jeudi 12 mars 2009


A demonstration of manly prowess

Oh, how to understand these things?

Okay, so it doesn't really work, not if you pronounce "eaux" like the French do -- "oh" --, but it was still funny and really did monté la morale (mine) to find the following email correspondence between two American, progressive, intelligent, funny lawyers in my inbox when I finally turned on my laptop today (I have been stowing it away more and more, to recover more of life, like I discovered was possible in Chamonix with WiFi in the hotel salon only):

First lawyer: French contract work.

Second lawyer:
So, the contractor is trying to screaux them?

If only you knew how often he talks about sex. Yesterday's exchange was particularly low-brow and uncalled for, especially for a man capable of reciting Cyrano and mixing pretty wonderful colors in paint and chaux.

I sometimes wonder what he does with his days, since whenever he comes here, he mostly talks, and when he picks up the phone to take on an issue, it is interminable. Ask Audouin. He knows now, too.

If all of his contracts are anything like this one, then it's clear that he spends his days running around spinning his web, rather than applying what he knows, which would be, needless to say, a far superior use of his time, but, having interested himself in the problem of removing the reeds from the old fountain and contemplating the presence of the fâcheuse water in the fish-pond-in-a-fountain, there followed this prélude to the latest clearing of the clouds of incomprehension:

Joaquim: What we need is to drill a hole in the side to drain it.

Long-suffering client: But look how thick the fountain wall is, you'd need a really long bit.

Joaquim: Oh, they come in quite long lengths, like this [he opened his palms, facing one another, to indicate something approximating the width of the fountain wall]. Even this [moving his hands farther apart with the unmistakable grin of a male thinking of his own desired plumbing].

LS client: Oh, no! Don't get started on that. Georges, stop him now before he really gets going. [Georges turns from where he is squatting at the corner of the house, chiseling away the old concrete sidewalk from the base of the house. They didn't think to bring the wondrous jack hammer. We both approach Georges, Joaquim trying to get him in on the act, I trying to distract him and get Georges to do better.]

Georges: What, cousin?

Joaquim: I was telling her that masonry bits come in quite long lengths --

Georges: Yes, that's true. [C'mon, Georges, surely you can do better than that to get him to stop.]

Joaquim: And I told her that they make them this [he opened his hands again in that gesture immature males of the species use to indicate male endowment of the non financial type] long. [He could barely contain his mirth].

LS client: Georges, really, stop him.

Joaquim: I'm not even the worst or the fastest to talk about sex. [He wasn't going to be stopped. He never is once he gets going on one of his favorite topics. My contractor, for God's sake. You're not in the United States anymore.] You know [undecipherable]? When he was in New York, [undecipherable] gave an interview [something about film, directing] --

LS client: [Nearly to herself] Oh, Roman, Roman Polanski. Right.

Joaquim: And he said how necessary sex was to him, orgies. It emptied him, let him get rid of his excess energy, distraction, get down to concentrate properly on his work. [No such]

LS client: [Weakly, walking away] Victor Hugo. Like Victor Hugo. [Anything to stay on an historic, intellectual and literary plain].

Why, God? Why?

Just think of all the layers of inappropriateness, deception or ineptitude, disappointment and dissimulation. It boggles the mind.

When I need to raise my flagging spirits by thinking something somewhat uncharitable (but true), I let my thoughts return to what Sam says anytime we see someone in an ad or on TV who resembles nothing more than a Cro-magnon, "Mom, doesn't he sort of remind you of -- what's the name of our contractor?"

[Sigh of near contentment. I love Youtube.]

I've been thinking. It would be more like "scroux", as in, "So, the contractor is trying to scroux them?"
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