Thursday, 2 October 2008

Do the Hustle

I was pounced on and found myself up for election as a parents' delegate at La Fille's school this morning. I protested. I pretended I did not speak French. I nearly said: "Do you realise I am someone who talks about safe-sex raisins in front of children". I did say: "But I don't even know what 'parent délégué' means." To no avail. My name, my telephone number, my email have been noted. "Can you make cakes?" asked the woman who pounced on me with a wild-eyed look. "Well, sort of," I said not wishing to appear a complete foreign dimwit. "You'll do," she said. Let us pray nobody votes for me.

Then I came home with La Fille and burned the fish fingers while dancing to the marionettes' song in the living room. Fish fingers and puppet impersonations. How sad is that?

Ainsi font, font, font,
Les petites tra la la la la.

I cannot explain why I was dancing to this. I cringe every time I hear it. I once asked the Frenchman why there was this nursery rhyme about toilets (ainsi font = un siphon = a U-bend). I thought the mishearing was quite funny but he looked at me as if I was raving bonkers even after I had explained.

Sad and mad. Would you want me involved in your school?


Mim said...

Oh! I remember the marionette's song. I went to pre-school in Paris way back in 1974 when my father was doing his post-doc at the Observatory. We lived there for 15 months.

I'm here via Penni's blog, eglantine's cake.

Parisgirl said...

Hi Mim,
Thanks for your comment. I do enjoy Penni's blog, after meeting her and Fred in Paris. I must put it on my blog list.

Cimon said...

Which union are you supposed to run for ? PEEP or FCPE ? Right or left (although at school level this kind of categorization is probably irrelevant) ?

If I may, there is a linguistic trick in "ainsi font" and "un siphon" : in and un sounds are alike in Paris, for sure, but not in the south of France (where there are 4 nasal sounds and not 3 as in Paris).

I remember the Guignol's Papin having his name spelled PAP1, which sounded awkward to me (Papun does not sound like Papin at all !).

Dumdad said...


Parisgirl said...

Cimon, if I heard the directrice correctly on Saturday, and this is not a certainty, there is no national union affiliation. There was no mention of a union this morning and only one list. How would you translate 'parent délégué'? It sounds to me the equivalent of a parent governor in a UK school.

Parisgirl said...

Thanks Dumdad. Me neither!

Cimon said...

I don't know how things work in Britain. Neither do I in France, if I had to say.

Anyway, I think you are supposed to go on a regular (monthly ?) basis to the "conseil d'école", and you discuss things, given that the decision is made by the teachers and above them the Inspecteur d'académie.

Interesting if you want to know what's going on, but definitely not an executive position...

Jaywalker said...

We had one of these exchanges this weekend (we both have flu and are very very stupid)

CFO: Désolé, j'ai le cerveau lent

E: Mais il n'y a pas de vent!

We stared at each other puzzled for a few seconds, then fell about laughing.


Parisgirl said...

Jaywalker; just fallen off my ergonomic chair laughing. Strange too as I've had that song from Mary Poppins in my head all morning.

Iota said...

I've never seen "burning fish fingers and doing the puppet dance" on a cv, but then I've led a sheltered life, and I assume it fits you for many a fine career.