Sexual Slip Ups: The Walk of Shame à la française

France: When is he going to Pull Out? The importance of mastering a language.

Equally revered as Elvis Presley, Johny Hallyday is considered a rock and roll icon in France. Needless to say the 67-year-old man has gained more than 18 platinum albums in his long music trajectory. In 2003, while finishing my studies at l’Institut Américain d’Avignon, I rented a nice apartment in the southern quaint city of Avignon, France. I was lucky enough to be staying with a French family and a Canadian friend. Everyday, we would discuss various topics, including politics, cheese, and music. One day while watching TV, I saw a Johny Hallyday concert. At the naïve age of 19, I attempted to ask how long Johny had been singing. I mentioned, “In the States, he would have retired by now.” Moments later I asked, “Quand est-ce qu’il va se retirer?” The combination of silence and the shocking look of the Canadian relative in her late 60’s said it all: my supposed level of promiscuity.

What I did not understand is what I had just asked. Off course, my question was not what I meant to initially ask but rather inquired, “ When is he going to pull out after s**?” instead of “Quand est-ce qu’il va prendre sa retraite?”. To make matters worse, this incident coupled with my comment at the lunch table the week before, truly solidified my sexual fiend personality in a matter of two weeks. The previous week rather than saying, “No thank you, I am full and I ate well” after our daily lunch meal, as in “ Non merci, j’ai bien mangé” I replied, “Non merci, je suis remplie”, which indirectly means “ No thank you, I am pregnant.” All I could think of at that time was the tune of GAME OVER which I listened to every time I lost a game of Zelda.

Good thing this only happened at the beginning of my three-month stay and not at the end.

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