The Little French English Improvement Project

little french person trying to improve her english, little french english person trying to improve herself, french english person trying to improve a little bit… and blogging along the way. (Now in Deutschland)

Posts Tagged ‘humor’

“Striking” a good joke.

Posted by Alice Challet - alicethefrog on January 13, 2013

This is France, so it will come as no surprise that France Inter (Papa’s favourite radio) have been on strike for the last few days. Conversation at the dinner table has therefore not been punctuated with the usual titbits introduced by “ils ont dit dans le poste” (they said in the radio). Instead, we were treated to THIS joke:

A man drives home after celebrating New Year’s Eve with his friends, and has had a couple too many drinks. So when he encounters a policeman on the side of the road who asks him to take an breathalyzer test:

-erm… I’d rather not.. If I give you ten euros, will you just forget it and let me go? I promise it won’t happen again.


-20 euros?

-OK then, but only because it’s the new year.

The man gives the agent 20 euros and drives along, only to find another policeman, 20 metres further along the road. Once more, the man refuses to submit to the breathalyzer test and offers a bribe:

-I’ll give you ten euros if you let me go



-Allright then.

He pays the bribe, drives another 20 metres, and once more, finds a policeman.

-Listen. I’ll guve you 20 euros, so please just let me drive on.

-No. You’ll have to give me a hundred.

-A hundred? What? Your colleagues only asked for 20!

-Yes, but if you give me a hundred, I’ll help you get off this roundabout.

Did I mention this was France?



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Just a quick note on inspiration, laughing, cleaning ladies, and stray dogs.

Posted by Alice Challet - alicethefrog on October 22, 2010

It goes to show how inspiration comes from all sorts of places. And how uninspired I am. Honestly if I hadn’t promised myself to be constant in my writing efforts and instead chose to listen to the dark side of laziness, I wouldn’t be posting anything at all today. So here I am, stringing together a couple of anecdotes from the past few days, trying to make it seem like they have something more in common than pure chronology. I hope for all our sakes I achieve this with  a certain measure of style and panache, but I can’t promise anything. Maybe if only one thing happened a day I would be able to devote an entire post to it, but sometimes so many things happen one after the other, and all seem so worthy of being told…  I have such an exciting life! Ho ho ho. So, as it is I have to operate a quick analepsis and tell you about three different moments at once.

First there was training on Wednesday night. What larks! It was absofuckinglutely a-ma-zing! All right, half the time wasn’t all that productive as far as learning was concerned: I was too busy laughing! Do you know what it’s like when you start laughing and you just can’t stop. I was literally on my hands and knees, eyes tearing up, ribcage heaving, struggling for air, face red… You can take all the clichéed expressions about hilarity you can find and  I can assure you, every single one of them could have described me at some point during that training. I went through all of them. Several times. I tried telling people about what caused it afterwards, but then I realised: it wasn’t even funny. Shall I tell you what happened? No, I don’t think so, I’ll just let you make something up. You’ll probably come up with something better and more interesting. Just picture me in a room with four other “white-pyjama” clad people trying to learn japanese self-defence techniques and imagine all that could possibly go wrong. Add to that a propensity to laugh…

Before you let your imagination run completely wild, let me tell you the cleaning lady episode. Also surreal, although quite brief. It happened yesterday, a few hours after I climbed my way into university. After a while, the demonstrators all left to march through the streets and the bins and bits of furniture were returned to their usual place. How dull! But trust a french person to make entertaining things happen. Suddenly, some random bloke walked in, disappeared into a corridor and came back a couple of minutes later with an wheely office chair. He pushed it back through the hall and walked with it out the main entrance.  He then carried it down the stairs and down the street.

That’s when he was spotted by the eagle-eyed cleaning lady patrolling the area. She ran after him, down the street, armed with a broom. My gaze followed them down the road until they turned the corner. I decided to stick around. Come on. Surely there are better things to do with one’s time, but don’t you want to know whether justice prevailed or whether a poor lecturer will return after the holiday to find his chair gone? Well just so you know a few minutes later, they came back, in exactly the same order: chair, thief, broom and cleaning lady (slightly out of breath) Aaah if only I’d had a videocamera at hand.

While we’re on the subject of “if onlys”, if only my sister wasn’t watching french reality-tv while I am writing. I’m already having inspiration difficulties, and it’s extremely distracting to watch crap telly in another language when you’re trying to write in English…

I’ll tell you about the dogs tomorrow.

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