April 25, 2006

International Visitor Day!

Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to last week's shout-out to our good friends in the UK (which resulted in a total of ZERO Britannic commentors willing to leave a comment--although it did garner two comments from citizens of the Axis of Weevil), we have decided to once again salute Possumblog visitors from outside the borders of the United States.

Today we ask that if you hail from the country that flies THIS flag:


that you leave a comment below so that we can extend a hearty bon jour to you. Be sure to tell us a bit about yourself, and how you came to visit my little corner of the blogosphere.

You might not realize this (I know I didn't until I checked the referrer logs) but at 5%, vistors from France comprise the highest number of international visits to Possumblog, ahead of both Canada and the UK which both come in at 4%. This is in spite of the fact that Possumblog is even less intelligible in French than it is in English, and despite the fact that I tend to make sport of certain members of French society.

However, when I visited France way back twenty years ago, I do have to say that it was very pleasant, even with the layer of dog poop on the sidewalks of Paris, and the maddening insistence on the part of the citizenry to pretend they did not speak English.

They also had an odd way of banking--my friend Dirk and I needed to cash some travelers checks (or as the French say, cheques) and went to a Crédit Lyonnaise branch close to our hotel (or, as the French say, hôtel). We walked in like big goobers and as our turn was called, went to the teller, who looked pretty much like your stereotypical image of a French bank teller--well-dressed, thinning slick hair, thin mustache, flower on his lapel--and using our massive amount of French language skills, asked politely, "Parlez vous Anglais?" (We did this even though we don't actually speak English, but rather speak Redneck-American.) He smiled politely and said, No, which means the same no matter where you're from. So we fell back to making big sweeping arm movements and various signs to indicate we wanted to exchange our American Expresses for some of those fruity French francs. He understood, and handed us what looked like an ATM card and said Merci. Which does not mean mercy, but is the same thing as thank you.

"Hmm. Well."

Dirk and I stood there for a second, and I suggested that maybe we were supposed to take this ATM card we'd been given outside to the ATM that was conveniently mounted to the wall of the bank.


So we walked outside, stuck the card in, and as you can guess, all this weird foreign gibberish showed up on the screen.

"Dirk, this is all in French. I don't know what we're supposed to do. Maybe we should go back inside."

SO, we did, and upon our entrance, the teller came from behind the counter and greeted us as if we'd been kidnapped and just been found alive. "Je vous bleh moi su morei l'ver mon loouiss com nal fla blag mwoah mwuah lettrous vew blahclumno afblhwoe countre fwippy lomo cou pepi le peu v'play wikn interieur banc frew tuendu woflkasvlzx! Blah blah blah! Oui!?"

We had no idea what he said, but the general gist of it was that we were supposed to have taken the faux ATM card from him and gone down to the end of the counter and handed it to a lady who would give us francs, rather than remove it to the outer side of the building of the bank. We all laughed just like they do in those old movies, and Dirk and I bid them all boocoo mercy. Which we thought was the polite thing to do.

Anyway, if you are a French visitor to Possumblog, please do stay a minute or two longer and drop us a comment.

And yes, this is merely an opportunity to gratuitously post a photo of Sophie Marceau.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at April 25, 2006 09:04 AM

Of course, where you messed up is not yelling very loudly in English. Works every time!

Posted by: Larry Anderson at April 25, 2006 09:51 AM

I'm not French. I don't speak french. But I have heard several American and British Musicians attempt to sing in French, including Billy Joel, the Beatles, and the Police. All the songs stink, but that's as close as I come.

And yes, I still think they're a bunch of cheese-eating surrender monkeys. (Click here, scroll down to groundskeeper willie if you'd like to hear the original of this.)

Posted by: Le Dan at April 25, 2006 09:51 AM

Well, Larry, I try to save the Ugly American act for when I have a pocket full of cash. When I'm begging, I figure it's best to be humble. Until you get your money.

And le Dan, I will not have you speak of Mlle. Marceau in such uncouth terms! She can eat just as much cheese and monkey around all she wants, and I can guarantee you she would look quite fetching wrapped in a white flag. So there.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 25, 2006 10:04 AM

Again I'm not French, but... I've got a picture of my husband on the beach with his topless and very cute French cousin Valerie.

Posted by: Sarah G. at April 25, 2006 10:53 AM


Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 25, 2006 11:04 AM

You've got to admit that she is cute.

The shocking thing was that the picture was taken on a public beach on Long Island!

Posted by: Sarah G. at April 25, 2006 11:09 AM

In which case, I should have said "MON DIEU, youse guys!"

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 25, 2006 11:21 AM

Well, you know us Yankees and our libertine ways.

Posted by: skinnydan at April 25, 2006 12:25 PM

And here I had been led to believe lo these many years that unclothed cousinly closeness was strictly a Southern claim!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 25, 2006 12:30 PM