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Friday, April 1, 2011

The Philadelphia Story, Part Three

On the last day of my senior year in high school, I sneaked a leaky thermos of Bacardi 151 rum and fruit punch in my knapsack. By the time I got to my locker, I realized the potent potable had spilled all over the French work book that I was to return that day. I enlisted the help of my favorite gal pals to douse it with their perfumes. It didn’t work, exactly. When handing in the book, my French teacher took one look at it and asked, “Qu’est-ce que c'est que ca?” “Oh that? Well,” I explained, “I was in such a rush to get to class you see that I knocked over a bottle of my mother’s perfume all over the place.” She continued to flip through the dampened pages made ruddy by the fruit punch mixer. “Your muzzer’s parfum est rouge?” she asked. I gulped. “Oui.” After a few moments of eyeing me coolly, she put the book on her desk along with the stack of others and turning, hissed in perfectly gritty English, “It smells like whiskey.”

Surely less harrowingly judgmental will be the French in 10 Minutes event at the Kimmel Center Plaza, part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, in collaboration with the Alliance Française de Philadelphie. At the free sessions, groups will be taught key words and turns of phrase by true French teachers at 5pm nightly from April 11-28. The roster of lessons include such Gallic topics as wine (naturellement), the arduous Tour de France, the grand Louvre museum, and who knows? L'amour might even be on le menu.

P.S. Even after 4 ½ years of taking French, I can hardly claim to be fluent but I do still like rum. Tant pis.

Stay tuned as ventures forth in its coverage of PIFA through May 1.

This post is supported by Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA). Please like their facebook page and follow them on twitter!

1 comment:

  1. C'est très drôle! Peut-être que vous devriez avoir récupéré le rhum en le tordant dans les pages dans un verre pour elle! Hahaha! J'aime ce qu'elle a dit ça sentait le whisky! hahahahaha!