Language Barrier

By Jerry Boughton
This item appears on page 50 of the December 2016 issue.

This month’s winner is JERRY BOUGHTON of Shreveport, Louisiana:

A few years ago, my wife and I took a trip to Paris with some friends. After arriving at Orly Airport, we collected our bags, exited and got a taxi. As the driver loaded our luggage, I sat in the front seat.

During some years of being stationed in France and a number of visits since then, I had learned a few basic French sentences, so, wanting to impress my friends, when the driver got in, I cheerfully said, in my best French, “Comment allez-vous?” which means, “How are you?”

He looked straight ahead and said, “I do not speak English.”

That was the end of my attempts at French for that trip.