The other day, Steve made a comment under the story of the guy opening the wrong door on the plane that I thought needed its own post to properly explain it. I just hope I can convey how hilarious it is in written form. There’s a part of me that has its doubts.
This whole situation needs a bit of explanation. Back in 1998, there was a big ol’ ice storm in the Ottawa area. This meant that for a couple of weekends, those who needed to get to Ottawa and who lived at the school for the blind, well, weren’t travelling. They were marooned at the school.
Some of us were lucky and had friends who lived in town. So they just went and had a weekend with some buddies. But for the rest of us…we had to stay at the residence at the school.
That wouldn’t have been quite so bad if I was more familiar with the city. But I wasn’t. So the only outings I took were ones organized by the staff trying to supervise us. At one point, they asked if we wanted to go to the mall. I was so bored that I took them up on it.
I don’t know how it happened, but I ended up walking around the mall with our French friend. He really isn’t a bad guy, but um, he was a little overly flirty at the time and it made me feel a bit weirded out. But somehow he ended up guiding me.
I have to describe how French he was. He always talked with a really thick accent. Hair was “air” and three was “tree” and so on. But the odd part was sometimes people who spoke French couldn’t understand him either when he spoke French! Maybe he was like Jean Chretien. Hmmm…anybody got a good suggestion for a Jean Chretien clip that would illustrate my point?
Anyway, we were walking around some store, maybe it was a drug store. We ended up in the candy aisle, and our French friend stopped, looked very closely at a bag of candy and said “Hmmm…what is this…bonbons haricots?” But he said the last two words like bon bonz hairy cots.
In case you haven’t figured this out, that is the French side of the bag of candy. Seriously. First I thought for a second about what he could possibly be looking at, and then, while laughing, said, “Dude! That’s the French for jellybeans!” At this point he went, “Ah so it is, Bonbons haricots!” except this time, he said the last two words with French pronunciation. I think he had a good laugh too. But man. That’s how you know he’s spent too long around English stuff. He’s losing the ability to recognize his mother tongue! I didn’t think that was possible!
So that’s the story of bonbons haricots. Even nearly 13 years later, I chuckle when I think about it and laugh when I tell it.