Bilingual Deception

Giving an opinion is fraught with danger, especially if answering a question from a loved one. My strategy is to avoid direct responses. Better to be a politician and stick to my own canned soundbites. I have been asked which dress looks better. Which couch looks better? Which earrings look better? If I choose one, that will eliminate it from consideration. My standard answer is: Everything goes so well with your dazzling smile. People are less able to hold anger when they are smiling. Provoke smiles. In addition to that tip, I will also pay forward the best advice I have received from my friend Internet. If you cannot think of a word, just say: “I forget the English word for it.” That way people think you are bilingual or trilingual and not an addlepated dunderhead. The first time I tried this tactic, I was flummoxed by obvious follow up inquiries about which languages I speak. So I am trying to persuade my wife to just nod her head with deep concern if I ever start speaking in tongues in such a situation. My deception of feigning fluency in an exotic foreign language is her cue to join me in exiting the conversation by notifying everyone that my appendix just burst. Hopefully no medical doctor will be on site because I do not speak or understand the language of medicine. And I would be very embarrassed if somebody performed an emergency appendectomy and found that my appendix was already long gone. So if a doctor tries to intervene, I told her to explain that she would be performing the operation in the back of the cab on the way to the hospital as she has done so often back in our country.


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