Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Are you choking or can I offer some other kind of support?
I cannot vouch that this actually happened; it may be one of those mission field urban legends, But just in case:
It is reported that an experienced missionary in the French missions sometimes picked up a brand new junior companion at the train station, pretending to have such a raspy voice and sore throat that he needed the new man to request cough drops from the pharmacist. The new guy, not yet having a vocabulary that included medicinal terms, carefully practiced what he was told was the French word for cough drops: "soutien-gorge" (literally: "support-throat"). The newcomer would approach the counter and announce that he was in need of some very strong, very powerful soutiens-gorges, while the senior missionary would watch from a distance . . . where he could laugh at the red-faced younger missionary who had to endure the pharmacist's sign-language explanation that a soutien-gorge was a woman's brassiere.

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