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I’ll have merlot with my escargot

“What does the Hawaiian burger come with?”

The Irish waitress gave her robotic-response with a Finian lilt. “Tomato, pickle, slice of pineapple and either cole slaw or French fries.”

The burger-eater leaned forward in his chair and listened intently. When she said “French fries’ he pounced. “Don’t you mean Freedom Fries?”



You can hardly blame the little Irish gal for not knowing what the heck he was talking about.

With working two jobs and trying to find time to ski the best snow in recent memory, one can’t keep up with all the weirdness in this country.



Of course, she knew America and Great Britain had invaded Iraq – she even had a friend serving with the Royal Marines. But how could she know some segments of her host nation, like petulant children, have decided to make France the villain.

Why? Because France was one of the most vocal countries on the United Nations Security Council in regard to postponing military action in Iraq.

There has been some speculation concerning France’s motivation. There has also been speculation in regard to my country’s motivation.

So, if we agree that we give both nations the benefit of the doubt, it comes down to the simple fact that France does not agree with what we are doing. That being the case, it did not support America’s position with the U.N. Security Council.

Because France voted its conscience, some Americans are boycotting French products. I’m not sure why we decided to pick on France; Germany, Russia, China and even the Dixie Chicks have offered criticism of the war in Iraq.

I haven’t heard of people burning their chopsticks, giving up Russian roulette or blowing up their BMWs. Many veterans of World War II are enraged by France’s betrayal. They recall American soldiers fighting and dying to keep the European continent out of Hitler’s hands.

Contrarily, little mention has been made of the courage of the French Resistance or the suffering of the French people during that same war fought largely on French soil.

A recurring theme of world wars and world affairs is that the politicians and generals make the decisions while the common citizens pay the price.

Despite my real last name (Bergeron), I generally love to bash the French. Let’s face it, they are an easy target. They are often arrogant and pompous, the women don’t shave their armpits and they worship Jerry Lewis.

But on the other side of the coin, if it weren’t for the French Navy, America might have lost the Revolutionary War. France was the first European nation to recognize America’s sovereignty. It gave us red wine, the Statue of Liberty and the French Tickler.

I provided the Irish waitress with the Cliff Notes of the above rant while she was taking my order. I also told her that many Americans don’t agree with me and are royally ticked off at the French.

She shook her head in disgust and said something to the effect of “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, don’t you Yanks have bigger fish to fry other than worrying about what those Frogs think about your bloody war?”

I told her I thought French-bashing was a way some Americans could feel patriotic without sacrificing.

She said, “Does it matter to those fools that French fries were invented in Belgium?”

I told her it did not, and asked for cole slaw with my veggie burger.

These are serious times. We have American men and women on foreign soil where people are trying to kill them. One of them is my nephew. We also have countless innocents who will fall under the more pleasant euphemism of “collateral damage.”

In these serious times we need serious discussion, thoughts and prayers. It has been said, if Americans are afraid to speak their minds, then the terrorists have already won. We need to voice our thoughtful opinions while keeping in mind there are hundreds of thousands of sons, daughters and parents who are in harm’s way.

If you do not support the war effort, you still have to respect the sacrifice of our troops. If you do support the war, then you must respect the First Amendment rights of those who do not, be they your fellow countrymen or those annoying French S

Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of “Biff America” can be seen on RSN television, heard on KYSL and KOA radio, and read in several mountain publications. He lives in Breckenridge.


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