Lost in translation Ma vie en Suisse

I am looking for a knight–a wooden one, preferably

Now that the nice weather is here, we are looking for a table to put on the balcony–so we can eat outside when it’s warm. And, if we have friends over, we can entertain outside. I haven’t found anything I like enough to buy. I thought in the meantime, in between time, I could just fashion one with some planks and two lightweight sawhorses or something. It would be an easy, temporary solution.

If you put a table cloth over it, who’ll know the difference?

I go into Hornbach (a European version of the Home Depot) and I wander around in the lumber section. I don’t see anything that I’m looking for so I go up to the customer service and I ask: “Je cherche ….ummm….pour les pieds. Mais, pas les pieds. Les pieds en bois pour mettre le bois au-dessus et puis la coupee.” I motion a lot with my hands.

Approximately: “I am looking for feet. But not feet. Feet for putting a board across, and then cutting it. Feet of wood.”

The guy actually understood what I was asking for. “Oh. Un chevalet.”

Glad to have found the word, I repeat, “Oui, un chevalet.”

“Oui. On les a. Juste, demande a le monsieur la bas. Il sait ou ils sont.”  “Yes. We have those. Ask that monsieur over there. He knows.”

So I go over to the monsieur who is helping another customer. I wait. He acknowledges I’m waiting and finishes with his customer. When he is ready, he says, “Bonjour, comment je peux vous aider, madame?”  (Oh. I am a madame here!!!) “Hello, how can I help you?”

“Oui. Bonjour. Je cherche un chevalier. En bois, s’il vous plait.” “I am looking for a knight. A wooden one, preferably.”

He starts laughing. “Un chevalier? En bois?”  Now, I am  confused. “Madame, je serrai votre chevalier.  Je vais vous montrer nos chevalets.”“A wooden knight? Really? Madame, I will be your knight. And I’ll show you our chevalets.”

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