One of my best friends is French, was French. He's an American now after serving four years in the USAF. He was not the best representative of France. He was sort of a country boy (but not really) growing up outside of Tours and he came straight from central casting. Central casting is a term we use to describe someone who is so stereotypically representative that it borders on ridiculous and it refers to the days in Hollywood when all extras and bit parts came from a part of the studios called central casting. Because of this Chinese always had Chinese accents and wore pajamas, and Frenchmen all sounded like Inspector Clouseau(sp?), swore incessantly and needed a shower.
He was the one who broke my first predjudices regarding the French. Other than being the ultimate French stereotype he hated Parisians in the same way I saw country-boys from Kern County hate the city-folk in Los Angeles. I learned a lot from him and I ate well because of him, oh and endless jokes based on his inability to say Heath (one of our close friends) and always called him Eees, or the way he pronounced 'penny.'
Or the infamous cooking rabbit at a camp-out incident.
"Oh, I thought you said paper.
"Zat is what I said, salt and fucking paper!",
The worst communications in history occured during drunken
revelries. I recall a time when some of us reverted to the accents we grew
up with. Absolutely horrible, with the bad French accent, the Cajun
accent, and the regression past Hawaiian Island Creole straight to Hawaiian
Island Pidgin. The number of "goddameet"s, "ya'll"s,
and "bin stay go"s were legion.
He was not the best representative of the French, but he has been an outstanding representative of America and being American. Huzzah my old friend, huzzah.