Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Fifi Du Foufon - Our French Maid ;)
Picture credit here
A while back, I wrote a post about how I played a joke, using my answering machine message. It worked so well, some people actually got mad at me. :) Okay ..so I admit it ..that little smile is indicative of the fact that I am still amused about the "Gotch ya" with that message. Bad SeaSpray.. BAD! :)
Do you remember the 80s and 90s answering machines? The ones that actually used little cassette tapes? I loved them because you could pop the tapes out and save the funny messages. I went through a phase ..for a few years ..or so.. where my messages were never the normal "Hello! :) You've called the SeaSprays at 555-555-5555. We're unable to come to the phone at this time, but if you'll please leave your name and number along with a brief message..someone WILL return your call as soon as possible! Thank you for calling and have a GREAT Day! :)"
No ..my poor neighbors, friends and family ..and strangers. They e-n-d-u-r-e-d a lot of off the wall messages...with sound effects. Looking back ..it was a difficult time in our lives and I suppose it was cathartic for me on some level. :)
There was Darla Mae the southern maid (Family out back by the pond cat fishing, Darla making a pecan pie), and we couldn't come to the phone because we were flying overhead in a B-52 Bomber (box fan for sound effect and shouting like over a radio), we were Abducted by aliens ..music from Close Encounters of the Third Kind - aliens left the message (talked through box fan in robotic style, explained we were flying around in outer space, etc. consuming nuclear food), we were being held hostage and so on. (Sons police car siren and megaphone - message stated we were all tied up, etc and return call once released:) I definitely think the SeaSprays being held hostage ..complete with police sirens and megaphone in the message was representative of our life at the time ..when we were painfully enduring a wrongful legal case. Not too much of a psychological leap there to see the connection. And there were other messages, but that's gives you an idea. My initial inspiration came from my friend Donna because both she and her husband would leave funny ones. :)
And so whatever caused me to bring French Maid Fifi Du Foufon to life? I'm not sure. But she was my favorite. :) That meant that everyone had to live with Fifi Du Foufon answering our phone for a long time. Our older son would invariably give me the eye rolls as I'd replay a new funny message in which I thought I was hilarious and he was basically putting up with my apparent lack of humor. His friends had to hear them too. I suppose it was a form of torture for our son. :)
To my defense ..I will say that our lawyer called the house and got Fifi. He was laughing while he told me he liked Fifi Du Foufon in his message and then laughed and told me the same when we spoke. (I'm sure it was the flambe ;) That was all I needed to hear and like I said ..she worked for us for a long time. Sometimes Fifi would take leave and someone else would fill in for her ..but invariably ..Fifi Du Foufon would return.
Of course my neighbors wondering if their child was at the bottom of the pond ..weren't pleased to get FiFi for the thousandth time.
Fifi Du Foufon was a delightful person! She was a warm, friendly young woman in her 30s ..who looked especially good in her tasteful French Maid uniform. She efficiently flitted about our home performing her tasks. She was great with the boys and assimilated into our family rather well. We appreciated her eagerness to complete her assigned duties ..although cooking was never Fifi's strong suit ..but we kept that to ourselves. Funny how she had a penchant for burning things in the oven ...just like I do. ;)
Fifi had a higher pitch (although simultaneously sweet) to her voice than most women.. which when excited ..could be punctuated with little ..yet most feminine outbursts ... squeals of delight. However .. with Fifi... more par for the course when handling a calamity of sorts ..most notoriously during her cooking escapades ...we'd hear little shrieks of "OOPS!" , but her ever upbeat attitude combined with her winning smile ..usually lulled us into complacency by the time we ran in, only to see her waving her little white apron (That's why they wear it), up at the smoke obscured, noisy fire alarm. She charmed us every time. :)
Her food wasn't all that bad (think blackened Cajun - well that is what we imagined anyway;) ...but suffice it to know ....she was more adept at using her feather duster and waving her little white apron at the fire alarm. :)
I was sorry when the day arrived that Fifi Du Foufon had to leave for the last time. I miss her even now. Adieu ma chere amie. :)
(I took on Fifi's persona ..French accent and all ..intermingling some French words in with the English. English translation in parentheses. Capitalized letters in a word to emphasize where her higher pitch comes in.)
And so here is Fifi's phone message:
BonJOUR? Oh .. excuse me hello.
I am Fifi Du FouFON ..the French maid working for the SeaSprays.
You must be patient with me. I am still learning this American language of yours.
We are all busy at the moMENT.
I am busy baking the souffle. OOPS! Now Flambe!
Monsieur et (and) Madame SeaSpray are unable to come to the phone at this time ...et Jonathan et Christopher are busy playing ball avec (with) their dog ..SprockETTE.
You will leave your name and number at the sound of the beep? Oui?
Au revoir! :)
A-lou-ETT-e, gentille a-lou-ett-e
A-lou-ETT-e je te plumerai
A-lou-ETT-e, gentille a-lou-ett-e (click! message over :)
Fifi was such a free spirit ...always flitting about the house ..happily singing Alouette! :)