing to say, especially if you’re either English or American…but there it is. A friend just returned from a trip to Paris; she fell in love with it. It happens to the best of us.

Photo by Sheila Star 2011

When the French opposed George W’s 2003 invasion of Iraq they were targeted by a considerable portion of the American public. I wonder what the French word for sheep is? Never mind. At the time, I was working in a bar in San Francisco, and a customer asked me which was the best vodka we had? I was of the opinion that Grey Goose was the smoothest vodka available at that time. So I reached for the bottle.

“Whoa, whoa!!! Hold it right there, buddy!” the man chirped.“ Is that a French flag on that bottle?”

“Yes. Why?”

“I don’t want that shit.”

“Why not? I just told you it’s the best one.”

“It’s French.”

“You don’t want it because it’s French?” I asked disbelievingly.

“That’s right. Fucking French.”

“So I suppose you’re one of these guys that calls ‘French fries’ ‘freedom fries’ then?”

“I am.”  He pointed to a vodka bottle in the well (the contents of which tasted like lighter fluid) and I made him his “French-free” vodka drink.

“You know in France they’re called ‘pommes frites’ and in England they’re called ‘chips.’ Americans are the only people that call them ‘French fries’ anyhow,” I said.

He took a sip of his cheap American vodka and shuddered. He stared at me quizzically and said, “Saaay, where are you from anyway?”

“I’m from England. It’s near France.”

“Well, I suppose you’re okay then.”

“Gee thanks.”

“So you’re English and you’re not mad at the French?”

“No. I love the French, and when this idiotic war is all said and done, the French will likely turn out to be the smart ones. I love French Toast, and I love French kisses. My favorite Gene Hackman film is “Young Franc-en-stein,” closely followed by “The French Connection.” My favorite celebratory beverage is Champagne…a region in France. I like songs about the Champs Elysées. I make my coffee in a French press. My favorite comedy is Napoleon Dynamite, and I don’t say ‘fil-lit’ of fish I say ‘fhil-llaay.’ That will be sixteen dollars, s’il vous plait.”

“Sixteen dollars for cheap vodka?”

“Taxes. Your president’s got to pay for those bombs somehow. What, you think he’s going to use his own money? Now pay up and leave, and don’t let the door hit your derriere on the way out.”

The English notoriously have a love/hate relationship with the French, as demonstrated in this tongue-in-cheek satirical music video below.

Me? I love the French.

C’est la vie!!!!!

The Gospel According To BART

For those not familiar with BART, it is the train system that links San Francisco to Oakland and to other more forgettable places in the Bay Area. This is what it’s like:

Whatever you do with your graffiti, don’t smoke, drink, or eat it while on BART

Also known as Commandment #6 as told in “The Gospel According To BART.”

However, federal law does NOT require that the seats actually be clean enough to sit on.

“Hey, hippy, why does no one want to sit anywhere near you? Are you the reason that the seats on BART are dirty?”

Sometimes while I’m on BART I play, “Hey, Pal, Are You Dead Or Just Sleeping?”

BART isn’t just for homeless people trying to stay out of the rain. Celebrity impersonator sightings are frequent. Depending on which side of the train this John Goodman wannabe sits, there’s a good chance that the train will be leaning to that side.

Clearly this couple thought that they were on The Orient Express. I love this guy’s cane.

This from the BART website: We are asking you to help keep BART safe for everyone by reporting unattended packages or suspicious behavior. What do we mean by suspicious behavior? Here are some examples: 1) Acting nervous, sweating inappropriately. 2) Taking pictures or videotaping in areas of no interest to the general public. 3) Attempting to get into an area that is off limits. 4) Leaving a package, backpack or briefcase and hurrying away from the area………………..The Bay Area Brit: guilty as charged…………Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to eat and drink and maybe smoke some graffiti.