• Richard Scrimger

no French for you


More news from boy fantasy land. My son Ed, this time. He and his mates (no, Ed is not a pirate captain. But I don't know what other term to use. Chums or buddies seems ridiculous, and friends is too general -- Ed is friends with everyone. Close friends is a bit formal, and anyway too late now. I've already typed this far) were in a restaurant as part of their French class, ordering lunch. And the discussion turned to how much sugar Frederico could eat.


No, the discussion was not in French. The restaurant was not French either. I asked Ed what the French part of this French lesson was. He was unable to tell me. I asked if he had uttered one word in French during the entire outing. He shook his head. I asked what he ate for lunch and he replied, Spaghetti and meatballs. So much for the Ontario high-school curriculum.

Back to the story. Frederico, you may recall, is the boy who never gets dessert, and is able to eat an entire bowl of mustard. Turns out he is also able to consume an entire canister of white sugar. He simply tipped it up and poured it all into his mouth at once, gulping it down like a drink. Ed and his tablemates applauded, giving this feat their highest accolade -- Sick -- before turning their thoughts to one of the ultimate boy fantasies. What would you do with all the money in the world?


Many fine suggestions emerged, but the ones that Ed remembered in the car at the end of the day (we were on our way to his soccer game. Did I mention? Sorry. He won, by the way. Not that you care. Is there anything in the world more uninteresting than someone else's kid's soccer game?) were funny enough to stick in my mind too.


They all agreed that the place to live would be a castle -- but not just any castle. This one would be underground, and it would be able to travel through time. I nodded my head as I changed lanes to allow a speed demon to pass me (a small sigh escaping my lips). Not bad, I said. And there was more. The underground time-travelling castle would be guarded -- weaponry is vital to the teenage boy mind -- by alligator cannons.


You mean a gun you shoot alligators with? I asked.


He snorted derisively. No, Dad. That would be lame. I am talking about a cannon that shoots alligators at you. If someone is attacking the castle, you fire and boom! they get hit with an alligator.


I laughed all the way to the turn off.


I can't help wondering how a French kid would translate the slang word Sick. Not Mal, surely. Any francophones out there? What's the appropriate piece of argot? And I can't help wondering what I'll see if I google alligator cannon.


(Not much, is the answer. The pic up there is as close as I could get to a time-travelling castle.)

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Richard Scrimger | scrimgerr@gmail.com | Toronto, ON, Canada