1990- With my few French words in my pocket, I often found myself in awkward red-faced situations. On the feast of Epiphany, we were invited to share the Gateau de Rois at a friend's home. Sitting around the table were, Michelle, Herve, their three sons, Benoit, Matthieu, and Nicolas, plus several other people. The Dallaporta household is like an International House of Pancakes, in one evening you can meet more wildly interesting people than you can meet in the next ten years. After dinner Michelle brought out the Gateau de Rois, Herve asked me to Toss him a Plate. "Toss?" I quizzed, "You mean to say: pass you a plate right ?" I wasn't correcting his English, as much as I was clarifying his teasing eyes and his off the cuff humor. I continued, "Toss implies um...eh...you cannot mean toss?" I searched the faces of the IHOP group, they just looked at me with their lack of French to English TOSS verbs, with the look of, "You aren't going to lancer-toss the plate?" I reverted to my strongest ally: Sign Language. I showed him with an empty hand, as if to toss a Frisbee..."Toss like this?" I doubted. Herve gleefully nodded, "OUI". Everyone waited to see... The plate, oh the plate, a hand painted beauty of a plate, belonging to their family since the-visit-of-the-Three-Kings-kind-of-plate. "Toss-Lancer...really?" "Come on toss it." Across the table seemed near enough, I took the plate in my hand, looked up seeking some sort of guidance from a baseball star, and tossed it, like I would a Frisbee. If Herve hadn't side-stepped and raised his hands saying, "What are you doing?" He could have caught it... Instead the lancer plate sailed right by him and shattered on the tile floor. Instead of a dried fava bean in the Gateau de Rois, I wonder if there wasn't a piece of shattered glass. Luckily we are still friends, and I do not fall for his tricks.
- Epiphany, Those Three Kings, the Twelfth day of Christmas and Feves
- French Meal Made Simple
- Fill Your Heart