You know how it’s fun to say mean things to a dog, but in a sweet voice, and see them thump their tail and look at you lovingly, even though you just told them, ‘Your breath smells like farts, yes it does, yes it does you little finky shit-eater’? Well, the same is roughly true if you get deep enough into the French countryside that people’s English is good but not exceptional. To wit:
Atonishly Chic Older Woman who owns the restaurant: “Avez-vous fini de manger? Souhaitez-vous soin d’un dessert?” meaning, are you finished? Some dessert?
Me: “Simply not possible without a shovel and a stomach tamper.” (Nodding) meaning, oh god yes, but I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit it.
Astonishingly Chic Oder Woman: “Eh…eh…mousse au chocolat?”
Me: “Oui, et un espresso, s’il vous plaît.” meaning, I would be glad to eat your heaviest dessert, but I will cut it with some coffee.
Chic Woman: something like, “Oui. Very good.” meaning, ‘Please tell your compatriots that white sneakers are unforgivable’ or similar…