While many women might brag about their husband’s ability to remodel the master bathroom, win a fishing tournament or conquer Thorny’s 80 ounce steak challenge, I’m often found gloating about a much more…well…unusual talent.
Accents, to be exact.
Not only does my husband have a gift for duplicating just about any regional dialect, he manages to create deliciously eccentric characters in the process. Jàmæzle, the opinionated Bavarian fashion designer (and his handcrafted fishbone thimble) are a prime example of this. There’s also Sherman Pickworth, the effeminate gentleman from South Carolina with an affinity for sweet tea and bird watching, and Jezebel–Jolie’s cantankerous aunt who five years later, still hasn’t forgiven our snuggle pooch for allegedly stealing the recipe for her beloved potato salad.
Late Friday night, Jean-Michel was added to the cast of characters.
Scott, myself and two friends we were meeting in Des Moines wander down to our hotel’s hot tub in an attempt to unwind before bed. We notice three other patrons in the jacuzzi. As it’s too crowded to simply ignore them, Scott begins to engage them in conversation.
In a French Canadian accent.
(I later learned this was a tactic to justify the itsy-bitsy Speedo he was wearing.)
Our two friends seem somewhat baffled by his spontaneous personality shift, but I assure them this sort of behavior is quite normal.
We discover one of the men in the hot tub is getting married the next morning. Scott wishes him luck and then makes a potentially offensive joke about marriage in general. I don’t quite catch it as I’m laughing uncontrollably at the fact that these people are actually buying his persona.
Our new friends ask Scott why on earth he would choose to visit Iowa for his weekend getaway to the states?
“The windmills, of course!” he replies with the utmost seriousness.
Scott….er…I mean Jean-Michel challenges to the groom to a race in the swimming pool. “You can do the freestyle,” he encourages, “But do you mind if I do the butterfly? It’s the traditional stroke of the people of Regina.”
I stifle another giggle…is it just me or is Saskatchewan not the most French region of Canada?
The groom agrees to the race and the two men step out of the pool. Many double takes occur as a result of Jean-Michel’s microscopic racing suit.
The race commences. Jean-Michel wins by a few seconds, which inspires me to sing the first few lines of “Oh, Canada!”
The best man informs us he will be making reference to his brother participating in a pre-wedding aquatics race against a random French Canadian dude just hours before his vows. Scott blushes with satisfaction.
The pool closes. As we exit the hot tub, the groom invites all four of his to attend his nuptials. Jean-Michel’s response? “Will you be serving poutine at the reception?”
We ultimately chose not to crash the reception. Partly because there would be no poutine, but mostly because “Jean-Michel” was terrified his cover would be blown were he to run into someone who actually spoke French.