Il M’a Posé Un Lapin
This is shaping up to be the Weirdest Day. In the middle of the night the phone rang. That’s never a good thing. The phone’s on my side of the bed, and as I picked it up the glow of the dial pad showed me the clock. WTF?
Me: Hello? (barely croaked out)
Me: Allo? (is someone speaking French to me in the middle of the night?)
Guy: Do you speak French? (in a heavy French accent)
Me: Oui, mais il est 3h00 du matin. (It’s 3:00 in the morning, said I politely)
Guy: Je vous appelle à cause de…(completely unintelligible) (I’m calling you because…what did he say? I’m not awake)
Me: Mais il est 3h00 du matin. (What about 3:00 in the morning doesn’t he get?)
Guy: Pardon, je pensais que vous étiez en Angleterre (he thinks I’m in England)
Me: Non, aux Etats-Unis, qui est-ce? (I’m in the US and hey, who ARE you?)
Guy: Je vous rappellerez ce soir. (he’ll call back later, but won’t say who he is)
Ok, now I’m wide awake. Was I dreaming? No, Shel heard it all. Who has our phone number but thinks we live in England? More to the point, who dials a number in the US and thinks he’s dialing England? In the back of my mind I’m thinking “he couldn’t have been French, a French person would have fallen all over himself saying Madame, je suis vraiment désolé et confus de vous avoir dérangée,” I’m just devastated and embarrassed to have bothered you in the middle of the night, that’s what he should have said. Was Mystery Monsieur even intending to call me or was he actually trying to call some wide-awake Brit?
My mind is racing, and I’m not getting back to sleep. I put on my bunny slippers, sit at my computer. Then I sit in the recliner and watch the beginning of the sunrise. It’s 4:45 in the morning. My thoughts are dark, but hilariously, mostly centered on how badly composed my French is when I’m talking in my sleep. Beppo comes to sleep in my lap. Finally I fall asleep and dream of being lost in a mystery museum, where I can’t find Shel, and I get more lost at every turn, racing down the dark rabbit hole of lostness, searching, searching, until at last I twitch myself awake to get ready for a morning interview.
We get to the interview spot and the guy’s not there. I search all around (hmm, this is getting old, all this searching). Il m’a posé un lapin, I finally decide, which means he stood me up, but literally means he put me a rabbit. I’m supposed to interview the guy for a magazine article and he just drops a rabbit on me? Is he a shy little bunny, afraid of publicity?
I hear from Mystery Monsieur again. NOW he’s so désolé, so confus, to have wakened me. He’s calling about an apartment to rent, with all conveniences, but no rabbits allowed. It’s still early afternoon, but I’m worried about what will happen next. Will Interview Guy ever explain himself? Will I ever be able to speak perfect French in my sleep? Where’s the bottle with the Drink Me label?French Letters Visits America
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