Thursday, January 22, 2004

Powell's admission here is something which makes him all the more human, and we must love him for it.

I, too, once hated the French. But then along came my own personal Frenchman. His name was Abtine, and he was a very confused Frenchman newly arrived to the United States. I hired him as a student worker (despite the fact he had shown up at my office by mistake while looking for a job at a completely different university office).

"I like the cut of your jib, Frenchy!" I told him. "And you don't smell as bad as advertised!"
Abtine had no idea what i was talking about, just smiled politely and took the job.
"Your people are a smelly, diagreeable people!" I told him.
"Oh?" he would say.
"Yes! Smelly and disagreeable. Yet they make a nice Statue of Liberty, and I enjoy croissants! Explain!"
"I do not know!"
"We'll figure it out together, Frog-man!"
And so we did.
And I came to love my little Frenchman, so full of the joie de vivre was he!
When he went home, he brought me back a nifty snowglobe of the Eiffel Tower. I had provided him with a portrait of him that he could show to his mother.
"Notice the baguette in one hand, Frenchy! And the glass of wine in the other! I've also added a curly mustache, although you do not have one."
"Perhaps I should grow one."
"I think we'd all like that. Get to it."
We gave Abtine a new nickname as "Frenchy" only partly covered who he really was, and so he became "Titine (Tee-Teen), the Frenchman."
Titine came to love this wonderful country of ours, and I came to understand not all Frenchman are smelly ingrates. Especially not my Titine. I miss him so.

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