We are in the car. A jaunty reggae-lite tune comes on the radio. It's everywhere at the moment, a cheerful, summery ear worm. The boys start to jig along in the back. Suddenly, the CFO's hand snakes out and switches the station. We are plunged into dirge-like French wailing.
"Why did you do that?" I ask. "I like that tune. Ooooh rayon de soleeeeiiiil"
"Have you listened to the lyrics?" he hisses.
"No - why?"
"My hand on your little arse*?"
"Trying to find the way?"
"In the flowers of your garden?"
Filth! Filth I tell you! Apparently they say fuck on Eastenders too now. That's it. I'm going to live in a survivalist commune in the Ardennes where we all dress like sixteenth century religious nutters, stockpile guns and have really elaborate facial hair.
*Cul is ruder than "arse" though. Comparative swearing is a fine art isn't it? I got into terrible trouble from the CFO once for calling him a connard, which I always assumed is something like bastard. Clearly not. Also "ta gueule" (a sort of "shut up") is way ruder than it should be on the face of it. I know the kids are not allowed to say "dégueulasse" instead of dégoutant (disgusting) and ought, apparently, not to say "ça pue" (it stinks) but I can't conjure up any English equivalent. I've pretty much given up on stopping Lashes saying "merde" and I heard one of his most well-behaved contemporaries telling his mum something was "chiant" (means a bummer, or annoying, sort of, but derived from verb 'to shit') and not getting told off. Eh? The CFO inadvertently invents his own English swear words, like shite-os, jaysuus, bollacks, fuackass. Maybe I should do the same in French. Cultrou. Putainouze. Zacouilles.