We're All Damaged

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

How You Say . . . Révolution!

The world today, with its violent protests and fledgling economy, is a troubled, divided place. But regardless of our many cultural, religious and ideological differences, I think we can all agree on one thing: the French really are a$$holes.

As a people, their achievements in douche-baggery are many. They’re constantly smoking while you’re trying to eat. Their bulldogs are snide, hurtful little animals. Their films are inaccessible at a best, and they insist on cooking in the nude. (In fairness, this last one may only apply to my neighbor, a Frenchman who has apparently taken some sort of stand against curtains.)

Yesterday, though, I came across a story on CNN.com that made me re-evaluate some long-standing opinions. In the southeastern city of Grenoble, France, hundreds of Caterpillar employees, angry about proposed layoffs, were literally holding top executive hostage in their offices. Upon reading this, I was stunned, but apparently this kind of thing happens all the time in France—so often that Caterpillar’s official statement on the matter called the hostage-taking simply “unhelpful.”

For comedy’s sake, I think this scene is much funnier if you imagine everyone wearing berets and speaking broken English with heavy French accents.

“I am sorry, Pierre. We are . . . how you say . . . letting you go. It is not you. The franc is . . . ahhh . . . not what it once was.”

“Unacceptable! You are my hostage now. You shall sit here quietly while I smoke and look at you condescendingly. If you try to . . . how you say . . . escape, I will spit in your general direction.”

You know, I never thought I’d write the following sentence—in fact, I’m probably the first person in history to do so—but: We could learn a lot from the French about standing up for ourselves. In most countries, when people get laid off, they clean out their desks, steal a few pens and hit the closest bar. But in France, by God, they’re not afraid to fight! And so allow me to apologize, people of France, for several thousand years of laughter and ridicule at your expense. Apparently, we were mistaken.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some retroactive Bastille-storming to do. But first, I’m going to take off all my clothes and make some lunch. Oh, and does anyone know where a guy can buy some discount berets around here?


  1. Hilarious!! I'm no longer ashamed of my French heritage.

  2. Magnifique!!!

  3. I do not find this funny, Matt Norman. Not one little bit! And to think I let you dance with my wife. Never again!

  4. Good Stuff! I have added you as a favorite to my desktop, you never disappoint.