|http://www.sina.com.cn 2003/03/05 10:21 北京青年报|
We are in a streetside restaurant in Paris, the "Bistro Chirac",swheresthe tall, haughty waiter with his nose stuck up in the air looks a bit like the president of France himself. An American tourist (Pat Oliphant's standard marionette-like caricature of "lightweight" George W. Bush) impolitely demands a ham-burger; both his tone and what he asks for are an insult to the waiter ; and of course, being a typical American, he automatically uses a very colloquial American English. Not speaking French is bad enough in Paris, but just to assume, without apology, that everyone there speaks English is... unpardonable!
The waiter replies in heavily accented French-English: "We do not serve the hamburger." At the same time, without for an instant losing his cool,he adds the words "American swine" in French and makes a very rude gesture. Clearly this is not a waiter looking for a tip.
Bush, now upset, demands coffee instead. Again he uses the very colloquial "gimme" for "give me", and addresses the Frenchman as "frog", a disrespectful term for Frenchmen that British colonists brought to America from 17th-century England. "Frog" echoes the opening letters of "Frenchman" and also refers to the French habit of eating the amphibians, something most Brits and Yanks still regard as an exceedingly odd, not to say disgusting, prefer-ence in food. Chinese businessmen may dine on huge "American bullfrogs", but their American counterparts most certainly do not.
"And let's have some sugar with that!" adds Bush, who wants not only the sweetener, but also an improve-ment in waiter Chirac's attitude. The waiter in turn declares (intending to annoy) "We do not have the sugar" - and pours hot coffeesintosBush's lap.
The alliance between France and America has never been a comfortable one: Both tend to regard themselves, the French jealously and the Americans impatiently, asshavingsuncommonly grand roles to play on the world stage. The rivalry even makes itself felt at a personal level: American tourists in Paris often complain that they are singled out for disobliging treatment.
Oliphant laughs but takes no sides. His little bird in the corner thinks that both need to learn "some mannairs "[= manners].
|【英语学习论坛】【评论】【大 中 小】【打印】【关闭】|