Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sacre bleu!

Dear France,
Je t'aime, mais c'est ridicule. In case you were unaware, your reputation is a bit of a mixed bag in these parts, but I have been defending you for years. I never got on board with that freedom fries nonsense. I have suggested that perhaps people (I'm looking at you Dad) should stop holding Normandy over your head and just give you a chance. You have, after all, brought a lot to the international table.

Thanks to you, the world is more beautiful (Monet, Manet, Renoir, Cezanne), we are more beautiful (Chanel, Cartier, Estee Lauder, Hermes), we are smarter (Descartes, Voltaire, Camus, Hugo, Sartre), plus we are drunk and full of cheese (Champagne, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Brie, Camembert, Roquefort, etc, etc)! Let us not forget Louis Pasteur, Jacques Cousteau, Blaise Pascal, Brigitte Bardot, and the guy who invented the parachute. The cheese alone is enough to make me forgive you for Marcel Marceau. Throw in French kissing, the Eiffel Tower, crêpes, and the word panache, and I have plenty of reasons to stick up for you when suggestions of cowardice, arrogance, and hairy armpits start getting thrown around.

At the moment, however, you are making it quite difficult to defend you. Now, I am all in favor of mandatory paid maternity leave and universal health care. But rioting in the streets, burning down high schools, throwing rocks at police, and refusing to work for weeks all because you might have to put off retirement until age 62? Seriously? You guys have a mandatory minimum of thirty days of vacation a year and a 37-hour work week... I mean...really. I think we over do the whole Puritanical shtick over here, but maybe you guys could send some of your joie de vivre our way, and we will spread some of our bootstraps, nose to the grindstone, early bird catches the worm mentality over on your shores. Just a thought.


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