Last night the Bakerman turned up on my doorstep shortly after I had put all three of my kids to bed. After months of small talk during our pre-breakfast meetings on my doorstep, we have now started evening tea time in my kitchen.
I am dying to share with you my experience from the evening.
“Fiona I need a product name for a baguette that is made from an éclair,” the Bakerman starts out. “I am looking for a French word. Something easy to pronounce.”
“A chocolate baguette?” I ask in amazement, as both don’t seem to fit. To me a baguette holds something savoury, like cheese or meat with some vegetables. Chocolate is for pastries. Also a baguette should be crunchy, not soft like an éclair. When I eat my baguette at lunchtime, I want to have the feeling that my teeth are getting a workout, not that they’ll drop out soon because I’ve only ever eaten mushy bread.
“Do you have a picture?” I ask him as I am having a hard time getting my head around the whole paradox of a baguette that is soft like an éclair.
“What?” the Bakerman looks at me half surprised and half in despair. He then reaches over to his bag, pulls out a paper bag and shows me a huge baguette, richly laid with luscious pieces of pink salmon and lettuce leaves. “This a salmon one. I have many variants. Looking for chicken and mayo for example. A simple name that people can call it. Like baguette. But something else.”
“Un pain?” I start thingking out loud still totally bemused. “I don’t see the eclair part,” I add eyeing the baguette with certain suspicion. I can smell the sweet fresh bread and the salmon with a hint of sour cream. I start feeling hungry although I have only just eaten.
“Perhaps you need glasses,” the Bakerman retorts. I can discern a hint of irritation, but also amusement and a little bit of teasing in his voice. “What is a popular word kids are using in French? Words like cool, awesome and so on?”
“’Une flute’ for a baguette,” I go on realizing that ‘une flute’ is also used for a certain body part. The thought makes me blush and I try to stay focused on the issue at hand. “Cool in French would be ‘grave’, ‘terrible’…”
I pause a moment and chuckle. There is in fact an expression I have heard the youngsters use at the office: “Leur baguette est à se taper le cul par terre. I heard that from my french colleague at BNP.” I go on laughing quietly to myself for a while, so I take the opportunity to share the joke: “That translates into: that baguette makes me want to smack my bottom on the floor.”
I can feel a new tradition of evening tea setting on. If you can’t make it, no worries! I’ll blog about my experiences afterwards.
* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.