No one has more contempt for Paris or French people than French Parisians. On any topic that irks visitors: strikes, the lack of politeness on the Metro, the taxi shortage as caused by protectionist taxi unions. Then again, French Parisians don’t like much of anything. In London last week on a business trip to shoot a documentary, our crew numbered four: a Parisian director, a Parisian composer, and our Welsh location coordinator. Most of the time we were stuck in traffic, an hour’s drive from the next shot.
“So who would win in a fight,” the Welshman asked me, “New York or Los Angeles?”
It took me a second. “Los Angeles. New Yorkers would be too busy to fight.” Then I asked him, “OK, imagine it’s you and a hundred five-year-olds in a locked room. The children are overcome with a desire to kill you. How many could you put down?”
He thought for a second. “Can I use one of them as a weapon against the others?”
“Sure. But you have to remember they’re a mob.”
“Yeah, I can’t let them get me on the ground.”
A minute later we gave the game over to the French: “Who wins, Coca-Cola or Uma Thurman?”
The French didn’t answer and remained staring out the windows—it might have been Battersea, or Shepherd’s Bush. Then the French director said, “That is not a game.” He started coughing. “It is so Anglo, this game. It is not a game. How do you judge this? It is a soda and a woman. Then how do you decide?”
“One wins, one loses. Just pick,” I said. But he refused: “It is nothing a French person would think is a game. It is so stupid.”
The traffic wasn’t moving. I asked him to suggest a French game instead that we could play. “OK, OK, here is a French game,” he said. “We will talk about something for a little while. It will be about nothing. We will talk and talk and talk about it. Sometimes I will take the other side of the conversation, just to say you are wrong. And then we will stop.”
He resumed his brooding silence. The composer turned to say he agreed, this was a classic French game.
Nú eru mín kynni af frönskum sósjal mjög takmörkuð, en mig minnir að þessi leikur hafi a.m.k. verið mjög vinsæll þegar ég var þar síðast. Og allir voru rosa hneykslaðir á því að ég skyldi ekki vilja spila með.. hei kannske ef þið hefðuð útskýrt reglurnar fyrir mér einsog þessi herramaður?