Tuesday, January 06, 2004

January 6, 2004
“We’re from France!”
This is a family inside joke that we have inflicted on foreign lands for some time now. Whenever we are in a strange place (Costa Rica, Utah) we join hands and skip down the tourist trail yelling “We’re from France! We’re from France!” It has a certain idiot Conehead charm that appeals to all the Bells when we’re on the road. And it does get the looks.

Unfortunately, in Spain (where this photo was taken) we couldn’t use this charming chant because, according to my son, the Spaniards hate the French. Of course they share a border and Napoleon invaded a century or two ago, but then, who hasn’t? The Romans came and stayed for about 500 years, the Moors (Arab tribes from Africa) dropped in for some 700 years, and the Visigoths (Vikings?) had their turn, but for some reason, the Spaniards really hate the French.

While in Valencia, we rented a movie called Torrente which is kind of a Spanish Police Academy. The fumbling, fat, drunk hero says of a bad guy, “He smelled bad, even worse than the French.” Ouch!

Personally, I like the French. In my way of looking at the world, France is to Europe what Texas is to the United States. Both are big on themselves and in some ways back up the talk with, well, more talk.

Anyway, we couldn’t really use the French line and expect to survive, so we altered the chant to: “We’re from Tikrit! We’re from Tikrit!” But, alas, it didn’t have the same effect.

“Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump. You may be freeing him from being a camel.” —G. K. Chesterton

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