Wednesday, 21 June 2017

On Looking French and Shrugging.

I got told I looked like a Frenchman today. It was because I was wearing a rugby shirt with alternating light and dark hoops. ‘You need a beret,’ continued my accuser. ‘And a bike and a string of onions.’

Francais? Moi?

That’s what defines the average Frenchman to the older English, you see: an onion seller on a bike wearing a beret and a hooped shirt. I wonder what defines the average Englishman to the older French.

I countered that I didn’t mind looking like a Frenchman since I’d always had a soft spot for Gallic culture, and proved it by saying how much I like M Hulot films. He said he liked M Hulot films too, only he aspirated the H in ‘Hulot’, which at least gave me the moral high ground in a manner of speaking.

And that’s just given me a possible clue to a mystery: women of all ages keep smiling at me. They were doing it again in Ashbourne today, and I’ve never understood why. I’m not tall, I’m not handsome, I don’t look athletic; even the laid back walk people used to say I had is feeling a bit creaky these days. So maybe it’s because I look French.

Only, apart from the rugby shirt with hoops, I don’t. Maybe I should just go and ask one of them.

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