⪧ We left our life in New York City to make a new one in Provence ⪦

November 7, 2013

Les histoires de Xavier.

"Une histoire, Papa!" she begs. And so it begins. While Marguerite is in NY, there is a tradition of telling stories at dinner. Here is how it goes: each person gets to choose one "personnage" (character) and then Xavier must create a tale around these beings (the story should generally induce laughing fits or Marguerite crosses her arms and pouts increasingly). These are such excellent moments to soak in French culture. I usually choose a French being - someone very specifically situated in a French context, who cannot be placed elsewhere - mostly because I love: 1) Xavier and Marguerite's reactions to my choices - puffed out cheeks and 'pfff' - rolling eyes at such a humdrum choice and 2) to hear how Xavier naturally finds a place for these rather alien beings (in my head) in his tales. Examples include various French shop owners: a poissonnière (female fish seller), a mitron (a baker's boy), a cordonnier (cobbler), a concierge (caretaker of a building) and one of the best: a Motocrotte...

Our friend Meredith jumped right in when given the opportunity when she was over for dinner and her lineup included the Motocrotte, a blind-man and a little baby. A Motocrotte (seriously) is a French scooter with a built-in vacuum for sucking up dog poop on the sidewalk. Proposed by Jacques Chirac - this invention gives one a sense of the feces situation on Parisian sidewalks. In Meredith's brilliant tale, the blind-man's missing eyeballs ended up in the Motocrotte machine, but were then retrieved and placed back in his head. Xavier's incorporation of the cordonnier (cobbler) included the tale of a helicopter pilot who had webbed feet and held tryouts for a cordonnier to design the perfect shoe for his situation. The tryouts were hilarious - a gathering of all the best cordonniers in Paris (measurement methods included laser beams and diagrams and odd results: toeless shoes to make room for webbing, the softest leather, and on and on). In these stories Marguerite was not crossing her arms or pouting.

In other French news, Xavier's most recent proposal for incoming baby's name: Bérénice. We are having a hard time this round.

2 comments:

Xtreme English said...

"Berenice"?? bon dieu!

D1Warbler said...

Sorry, Xavier. Not a fan of Berenice!

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