Random musings on the oddities of life
Ever since the historic renaming of French fries in 2003 to freedom fries (quickly followed by freedom toast, apparently), I had been under the impression that US sentiments regarding our cross-channel chums was somewhat frosty. As it turns out, this cooling of ardour predates 2003 by several decades.
After buddying up in 1778 under the Treaty of Alliance, in which France agreed to help America boot out the English, it seems that the mutual admiration society faded after the Second World War. US troops had got over the euphoria of being kissed by lots of French girls and were starting to resent being stationed so far from home. The US military feared that relations between the French and the US troops might dissolve into violence, so much so that a booklet was published in 1945 entitled “112 Gripes About The French”, which listed soldiers’ complaints and gave an explanation to put each gripe into context. My personal favourite is number 4: “The French rub me the wrong way.” Perhaps they weren’t asking right. Anyway, I digress.
During my trip to the City of Angels, none of this was evident on the street: Los Angeles is in love with all things French, especially when it comes to selling a service. French pops up everywhere, sometimes in the oddest places.
La Fontaine is a fabulous faux-French chateau on Fountain Avenue built in the 1930s which appears in the National Registry of Historic Places. I could almost imagine Norma Desmond gliding down the steps, calling to Mr De Mille for her close-up. Definitely a place for writers and other creatives.
However, not all transcriptions of French are successful.
Other examples of Francophilia:
And my all time personal fave:
So yah boos sucks to politicians – nothing can stop France’s inimitable charm seeping across the Atlantic to lend a touch of class.