Joe, the money-manager says, “The number one non-necessity item that people are cutting back on in these economic hard times . . . vacations.” sigh. But hey, let’s look on the bright side . . .Who needs a respite from the stress of the current gloom and doom financial forecast when relief is right here in our own backyard?
At least once a week, I travel to France. Yes, that’s right, the land of “mais, oui monsieur” is right here in city central. Nirvana waits at my local Key bank automated teller Machine. And, no, I am not desperate enough for some vacation monies to rob the bank.”
As I slip my well-used magnetically encoded bankcard into the “insta-poor” machine, the money dispenser reads: “What language do you speak?” Feeling somewhat daring and oh-so-continental I opt for French, not too much of a stretch since I have the cash machine buttons memorized.
A brief adrenalin rush jolts through my body, as I read (looked for pictures or symbols) the Francoise language that appears on the screen. Confidence, self-esteem, and a jaunty aire posses me. I stand a bit taller and wish I were wearing something other than sweats. The Europeans don’t wander around in their son’s tattered cast-offs.
Memories of fresh tantalizing mouth-watering baguettes taunt my senses. An impatient “ahem” escapes from the harried fellow behind me.
After my two-second day dream, I realize the machine is beeping at me, and the crisply dressed dromedary-shaped fellow glares at me. Taking my time to review my receipt from the kiosk computer with the touch pad screen (fancy foreign word for ATM), I saunter over to my cube on wheels. Camel guy is incensed with my dawdling, he obviously has no imagination.
Feeling confident from my imaginary trip to Nice, France, on the Cote d’azur, I programmed the destination on my Blackbird navigation system in Francois . . . destination–ma maison naturellement.
“Tournez a`gauche dans un mille” emanates from the speaker of my Honda Element. Gauche? What a strange word for left, as I try to assimilate this into my singular language thinking, the uppity French lady (she sounds uppity, honest!) instructs me to turn around. “Tournez autour.” No please or thank you as I follow her directions. Just; “Tournez autour.”
I turn off the navigation system and switch to the radio, hoping she will find another satellite to haunt. After all, I do know my way home and she is just plain rude. Dory Monson on 710 A.M. is rudely interrupted after just a few minutes by “Madam Destination Explanation”, “Tournez autour.”
In a few short minutes my magical French mystery tour turns into sour French milk, the hard crust of the baguette just a memory. Mamsoille Navigation will not be ignored until I arrive at my destination her way.
I may as well have the direction-Nazi (spousal unit of course) as my co-pilot, at least I can shout back at him.