May 14 2008


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“Actually,” said Sharon, helping herself to another tortilla chip and salsa, “there’s this French thing I’ve heard people say. “Shershay luh vim, or something like that. Supposedly it’s this very clever and insightful thing to say, that makes people wink like they’re on to some big secret, but I have no idea what it means.”

“I think I’ve heard that,” said Brigid. “I don’t know what it means, either. Ask Greg. That’s exactly the kind of pointless thing he would know. Hey Greg!”

Greg, eager to extract himself from conversation with Treville, bounded over to the table like a dog happy to see its owner. “You rang?”

“What does shershie luh fim mean?” Brigid asked.

‘Shershie luh…’ Oh! You mean cherchez la femme?”


“It’s French,” said Greg.

“Thank you for that penetrating glimpse into the glaringly obvious.”

Greg shrugged. “Well, it means ‘look for the woman.’ Sort of like our ‘follow the money,’ except it would be ‘follow the woman.’ The idea is that if two guys are having a fight or there’s some other gigantic plastic hassle, it was probably stirred up by some troublemaking chick.”

“Nice people, those French,” said Sharon icily.

“Hey,” said Greg, “I’m just telling you what it means, that doesn’t mean I agree with it. I suppose you could go with Garry Trudeau’s translation, which was ‘Keep an eye peeled for broads.'”

“Even better,” said Brigid.

“It was coined by Alexandre Dumas,” said Greg, “of Three Musketeers fame. Evil women seem to be a favorite theme of his. O. Henry used it as a title for one of his stories, as well, which is probably where it came into popular parlance.”

Sharon shook her head. “How do you know this stuff?” she asked.

Greg blinked. “Well, I … uh … you know, what’s weird, I don’t know how I know. I assume I must have read it somewhere.”

“And yet,” said Brigid, “this is a man who gets lost climbing the stairs to his own apartment.”

“I didn’t get lost!” Greg protested. “I just went up one flight too many.”

“Case closed,” said Brigid, and shooed him away.

-The Gneech

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