Take it from France: nothing says ‘romance’ like a clogged bidet

Clogged bidet I know this is a little after the fact, but given that Valentine’s Day is TODAY, I’m guessing that a lot of men are just beginning to realize they’re in serious trouble after coming home last night with nothing but a six-pac and an NBA game schedule. If you are one of these men, then there’s a good chance you are getting into Valentines’ Day mode right…



(Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for any injuries, heart ailments or claims of memory loss occurring as a result of this information.)

Do not panic! As men, we will stick together and, through the power of the Internet, call upon the romantic wisdom of men from throughout the world and, hopefully, come up with at least ONE good idea.

Keep in mind that, at this point, we are well beyond the flowers and candy stage, and any attempt to utilize such devices will likely result in a mouthful of roses and vase stuffed with chocolate. No, my friends, we must think big. We must think outside the candy box. We must think of something other than Victoria’s Secret; and we must think of something quick.

You may be wondering how I can offer you this up-to-the-minute advice when, in fact, this column was posted last night, while you were sleeping on the couch and trying to recall exactly when you installed a deadbolt on the bedroom door. The truth is, I can offer you this advice because I am a savvy columnist who anticipated the needs of his readers (and his wife) thanks to experience, planning, and yesterday’s timely arrival of our two children — each of whom was carrying a paper heart they’d made for Mommy.

(Do not judge me: Given time and access to Crayolas, I would have made my own paper hearts.)

Because of this, I was left with enough time to establish a special chat room designed to gather helpful tips from some of the world’s most romantic men. What follows is a direct transcript taken from that 30-minute endeavor.

Me> Hello? Hello? Anybody?

I’m sad to say the only hit my chat room got came from someone called Luvmonkey, who wanted to chat about things that had absolutely nothing to do with monkeys. This left one final option, which was to race across the Internet, where I discovered some interesting Valentines traditions from other countries that — by comparison — could make even the most romantically challenged man appear to be…

Well — less of a love dunce, anyway.

First stop: France.

I started here because, as everyone knows, the French are the world’s greatest lovers, a fact that was confirmed by a random poll of more than 300,000 Frenchmen. According to tradition, it was customary for the French to hold a drawing involving young unmarried people, who would go into houses facing each other on the street. They would then call out from window to window, chanting: Vous aux tre mon ami, which, roughly translated, means: My bidet is clogged.

Following this tender courtship, the occupants from both houses would then emerge and, in a fit of uncontrollable passion, secretly confess the name of a good plumber.

I also tried Italy, which customarily had young people in Rome gather at a large, ornamental garden to hear music and poetry — after which they would stroll off in enamored pairs to look for broken sprinkler heads. This custom ended recently when it was discovered that the garden had no irrigation system, leaving Italians to ponder what its young people have been DOING all this time?!?

Okay, to summarize what we know so far: You’re in big trouble, and neither the French or Italians are going to help us. That leaves only one option.

Just make sure you put the Crayons back when you’re done.

(You can write to Ned Hickson at nhickson@thesiuslawnews.com, or at the Siuslaw News at P.O. Box 10, Florence, Or. 97439)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

19 thoughts on “Take it from France: nothing says ‘romance’ like a clogged bidet”

  1. I know that this reply is insanely random and really has nothing to do with the post, but I digress.. As I was reading this I NatGeo playing in the background. I’m watching a show called Taboo and RIGHT NOW they are featuring a family that cleans and whitens bones and skulls! Human and animal!! WTF!! Why do I even have this on while i’m trying to read blogs!? And there you have it: Kyle’s mini rant of the day.

  2. Yer right–and grovelling does not work either. I have many ‘data points’ on that one.
    Y’know what–we guys have to band together and come up with a day when we’re allowed to be big sooks and get our way.
    Oh wait–it’s already in place: Superbowl Sunday.
    No excuses at all…

  3. Happy VD, or as we used to say, don’t get VD on VD.
    I waffle on the whole Valentine’s Day thing, but frankly I can’t stand the whole unspoken expectation crap between spouses. I tell my husband each year whether or not I want flowers. And when I say I don’t, I actually don’t. It’s not one of these passive-aggressive “I’ll tell you I don’t want flowers” and then get annoyed when I don’t get them.

    We’ve gone years without celebrating VD (or VD, thankfully) and usually I’m only interested in getting something if we’re going to be apart (like this year). I tell specifically him if I want flowers, or jewelry (ha, gag, I never want jewelry) or a Vermont Teddy Bear (a teensy bit embarrassed to say I still like teddy bears even though I hate jewelry).
    If he surprises me with something extra or a twist on the flowers, that’s great, but I just lay out exactly what I want, remind him it’s coming up and enjoy knowing that I’ll receive it.

    Not sure why I felt the need to take time to comment on this. It is, after all, a guy-to-guy post, but I guess I just get tired of the stereotype schtick (and by that women generate just as much of the stereotype themselves in continuously playing the whole “read my mind” crap.) and wanted to say I’m one of many wives I know who are more direct in what they want, when they want it, and believe the game playing is best left to the women of the 1950s who weren’t able to get what they needed except through the use of passive-aggressive tactics and special days to be appreciated.

    Hahaha – did I rant, brain flatulate or just spew some random stream of consciousness? I’m really tired and didn’t get my Valentine’s lay.

    P.S. I’d vote for crayons any day over flowers and candy.

    1. I love this, Marla 😉 Rant or otherwise! And I totally get it. My wife and I really do treat every day like “Valentine’s Day” in a way, in that neither of us wait for special holidays, anniversary or birthday to “make up” for the rest of the year. We enjoy the sentiment of V-Day, but it’s a bit anti-climactic for us. We’ve celebrated — depending on the funds and time available — with everything from an overnight getaway, to this year, when (aside from a card and texting her something romantic every hour for the day), I installed a nice new shower head in the middle of the night so she’d be the first to use it yesterday morning. Not super flashy, I know, but it wasn’t something she was expecting. I had to go into work early, so she called me from the shower — so it got my Valentine morning off to a good start, too 😉 That said, I’m sorry about the absence of your VD lay… but I’m sure the two of you will make up for it 😉 A belated but sincere Valentine Day cheers to you and your husband, Marla.

  4. actually in Roman times they used to have a huge outdoor festival (orgy) where they used to get all naked and pass around flowers and compete in sporting events, drink, eating and dancing were among the activities that took place. and “Vous aux tre mon ami” roughly translates to you to be my friend but usually goes for you going to be my lover. (french speaker):)

    1. Yeah! It sounds like the Romans had quite a “festival.” Maybe just a few centuries ahead of Woodstock! I actually had some Haitian cooks who taught me the phrase “Vous aux tre mon ami,” which they said meant: “I want you, baby.” But “My bidet is clogged” seemed a more practical application 😉

  5. i was “PG”ing it for you….Its more like cave men “You Be My Lover” throwing said reluctant “lover” over your back and strolling to your cave…..those were the good old days…lol.

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