“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Ad's Free French Lesson
Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My fancy foodie friend, Petunia, was over at my house the other day, and the subject of farms came up. We both shared our fantasy about being small-scale farmers, which lead us to the subject of killing livestock for eating. Now, you need to know right here that I grew up in a cowboy town in Colorado, where the prime rib was sublime because the four-legged source surrounded the town by the hundreds of thousands, munching away on buffalo grass as they awaited their trip to their maker. Petunia, on the other hand, while she SAYS she "farmed" some sheep while living in England, is a CITY GIRL through and through who is a wine expert and was trained in a French culinary school. Like I said: Fancy. I love Petunia; she keeps me civilized.

Petunia: "If we're farmers, we'll need to bring in an abbatoir for the animals."

Ad: "A what?"

Petunia: "An abbatoir."

Ad, thinking to himself: Why the hell would we need a clothes closet for the animals?

Ad, to Petunia: "What the hell is an abbatoir."

Petunia: "You know ... the way you process the animals. You need an abbatoir to kill them."

Ad: WTF?

Petunia: "Fine, then. What do YOU call the place where you take the animals to be processed?"

Ad, thinking for a moment, finally says, "Oh! You mean a slaughter house. That's what we call them in cattle country: slaughter houses."

...though I do have to admit: abbatoir does sound nicer ... especially if that steak is going to be served with FRENCH FRIES!


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