Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures


A pun I’m proud of

A friend texted me to meet in Place Bellecour in Lyon near the statue of Louis XIV. I was on my bike and didn’t respond right away since I was heading there. She texted back to see if I’d received the message. I responded, “L’oui!

It’s a little concerning how I crack myself up, but I’m not hurting anyone so I don’t really care what anyone else thinks.


The best insult I’ve heard in ages

MuppetBabies-BabyAnimalIn his 2012 standup special “Dangerously Delicious,” Aziz Ansari of PARKS AND REC, tells a story about an exchange he had with a mean border control agent he came across in Toronto, Canada. Not nice things were said by both parties, but things really escalated when Ansari said* the greatest thing I’ve heard in a long time:

“Your English is slightly better than Animal from The Muppet Babies.”

As with many things, it’s the specificity that takes this from a schoolyard insult to a serious burn. According to the Muppet Wiki, Animal from THE MUPPET SHOW “speaks in a guttural shout, often repeating a few simple phrases¹,” which would be enough to belittle most people. But this poor woman was less articulate than that. Compare classic Animal with some of his younger work and see if you agree.

On a personal note, I hope you all appreciate this joke because after researching this post, my childhood was rocked by the information that Baby Animal, as he’s officially known, was initially voiced by Howie Mandel (who did Gizmo in GREMLINS) and then Dave Coulier (the annoying uncle on FULL HOUSE). I have seen behind the Muppet Babies curtain and can never go back.

I was laughing, now I'm not.

I was laughing, now I’m not.

*He surely didn’t say this and the comment was most likely an esprit de l’escalier thing but it’s still funny as hell. I am going to picture this the next time I deal with people whose speech I don’t understand.

Animal Muppet Babies


Yo, Gurt! C’mere!

Yogurt. Yoghurt. Yoghourt. Yaourt. Yogur.

I don’t like you, fermented milk stuff. I don’t like your freakish consistency, neither solid nor liquid. I don’t like that you’re marketed in all kinds of gross variations that just confuse the matter further. Most importantly, I don’t trust a thing that doesn’t even know how to spell its own name.

This is the kind I eat. It tastes less like snot than most.

This is the kind I eat. It tastes less like snot than most kinds.

“Oh,” you argue. “I’m Turkish. My original name is yoǧurt so it’s not my fault that foreigners can’t decide on a spelling.”

“Well,” I spit right back, “‘baklava’ is Turkish too and everyone’s agreed to keep its original spelling. Who are you hiding from, Yoǧurt? What are you really after? Who do you work for?!”

Of course, Yoǧurt doesn’t respond because it’s a weird blob thing and isn’t sentient (that I know of). Continue reading

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Germany’s Most Disturbing Home Videos

I came across another bilingual joke which I thought I’d share. Bonus points awarded for proper French punctuation.

Dans un bar, un Français voit une fourmi dans le verre d’un Américain. Il lui dit :
– Fourmi !
L’Américain :
– No! For me!
Le Français :
– Fourmi !
L’Américain :
– No! For me!
Il devient menaçant alors le Français s’en va. Mais l’Américain voit enfin la fourmi dans son verre et il comprend.

Le lendemain, l’Américain revoit le Français dans le même bar et il l’appelle :
– Hey! Come here!
Le Français :
– Comme hier ? Ah non, alors !

Since it’s about ants, I also thought I’d share a photo of some of the ants with which I ended up sharing my last apartment and the episode of Sprockets where there were “Ants. Ants. Ants.

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Some classic Spanish insults

Te llaman óxido ferroso.

[They call you iron oxide.]

This is funny because the chemical formula for iron oxide is FeO and “feo” means ugly in Spanish.

I really like this joke since it’s like a double burn. You may understand that you’re being insulted (context is everything), but you might not get precisely how.

Another one, which works just as well in English:

Si feo volaba, serias rey de los buitres.

[If ugly could fly, you’d be king of the vultures.]

These came up somehow when I was trying to explain “yo mama” jokes to some Spanish people. They didn’t appreciate any of them which just goes to show that it’s okay to tell someone they hit every branch falling out of the ugly tree but messing with their mamas is a step too far.