Log in

No account? Create an account
First, I want to thank everyone for all their help and support over… - Misanthropy & Entropy, Inc.

> Recent Entries
> Archive
> Friends
> Profile
> New reader? Start here.

The Harvey & Bob Show
A Softer World
The Pain--When Will It End?
Patton Oswalt
Buy me things!

April 28th, 2006

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
06:00 pm
First, I want to thank everyone for all their help and support over this past week. It’s meant a lot.

Now, there’s a story I always said I’d tell at my dad’s funeral. Things being what they were, however, I didn’t get the chance to speak to the assemblage, and, well, in thinking about it, I’m no longer quite as sure that it would have gone over. HOWEVER: I offer it to you here and now. In my opinion, no story I have of my father expresses just who he was as well as this one does (and the fact that it’s somewhat apocryphal only adds to it).

My dad was working in Israel as a subcontractor for the Department of Defense helping to build the Negev Desert air bases guaranteed the Israelis by the Camp David Accords. During his time there, he added both Hebrew and Arabic to the roster of languages that he spoke.

My mom threw her back out, severely, and ended up needing some serious surgery to repair it, so my dad was allowed to come home to be with her (and his then-four-year-old son). So he flew from Tel Aviv to Paris, there to connect to New York and then home to Albany. Or so he thought…

He gets off of his flight from Tel Aviv, wanders over to the Air France counter and asks, in English, "Which gate is the flight to New York?"

He is met with "Je ne parle pas anglais. Parlez-vous français?"

He responds, "No, I don’t speak French, can you get someone who speaks English?"

He is met with "Je ne parle pas anglais. Parlez-vous français?"

He tries a different tack, and asks them for help in Swedish, with some minor annoyance.

"Parlez-vous français?"

He tries Hebrew, angrier still.

"Parlez-vous français?"

Exasperated Arabic is met with…"Parlez-vous français?"

He even tries the bit of Russian he knows without success…but he also knows he has secret weapon in his back pocket.

After all of these attempts are unsuccessful—in a towering fury (and he was capable of towering fury, believe me)—he starts shouting at the desk clerk, in German:


That got results. Less than ten minutes later, he’s on his plane to New York.

That’s my dad.

(2 points | Discuss)


[User Picture]
Date:April 29th, 2006 01:51 am (UTC)
That is a great story! I laughed out loud.
Date:May 2nd, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
reminded of the first time you told me that story. It was good to chat with you last night. Hold on and remember - EVERY day is the first day of the rest of your life. HUGS

> Go to Top