Two celebrations + Langue de belle-mère (a funny word for a certain party favor)
Two brothers at Aldi and riots in France

A funny French expression to help you respond "sur-le-champ"

Sos bijoux perdus
The sign near the beach reads "SOS Lost Jewelry in the water." Here in La Ciotat, there's another place where people lose things... and it also has to do with water! Learn a handy expression in today's vocabulary-packed story!

Today's word: sur-le-champ
 
    ​: at once, immediately, right away

Audio: listen to Jean-Marc read the following definition:

Une riposte c'est une réponse vive, instantanée, faite à un interlocuteur 
action qui répond sur le champ. A riposte is a lively, instant reply, made to an interlocutor [often one who has just asked a question] for an on-the-spot response.

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse

After packing un panier-repas for my husband's lunch, feeding the hens, and working on a chapter for our book, I knew if I didn't pause to eat something I would quickly turn into an LSB--a Low Blood-Sugared Zombie! (Do you know the feeling?) Funny, LSB also stands for "Low Surface Brightness Galaxy" which could explain our brainpower when we run out of fuel... It could also explain the inversion of letters, above, but we're sticking with LSB--for consistency! 

For le petit déjeuner, I was preparing a kiwi, an orange, and a baguette with beurre de cacahuète...when a cry sounded from a nearby galaxy (my son's room):
 
"I can't find my boot!"

"Max!" I set down my paring knife. "I thought you were wearing your Dr. Martens to work?"
 
"I can't find my boot!" The dismissive response reminded me he's as stubborn as his father. And I knew both well enough to predict the next scene....

On hands and knees, I was now searching for the LMO--Latest Missing Object. (LMO also stands for a Living Modified Organism which is what I become each and every time my family pulls me away from my own morning race...to join their own wild goose chase!) Crawling around on the floor Max and I knocked heads. Aïe! Aïe! This was no way to start a day!  What am I doing down here with the dust bunnies under the bed? I should've listened to my friend Sophie....
 
When I was newly married, Sophie (married to Jean-Marc's best friend, Nico) was my model of the Modern French Woman: feisty, sexy, Sophie also had the gift of riposte, or funny comebacks. It was Sophie who taught me How To Deal With People Who Constantly Misplace Things:
 
"When zey say, 'Where eez it?' (zees thing they are losing...). You tell zem zees: 'C'est. Dans. Le. Chiotte'." 
 
(It's in the crapper.)
 
I should have listened to feisty Sophie. 25 years later and I am still being dragged into everyone else's wild goose chase at the expense of my own treasure hunt (I could be searching for words for my next story, instead of crouching here on the floor, my head pulsing from a skull collision!)

Spotting the missing botte, I let out a victory shout. "There it is! There's your boot. Way back beneath your bed. You go get it!"
 
Dusting myself off on the way back to the breakfast table, I encountered my husband. "Next time I'm gonna tell you guys to look in the toilet! Oui! C'est dans le chiot!" I said, threatening, une fois pour toutes, to stop searching for everybody's lost stuff.
 
"Chiotte," Jean-Marc corrected. "'Chiot' means "jeune chien." Next I received a light scolding: "Chérie, after all these years in France, where have you put your French?"

Well, what was there to say for myself? "Je l'ai mis dans le chiot?" I put it in the puppy?

It may not have been a sassy response, but it was quick--sur-le-champ!
 

FRENCH VOCABULARY 
un panier-repas = a packed lunch
le petit déjeuner = breakfast
beurre de cacahuète = peanut butter
la botte = boot
aïe  = ouch
riposte = retort
chiotte = toilet, crapper
chiot = puppy
jeune chien = young dog, puppy
une fois pour toutes = once and for all
sur-le-champ = immediate

Smokey as a puppy
Which of these puppies stole my French? A young Smokey and his sisters are scolded by their mama, Breizh. 

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