la fosse


  old French facade - vieille façade française (c) Kristin Espinasse
  Window and clothesline above an old shop in the village of Les Arcs-sur-Argens.

noun, masculine

Breezing past our living room, Jean-Marc is wearing a long African robe and a five o'clock shadow. In his left hand he is holding a small can of touch-up paint and in his right, a wet paintbrush.

I have grown to accept my husband's taste in lounge wear and the fact that he sees no reason to change into work clothes for his latest DIY project.

For a nostalgic moment I remember back to when he bought that robe, or "boubou". It was in '92, during one of his missions d'audit in Africa. Though he did not like his short stint as an accountant, he loved Djibouti. When he wasn't stuck in an office verifying spreadsheets at a local petroleum company, Jean-Marc enjoyed fishing with the locals in a deep, blue bay along the sea.

"Ça va, Mr. Touch-up?" I tease, following my husband through the house. I can't help but want to put in my two cents' worth. "You missed a spot! T'as oublié celle-la!"

The man in the robe responds by playfully poking me in the nose with the wet end of the pinceau. When I complain, he counters: "C'est lavable à l'eau."

Moving quickly through our little house, Jean-Marc brushes paint over child-size fingerprints and across chipped baseboards in a  quest to cover up grease marks, scuffs, and smudges.

"Grab a paintbrush!" he calls, when passing by the kids' rooms. "Allez, on y va!"

Because Mr. Touch-up forgets to mention where he's been, the kids and I are never sure just which surfaces are wet and when to watch out. It is the cream-colored streak across the seat of my pants (where I've backed into a wet wall) or beneath Max's palm or on Jackie's fingertip that reminds us that the touch-up artist has struck again. Touché!

Your Edits Here! Thanks for checking grammar and punctuation. Is the story clear enough? Good to go? Share your thoughts, here in the comments box. P.S. don't forget to check the vocab section. It will appear in the book as you see it here... Thanks!

French Vocabulary

le boubou
African tunic

une mission d'audit
an audit

Ça va?
everything all right?

t'as oublié celle-là
you forgot this one

le pinceau

c'est lavable à l'eau
it's washable with water

allez! on y va!
come on! let's go!



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