Tag Archives: The illusion of success

Doubling down

One winter in college I was visiting Paris, sitting at the bistro near my hotel just watching people. An American couple came in and the husband, in an accent I would best describe as “Chicago detective” (the word “Paris” came out sounding like “Pears”), called the waiter and tried to get “Two diet cokes”. The waiter in classic Parisian style, pretended not to understand what the man was saying. “Can you repeat, Monsieur”, he asked in French. The husband, in classic American style, only spoke louder, adding, “I know you know what I’m talkin’ about here”. The waiter, whom I had heard speak English to some women earlier, continued to feign interest in the conversation saying, “Faites un bel effort, Monsieur.” (make a beautiful effort). Continue reading

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