Still Standing Tall

Did you hear the one about the lady who married the Eiffel Tower? No, really. Erika La Tour Eiffel had had other infatuations with objects, including Lance, the bow with which she became an archery champion, and the Berlin Wall. But, now in her late 30s, she tossed those over and promised  to love, honor, and obey the tower in an intimate  ceremony in Paris. She duly changed her name to reflect her marital status. A photo showed the smiling, comely newlywed hugging her riveted husband, who maintained a dignified reserve. Admittedly,  said Erika, there is a bit of a problem in the marriage: “The issue of intimacy, or rather lack of it.” Continue reading “Still Standing Tall”

To Tu Or Not To Tu

Politeness, friendliness, and formality at its most French —The French revel in their complications despite the frequent inconvenience of getting tangled in them. For one thing, it confirms their cherished impression that they are unique on earth, a blest condition known locally as the French Exception. For another, it makes everybody else jump through Gallic hoops to do things their way. Even Charles de Gaulle, who occasionally admitted to despising his compatriots as unworthy of his idea of France, asked in a moment of exasperation, “How can you govern a country with over 300 kinds of cheese?” Continue reading “To Tu Or Not To Tu”