French Lessons

by J. Ferguson a.k.a. Timeless A-Peel

Timeline: Definitely during the Canadian episodes.

Disclaimer: Little has changed. I still don't own Mike Gambit, Purdey, or The New Avengers. This story is for entertainment purposes only.

"Too bad we're not going through Quebec," Gambit lamented as they drove. "I wanted to make use of some of the French I picked up in Paris."

Purdey snorted from behind her large double double from Tim's. "What French? Random words punctuated with arm gestures doesn't qualify as speaking a language. I don't think I've ever heard the word 'bouillabaisse' used so often in one sentence."

"You and Steed could've been a bit more helpful," Gambit pointed out, a little unkindly.

"I gave you some pointers," Purdey objected.

It was Gambit's turn to snort. "Oh yes, those were monumentally helpful. I couldn't look Colonel Martin in the eye for days after you 'helped' me."

"It's not my fault 'baiser' and 'baisser' sound alike," Purdey grumbled, pouting into her coffee. "Anyway, what sort of progress have you made on your own?"

"The usual tourist book stuff: Comment ca va? Ou est le restaurant? Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?"

Purdey choked on her coffee. Gambit grinned.

"What? Was my accent wrong?"

Author's Notes: For the French challenged, baiser is francais for a certain four-letter word that starts with an "f" and rhymes with "duck." I read about an Anglophone in Canada who made a similar mistake around his Francophone friends, who subsequently needled him about it for ages. And there are some missing accents, I'm aware, but Word doesn't let you insert them without a lot of effort.

Gareth's mastery of the French language really did extend to random words and gesticulation. Apparently it served him well until he used the wrong random word, and Joanna had to explain the faux pas to an irate Frenchman.

Gambit's last phrase is straight out of "Lady Marmalade" from "Moulin Rouge." Figures, eh? Pop it in a translator and see what happens. See "Bon Cop, Bad Cop" for more, er, interesting uses of baiser by the Quebecois.