Why Ask Such An Odd Question (Door Knocker Related)

I meant to ask this last week, but events overtook me and a post in the Pit by Fluid Druid reminded me.

Last week, I was at home and there is a knock on the door. I come out and there are two well dressed males at the door- for all the world I thought they were Mormons (they seem to come around here a bit). They had the usual small bag which they carry their documents in so I was prepared for the usual spiel.

I was polite and asked how I could help them. The first one then said “Yes sir, do you know anyone who speaks French?”

I was taken aback and I just replied “Do you mean as a translator?” and the guy was then sort of lost as to what a translator was (English didn’t appear to be their first language although they were pretty good at it).

He just then said he was after someone who spoke French and I said I didn’t know any so they left. I noticed a little later they met some similarly dressed ladies a bit further down the street, who also looked as though they were on a religious bandwagon.

All well and good, I have not seen them again. However, why come up with an odd question if they were indeed Mormons (or whatever) and if they weren’t what on earth could they have been up to?

Maybe they were semi-inept spies who forgot where their contact lived so they were trying out their code phrase on everyone, hoping to hear the countersign. You should have said: “Mais oui, je parle français!!”


Hell, I knew I should not have replied with “Je ne sais quoi”

It was Mormons! Clearly, this is Mitt’s take over of the Globe, phase two. Why else would he have gone to France when the Vietnam war was raging on?

Now that they’ll have their guy in the Oval Office, they’re conducting requirements analysis for their global take over. Since everyone is learning Chinese, they plan to communicate solely in French If they avoid ignorant, drunk guy phrases, no one will know what they’re talking about (unless they lapse into a bad song or two).

OMG, now we know where their first strike will hit! Quick, call the news agencies… get the word out before all French food is adulterated with drugs to turn us into mindless drones who work for $0.23/hr (clearly, that rate is okay for US prisoners!)…

heads out to refill bunker with chocolate for impending apocalypse

Maybe the question should be “Why does someone feel the need to bring American politics into every fucking thread”?

Is it really necessary. It is not funny.

Insert suitable Big Train sketch here

Maybe they were aliens who were supposed to land in France, and were lost.

Were their heads cone-shaped?

“Tish…! Run!!!

It’s the inefficient and lethargical French invasion.

Huguenot missionaries?

Heh- I don’t recall telling them in previous visits to bugger off, and even so if they noted my address, they wouldn’t have been here in the first place.

And I apologise to Enkel- I am tired of American politics on FB etc and he/ she got me at the wrong moment.

I thought this thread would actually be about door knockers – those things on a door used for knocking – and that reminded me of a story.

When I bought my house, there was a brass knocker on the front door with “Knalker” in ornate letters. I thought maybe that was German for “knocker”, which still seemed a bit strange. Turns out it was the name of a previous owner.

[/pointless anecdote illustrating how a person might have a legitimate question about door knockers]

Perhaps they are Mormon missionaries who stumbled on someone who spoke only French (or claimed to to get them to leave)? They were hoping you’d know someone nearby who could be a translator for them.

Or maybe someone said something to them in French, and they wanted to see whether it was an insult or whatever.

offers chocolate (it’s fresh)

“Yes sir, do you know anyone who speaks French?” – obviously a phrase to activate a sleeper agent. Once the “Mormons” knock on the right door, the game will be afoot!

I was standing on a platform in the Paris Metro one time when a person on the opposite platform called out (in French, and in a plaintive voice):

“Please, please could someone tell me, what is the capital of Canada?”

A few went by, then a voice from my side of the platform said, “Ottawa”.

(plaintive voice) “Merci”.

Sorry, that’s all I’ve got.

Cicero, I was going to suggest the answer you came up with yourself.

My guess is they realized from your expression that you had steeled yourself for a confrontation so they asked a non-confrontational question which allowed them to bow out of the situation.

I suspect they were on a scavenger hunt.

I just recalled a similar odd moment several months ago. Two ladies with some kind of pamphlets came to the door, asking if anyone in the house spoke Russian. Actually, we have a couple of Ukrainian speakers, but I was the only one home. Both women were black, with some mild accent that wasn’t at all Russian. One was a dwarf. They thanked me for my time and moved on.

It was kind of surreal.