Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Noisy Neighbors, part I

A visitor from the States swung by my apartment the other day to help me load my suitcase into a waiting taxi. He lugged the luggage to the building courtyard while I closed up the apartment. When I got down to the front door I found him ambushed by my first-floor neighbor, an otherwise sweet but old-fashioned and very fussy octogenarian, who was berating him for making too much noise in the evenings. She mistakenly thought he was the new tenant in the apartment above her on the 2e etage.

My pal just kept smiling and nodding his head, having little understanding of what she was saying, and even less knowledge of what to reply. Here's what he heard: "monsieur...s'il vous plait... pantoufles .... bruit.... plafond.... porte ...dormir...." Most of the vocabulary and verbs sailed past him. Not that he had a chance to get a word in.

As we hopped into the cab the lady must have felt a huge sense of relief having gotten all that off her chest. And is expecting improved behavior.
It reminded me of this Far Side cartoon: What We Say to Dogs/What Dogs Hear.

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