Excuse My French: A Fake Story Of My Life

Dr. Phil Zeltzman says you know more French words than you think. Read his latest blog to see if he's right.



Here is the fake story of my life. Please don’t analyze or overanalyze this blog; this little exercise is merely designed to show you that you know much more French words than you think.

When I met Marie, definitely a brunette, not a blonde, she was an au pair, and she lived at a chateau owned by a baron. Not a nouveau riche: it was an old family of bourgeois, with a long history of princes. The chateau was filled with original paintings from Matisse, Monet and Manet.

Marie worked at a boutique during the day, and she was a ballet dancer at night, so she knew everything there is to know about chassé, développé and pirouette. Her brother was the attaché to the consulate. When he saw me coming out of my Citroen, he said “en garde, do you think you have carte blanche with my sister?” I thought he was clairvoyant. He thought I was debonair or nonchalant. I know French boxing, so I punched him in the nose and said “touché.” He looked grotesque.

During our first rendezvous, Marie was very unique, not femme fatale or déjà vu. She was a Parisian par excellence, the crème de la crème. She was very chic, with her haute couture clothes. She had some rouge, and her eau de toilette smelled wonderfully.

We went to a matinée, which had a very good critique. It was at an avant-garde theatre.

I told her, I work at a hospital for animals. Last night I was the doctor in charge of triage. Today, I had to do an amputation on a French bulldog. His wound would not heal despite lavage and debridement.

Then we went to a restaurant, in an old art déco residence at end of a cul-de-sac. We ordered à la carte. She had soupe du jour and vol-au-vent. I had escargots with gratin dauphinois. I said “bon appétit.” The maître d’ recommended a little Cabernet. So I said “oui.” Later, we had some Merlot. For desert, I had crème brulée a la mode and she had some crepes with chocolate fondue.

After we drank some Champagne, I said a few things that were a little gauche. C’est la vie…

Luckily, she did not say adieu or bon voyage, she soon became my fiancée, my raison d'être.

I told her: “Come with me to Baton Rouge, we’ll live in a palace and I’ll buy you a Mercury Grand Marquis.” Au contraire, we lived in a house made of papier-mâché and we ended up with a Renault Encore.

Then I said, let’s move to Louisville; I’ll buy you a Chrysler Le Baron and we’ll live in a mansion. Too bad, she was very naïve, we ended up with a Mazda Protege and we lived in an armoire. C’est magnifique...

I hope this story will improve your joie de vivre. Merci.

Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a mobile, board-certified surgeon in Allentown, Pa. He is the co-author of “Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound” (www.WalkaHound.com).

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