Married . WithOUT Children
“So, what do you think about this boycott of French stuff?” I asked husband-head as we lounged around in bed reading the Sunday paper.
Husband-head was busy perusing the comics page.
“It’s not funny,” he announced a few moments later.
“Uhh, honey. . It’s not SUPPOSED to be funny,” I said, thinking that was a strange answer. “I think it’s more of a political statement in response to their lack of support of the war we’re fighting in Iraq.”
Husband-head put down the comics section and looked at me as if I had just stepped off another planet.
“I meant, this COMIC isn’t funny,” he clarified. “What are YOU talking about?”
I read him an article whereby the French’s mustard company had recently issued a statement in light of a boycott of French products, denying that their mustard had anything to do with France. It had apparently been named after one of its founders – not the country.
“The only thing French about French’s mustard is the name,” the company defended itself.
“Well, if they’re so worried about it, why don’t they change it to `Uncle Sam’s Mustard’ or something more patriotic?” husband-head suggested as he went back to his comics section. “Besides, no matter what you call it, mustard is gross, anyway. .”
But the news report got me thinking that – whether one wanted to participate in a French boycott or not – there were a number of so-called “French” things that were deeply ingrained in our society.
I found another related story about a boycott on using the word “French.”
“It says here that Air Force One and the U.S. House of Representatives have changed the name of `French Toast’ on their menus to `Freedom Toast,'” I pointed out. “And several American restaurants are now calling them `Freedom Fries” instead of `French Fries.'”
Husband-head put down his comics section again.
“Are you serious?” he asked, somewhat incredulous. “So, we’re supposed to replace everything that has the word `French’ in it with the word `Freedom’?”
I tried to think of things that had the word “French” in them.
French Dip sandwiches, French Vanilla ice cream, French bread, French dressing, French Onion soup. .
I tried out the words to see what they would sound like replacing the word “French” with “Freedom.” .
I wondered what my hairdresser would say if I asked her to put my hair in a “Freedom Braid.” .
“Do you think people will boycott `French kissing’?” I mused out loud.
Just then, a horrifying thought crossed husband-head’s mind.
“Does that mean there’ll be no more French maid outfits?” he asked with genuine concern. “Now, THAT would be a shame. .”
Then I began thinking of all the French words we have incorporated into the English language and wondered if those were on the boycott list, too.
Hors d’oeuvres . soup du jour . au gratin . au jus . a la mode . apres-ski. .
Not to mention French wines, French perfumes and makeup, French clothing designers and French food.
“Well, boycott or not, we can certainly get rid of those disgusting little snail things,” husband-head huffed, referring to the famous French delicacy, “escargot.”
With that, husband-head got out of bed to go watch his weekend morning cartoons on TV.
“Hey!” he called out from the living room. “Would it be considered unpatriotic to watch re-runs of Pepe Le Pew?”
I pondered the question as I made myself a nice pot of “Freedom Roast” coffee. .
New Castle resident Heidi Rice’s column appears every Friday in the Post Independent. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.
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