Because of a telephone setting which was unchanged upon our return to Paris, our house phone has not been ringing. That wasn’t so horrible.
Since we acquired a cat last year, we receive regular phone calls (from somewhere in Switzerland if the international calling prefix is to be believed) asking what we feed our cat, with the intent of selling us on a custom “program” of cat food. Despite my many requests that we be removed from their call list, we continue to receive the calls.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit my French is not strong, but the typical caller from this organization seems to share this affliction. The connection quality is also often poor and, coupled with not-native French accents, much of what we say to one another is misunderstood. At moments, they seem to grasp this problem and switch to English, which only leads to the discovery that their English is much, much worse than my French.
Today, I found myself in want of an old-style phone which I could slam down.
When I requested (in French, then in English) that they not call this number again, I was told if I did not want to hear from them then I should go back to England. I would have ordinarily let the next words out of my mouth to be a string of expletives. Maybe: “I’m not bloody well English you twat!”, hoping I might happily confuse them if they know the difference between American and English cursing.
Instead, very loudly and slowly, I noted:
“Ma femme est française! Mon fils est français. Je veux que vous ne jamais nous appeler encore!”
It was then that I realized that there is no way to slam down a modern phone — someone should add that feature.