In a cordon bleu restaurant the maitre d' -- a bon vivant -- asked if I would like an apéritif with the entrée.
I said yes and asked also for café au lait. While waiting, I decided to order
à la carte -- potatoes julienne in hollandaise sauce, and pie à la mode.
The maitre d' arrived with my cup of coffee but informed me it was café au naturel because they were out of milk. As I sipped the coffee sans milk, I thought about a recent cause célèbre of the local bourgeoisie -- a bête noir known as the "English-Only" movement. The Movement's leaders acted as if they had carte blanche to force English only onto the hoi polloi without a plebiscite.
But the population, en masse, had enlisted an entourage of notables to act as the avant-garde of the ANTI English-Only ensemble. After verbal tête-à-tête, an unhappy détente was forged between the opposing camps.
A waiter observed my pensive mood and asked if I was part of the English-Only group.
Most opinions were in the latter genre.
Nonetheless, the "English-Only" ensemble unceasingly displayed their hauteur in an offensively grandiose mein.
I told the waiter that a true English-Only language was passée -- a mirage. Mixed-English is a fait accompli and has been for centuries. I added that it would be a gross faux pas for anyone to sign on with the "English-Only" movement. The waiter left.
In solitude I wished for someone with savoir faire; with a certain... je ne sais quoi, to intercede in this debacle. Someone... anyone... to quell this imbroglio, and bring a satisfactory dénouement.
© 1995,2005 Joe Hepperle
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While sitting in a haute couture, cordon bleu restaurant, the maître d', a bon vivant type, approached and asked if an apéritif would be to my liking with the entrée while waiting for the main course. I told him, "sure", and asked if he could also bring some café au lait in the meantime. Rather than wait for the main course, I decided to order à la carte. The menu listed delicious sounding potatoes julienne, smothered in hollandaise sauce. Cherry pie à la mode would do for dessert. The maître d' finally returned with my cup of coffee, but informed me it was café au naturel, since they were out of milk. As I sipped the coffee sans milk, my mind wandered to the most recent cause célèbre of the local bourgeoisie. That being a bête noir known as the "ENGLISH ONLY" movement. The leaders of that movement apparently thought they had carte blanche to force English "only" onto the hoi polloi, without a plebiscite. Fortunately the citizenry, en masse, had been able to enlist an entourage of notable persons to act as the avant-garde of the anti-"ENGLISH-ONLY" ensemble which, in tête-à-tête verbal combat, forced a grudging détente between the groups. The waiter observed my pensive mood as he approached, and asked if I was part of the "ENGLISH ONLY' group. Au Contraire! I sputtered derisively. I had gone hoarse arguing the point with a croupiér at the local casino, and I was not in a mood to talk about it now. Besides, each argument gave me feelings of déjà vu since the same répertoir of pros and cons were presented every time. Each "discussion" of the subject produced lucid opinions, apathetic opinions, and ignorant opinions. Unfortunately, most opinions fell within the latter genre. Nonetheless, they never ceased displaying their hauteur in a particularly grandiose mein. I did tell the waiter though that hope of a truly English only language was passée, a mirage, inasmuch as mixed English was a fait accompli and has been for centuries. I concluded by telling him that it would be a gross faux pas for one to sign on with the "ENGLISH ONLY" movement. The waiter left me. In my solitude, I silently wished for someone with savoir faire to intercede in this debacle to quell any potential imbroglio, and bring about a satisfactory dénouement.
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Free Use is authorized if the copyright notice, including this sentence, is included. Copyright 1995 Joe Hepperle
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