Humor Saying Cheese

Humor Saying Cheese is based on a true story:

To help get little Helen ready to start kindergarten in the fall, her mother Margaret home-schooled the girl during the summer by teaching her the names of all the things around the house.

So little Helen Devlin learned the names of the various pieces of furniture, the all different vegetables and fruits, and everything like that.

Finally the big day arrived.

Her mother helped Helen get dressed because she knew it was a school tradition to take a class photograph on the first day of kindergarten.

So she told her scared little daughter, “When they go to take your picture, the photographer will probably tell all the kids to ‘say cheese’.”

“Why do they do that, mommy?”

“Look in the mirror and say ‘cheese’.

“You see when you say ‘cheese’ you make a big grin.

But not everybody says 'cheese'.

In South America the photographers tell people to ‘say whisky’ to get them to grin.”

Little Helen looked in the mirror again and said, ‘whiskey’, which sounded funny coming from such a little girl.

Her mother Margaret said, “But in our family we hate that big fake cheesy grin in photos. So we always ‘say plum’ because it makes a pretty little smile on your face, instead of a big old grin.

So when the photographer tells you to say ‘cheese’ you just say ‘plum’ instead.”

“OK, mommy.”

So the traumatic first day of kindergarten passed without a problem.

A week passed as the child became more comfortable going to school.

But after the first week little Helen came home from school with tears streaming down her face, clutching her class photograph.

In the class photograph all the kids were grinning their big cheesy grins.

All except little Helen, whose lips were distorted into a painful pucker.

“What happened?” her mother asked.

Through her sobs little Helen stammered, “When the photographer told us to ‘say cheese’, I tried to remember what you told me. At first I thought ‘whiskey’. But then I remembered it was a fruit.

So I did what you told me -- I said ‘prune’!”

Helen’s mother tried to hold back a laugh.

Her first thought was that her little daughter just confused two related purple fruits that both begin with the letter P.

And then she suddenly remembered that as part of the home-schooling in summer she had taught little Helen that the French word for ‘plum’ is ‘la prune’.



Humor of David Sedaris from his book Me Talk Pretty One Day

1. Humor of Two Types of French Spoken by Americans.

2. Humor of Knowing Only a Few Words of French.

3. Humor of Male and Female Genders in French.

4. Humor of Language Tapes in French.

5. Humor of Vocabulary Cards in French.

6. Me Talk Pretty One Day is the humor of a French Class in Paris.

7. Humor of Subtitles in French for American Movies.

Link to buy the book Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris from


Humor of Other People Learning French:

Humor Learning French in Kindergarten.

Humor Traveling in France Alone.

Humor Using Phones in France.

Humor of a Jam in Paris.

Humor of Doing IT in French.

Humor of Steve Martin on French.


Return to Funny Stories about Learning Languages.

Return to Easiest French Introduction.

Return to Easiest English Introduction.



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