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That is so effing French

There is a pedestrian bridge in Paris over the Seine near the Louvre called the Pont des Arts. Here, lovers come to write their names on padlocks, clamp them to the bridge railings and fling the key into the river, an expression of undying lurv.

The railings are collapsing. Duh.

This is not an ancient tradition, it is a recent thing, a creation of social media. It’s spread from Paris to Moscow and New York and elsewhither. Different cities are dealing with it in different ways, mostly involving cutting them off.

I just love the idea of Parisian infrastructure collapsing under the weight of empty romantic gestures.

I’ve come to dislike the French since I moved here. It’s not exposure to the English what’s done it, it’s exposure to the French.


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: June 17, 2014, 9:34 pm

Who was it that declared, “The problem with France is that it’s inhabited by the French!” ?

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: June 17, 2014, 10:02 pm

Wonder what happens to the keys …

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: June 17, 2014, 10:14 pm

@Can’t Hark My Cry:

Wonder what happens to the keys…

Qui sait?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 17, 2014, 10:24 pm

Wonder what happens to the keys …

Poison fish, at a guess.

Comment from JeffS
Time: June 17, 2014, 10:33 pm

The French key to love is underwater? That explains a lot.

Comment from LesterIII
Time: June 17, 2014, 10:39 pm

I have had limited exposure to European French. Predominantly negative interactions ensued during conversations attempted. Much worse in my experience has been French-CANADIANS. All of my Canadian friends and acquaintances agree with my observations: How is it fuucking possible to be more abrasive, pompous, aloof, condescending, and disdainfully snobbish than THE French? I dunno, but my trigger finger itches whenever I am forced to have business interaction with them.

Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: June 17, 2014, 11:43 pm

Back in the mid-90’s I worked on a couple of contract jobs overseas – on the first project (located in Germany), I worked alongside a guy who had been working European contracts for a couple of years, and had done one six-months-long stint in Paris. When asked about his time there, he would smile and say, “Nice city, Paris – too bad it’s usually full of Frenchmen…”

After I went there for an extended-weekend excursion midway through my time on that contract, I pretty much understood what he meant.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: June 18, 2014, 12:03 am

As an army brat growing up in Germany, we had a saying: France was always nice to visit except it was so filled with French people.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: June 18, 2014, 12:11 am

je me souvien. Watchword of the French creoles in New Orleans who were kicked out of Canada for being TOO French-Canadian.

Lester III answered my question about whether the French are worse than French-Canadians. No! My experiences include 300 pound French-Canadians who dress in speedos in Maine, altercation with a nest of them at the Gilroy garlic festival, and an actual knock down fight in Williamsburg!

After Montreal, Paris sounds like a dream.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: June 18, 2014, 12:49 am

Most of the Frentch Canajans I’ve met have been at Bike Weak in Laconia, NH. They were okay, but I wouldn’t take one home to show to my mommy.

Comment from Nina
Time: June 18, 2014, 1:24 am

Imagine what all those keys are doing to the water of the Seine.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: June 18, 2014, 1:31 am

Comment from Nina
Time: June 18, 2014, 1:24 am

Imagine what all those keys are doing to the water of the Seine.

If I had a time machine, I’d go back & make sure that all keys in France were made of a lead/arsenic alloy.

Comment from dissent555
Time: June 18, 2014, 2:32 am

{sigh} Well, I’ll have to stand by the French.

I have (distant) family there. When I visited them in 2000 (not in Paris; much further east, near the border), they were wonderful.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: June 18, 2014, 3:05 am

tomfrompv @ June 18, 2014, 12:11 am:…the French creoles in New Orleans who were kicked out of Canada

Actually, the Creoles were the French colonists who went straight to Louisiana. They owned the plantations and ran New Orleans.

The French in Louisiana who came from Canada were the Cajuns. They were deported from “Acadia” (northern Nova Scotia) by the British. They arrived in Louisiana with nothing and settled the back bayous.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 18, 2014, 12:00 pm

And the pejorative term for Cajuns is…? Anyone?

My grandma was French. She pretty much poisoned the well for me.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: June 18, 2014, 1:31 pm

My mother told me many years ago that the pejorative term for Cajuns, which they hate to be called, is “boogalee.” I lived in Lafayette, the big city of SW Loozyana, in the late ’70s, and never heard anyone say that term, so I dunno.

Oh, and there was “coonass,” which I did hear and which no one seemed to resent.

Comment from Lipstick
Time: June 18, 2014, 1:32 pm

And the pejorative term for Cajuns is…? Anyone?


White Trash?

Swamp ________ (fill in the blank.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: June 18, 2014, 3:35 pm

I think France is like most places (only more so) in that the urban areas are filled with insufferable obnoxious twits but the rural areas aren’t so bad.

Comment from Mojo
Time: June 18, 2014, 4:21 pm

The Parisians even treat other Frenchmen like crap.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 18, 2014, 6:06 pm

My mother said it was coonass. They moved to Baton Rouge when she was a teenager (grandpa was from Nawlins). My granfather apparently had a Cajun accent, though he wasn’t one.

And yes, rural French people are a different kettle of frogs. Lots of Brits retire there. It has about the same population as Britain but with much more land, so it feels more rural. Things are cheap, especially housing.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: June 18, 2014, 7:19 pm

“Me an’ mah family call it coonass, yah!”

Comment from David Gillies
Time: June 18, 2014, 10:46 pm

The worst thing the British did at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham was to stop shooting.

Comment from mojo
Time: June 18, 2014, 10:50 pm

“I’d rather have a German division if front of me than a French battalion behind me.”
— Gen. George S. Patton

Comment from Tibby
Time: June 19, 2014, 4:15 pm

Married a man from Henderson La. The most pejorative term for them, and yes, they were all Cajuns, was web-foot. From their affinity to the local swamps. Most of them made their livelihood from it. The label of Coon ass was worn with pride. Now in our oh so correct lives, We don’t use coon ass in public. But privately it’s still a term used with pride. As a point of interest – while hubby served in Vietnam, he and other Cajuns were very often asked to talk to the locals because they did speak French.
BTW, never have heard of boogalee.

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