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“an oeuf is an oeuf”

The most-repeated Jeffreys family story concerns the time my grandfather tried to explain the joke “an oeuf is an oeuf” to a waiter in France. My father squirms with embarrassment when he recalls it, yet it never stopped him indulging in painful repartee with the locals on family holidays, and I have to admit when it comes to Franglais jokes I am a chip off the old block. Yet this great family tradition may be coming to an end. On a recent visit to Bordeaux, whenever I tried some of my schoolboy French on the locals, they would reply in perfect English.

In Pauillac, however, it was a different story.