It was that inveterate patriot Archibald Bunker, I believe, who once said “There is no prospect more frightening than that of a happy Frenchman.”
Indeed, ever since it was famously divided into three parts by Caesar himself, all Gaul has produced a singularly morose sort, noted mostly for their practice of gloomily smoking cigarettes and cursing a God whose existence they deny.
Regardless of one’s feelings apropos the Frenchman’s usual conduct, history suggests that it’s preferable to the alternative. In point of fact, the last recorded instance of a Frenchman desmonstrating something like enthusiasm was in 1794. A blood-stained sketch from that period depicts a grinning Robespierre beside a guillotine basket full of noblemen and -women’s decapitated heads.
Which is why, of course, the image embedded above — with panicked and trembling fingers, it goes without saying — arouses no little concern in the author. Nor is it anything less than a certainty that the photographeur responsible for said image is very, very dead.
Credit to reader Noah, who is currently living in La France and brought this blood-curdling image to the author’s attention.