Running Free

Running Free

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Parlais Vous…

I don’t know the word for garbage in French. I wish I did. It would have come in handy the other day as I tried to bleakly explain to our visiting French friend Emile, why it was we could not move the car.

We had finished a nice leisurely breakfast at the neighborhood International House of Pancakes (IHOP) and had strapped ourselves into the car which was parked near to an enclosed area that I soon found out was home to two very large garbage bins.

“I am sorry,” I say. “Je suis désolé, mais nous avons un petit problème.” I turn to my passengers in the back seat. I notice my son is wearing a milk moustache and that there is a splat of something yellow on Emile’s tee-shirt. “Two peas in a pod,” I think to myself.

“It is the garbage truck,” I try to explain, adding a French accent for affect- the closest thing I can get to fluency.

I suppose it is more correct to refer to the giant metal monster as a waste management vehicle, WMV for short, but somehow garbage truck just seems to roll off the tongue so much easier.

Le Murphy – as in Murphy’s Law - is my personal guide through life. I contemplate trying to explain the concept of Murphy’s Law, but decide against it.

Emile is looking at me through his glasses with a smile of sorts, not sure what to make or what to say to this strange American lady behind the wheel of the car.

My Dear Son (DS) pipes in, “It never fails, if there is a fire truck, bus, student driver, little old lady, or hearse somehow they find my mom- or she finds them. I am still not sure.” I grimace and catch a glimpse of his face in the rear view mirror. He smiles at me.

“Isn’t that right mom?” DS Says with a chortle from the back seat.

Emile, our 14-year old from Versailles, says, “oui, camion d'ordures.”

I am too busy keeping my eye on the big green bin, bin being the understatement. I watch in utter disbelief as the garbage truck uses its orange pincers to pick up the monstrosity, empty it into the gaping hole on its upper back as if it were no heavier than a tissue, and then gingerly place the big green box back down right behind my car.

“Well, look at that,” I say to no one in particular. The green giant is on wheels and the waste management expert, also known as a garbage man in my ignorance, pops out of his truck and proceeds to wheel the green bin into a fenced area. He then latches the gate, looks over at me waves, gives me a big grin and pops back into his truck.

I smile and wave and pulling my head back inside the window where it has been stretched like that of a tortoise looking to catch a bit of morning sun. How this happens to yours truly is a question best left for another day.

As I pull my head back into the car I notice something shiny on the ground. I open my door, get out of the car and realize I have found two quarters. Yippee!!

That Murphy - he sure does know how to keep one guessing.

“Only you Mom,” DS says as he and Emile snap their fingers in time to a song on the radio by some band of brothers whose name escapes me at the moment…

I start the car, listening to the refrain, “Now I'm speechless, over the edge I'm just breathless...”
Kind of like me...

No comments: