The Man from France


In today’s news: Macron calls Australian leader’s wife ‘delicious’ — and demonstrates the perils of diplomacy in a foreign language

A nun told me this joke fifty years ago:

Pierre was visiting the United States. His hosts invited him to a cocktail party. One of the guests, making polite conversation, established that Pierre was married and then went on to inquire whether he had children.

“Mais non,” replied Pierre. “Alas, my poor wife, she is inconceivable.”

From his interlocutor’s expression, Pierre realized that he had not found le mot juste. Trying again, he amended, “What I meant to say is that Marie, she is unbearable.”

The other guest looked even more astonished. So Pierre backed up and tried one more time: “No, no, the thought I was trying to express is that Marie, she is impregnable.”