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A Whiz Bang Disaster

“Oui, Oui” said Fifi , so Ben took her into the bedroom and pointed out the bathroom. Being a gentleman, he turned to walk out the door.

“Monsieur, Oui, Oui.”

“I know, I’ll be right outside.” Ben kept walking.

“Monsieur! Oui . . Oui!

“Now look … if you got to go, you’ve got to go. Just go ahead and go!” Ben left the room and never heard the sobbing.


Ben had come to Paris for a purpose. He was staying in a nice hotel near the Eiffel Tower. It was his first time in France. In fact, it was his first time out of the United States. Ben hoped his breeding ranch scheme could become a big user of the products supplied by Madame Bovary … fertilized Limousin cow eggs. He intended to upgrade a low grade cattle herd by using the fertilized eggs in surrogate cows, thus birthing high quality French Limousins in Oklahoma.

He had been waiting, impatiently, for credit approval to open an account with Madame Bovary. Madame Bovary had sent Fifi to meet with Ben to tell him his credit had been approved and he could start buying her products. She carried a small case filled with the product and was expecting to have him sign his order and then give him the case. Fifi had given a lot of thought to her presentation. Madame Bovary had instructed her to, first of all, make it very, very clear to Ben that his credit had been approved, since there had been some question earlier that had now been cleared up. It had been embarrassing.

“Give him what he wants, but make sure that you tell him, first off , that yes, his account has been approved.”

Ben opened the hotel room door on her third knock. He had received a message that someone representing Madame Bovary was coming to see him, but she was late. He showed her into the suite, not knowing if she would have good or bad news for him. There had been a mix-up for sure, and he wasn’t too happy. Ben stared Fifi straight in the eyes. “Okay, I’ve been waiting long enough. Let’s get down to business here. What are you here to tell me, are we doing business or not?”

Fifi was suddenly flustered. She didn’t understand him. She hadn’t considered that … an American who could not speak French. She knew some words of English but not many, and certainly not Oklahoma-accented words. He’s mad ... what is he saying to me? What can I do? Fifi ’s mind raced to find the words. Madame Bovary had told her to let Ben know, first thing, that "yes", he had been approved. That’s what she decided to do, say yes. “Oui, Oui” she said.

“What?” Ben asked. “Oui, Oui?” “Oh I get it. You’ve just got here, it was a long trip.”

“Oui, Oui,” said Fifi again. Ben led her into the bedroom and pointed out the bathroom. Being a gentleman, he turned to walk out the door.

“Monsier, Oui. Oui.”

“I know, I’ll be right outside.” Ben kept walking.

“Monsieur! Oui!… Oui!”

“Now look! If you got to go, you’ve got to go. Just go ahead and go!” Ben stormed out of the room.

Fifi knew the word “go.” She burst into tears. Fifi was brokenhearted. Her very first assignment, and she had messed it up. Madame Bovary would be so unhappy. She was counting on Madame Bovary letting her permanently join her stable of “assistants” who helped her in the business side of her business.

About ten minutes later, Ben had cooled off a bit and started to become concerned about Fifi . She hadn’t come out of the bedroom yet. How long could it take a woman to go?

He slowly opened the bedroom door and peaked in to see if she was out of the bathroom yet. He saw her sitting on the edge of the bed, in tears. She looked like a nice young girl, not the kind of person who likes to give bad news. He was a grouchy sounding cowboy. He figured she had come to tell him he could not buy the products, he had scared the piss out of her, and she was now crying in fear of having to tell him the bad news. He gathered his things, went downstairs to the desk, and checked out. He caught the next available flight back to Oklahoma City.

And that, boys and girls, is why you don’t see many Limousin cattle in Oklahoma.

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Tom Hays

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