Allrighty, I now have several entries from Travis, a couple from Tasha (whose are fine on their own and not front-runners just by virtue of not having bashed mine) one from Jaideep (which will be revealed later as more entries come in, and also kind of bashed me) and a haiku. I don't even know what to say about that.
So - time is ticking down. I know you're out there reading, and I know many of you are current and former wordsmiths. Dazzle me! Dazzle each other!
The rest of this post is semi-political, semi-anecdotal.
France is seen by many to be a smoker's paradise. In many ways, this is true: there's a large tobacco factory a ten minute walk from where I live, and "non-smoking" sections in restaurants tend to consist of whatever table Amynah and I are sitting at. This, however, is changing - a new law will ban smoking in many public places at the start of next year. To my bewilderment, this includes schools, where evidently it was ok to light up before.
In any case, this measure is not nearly as draconian as those in Quebec, where they have their own puff police. That law took effect on the last day of work in Montreal, forcing me to smoke my last-day-of-work cigar the mandatory 30 feet from the entrance to my building during a thunderstorm.
However, a ban is not something that a little French elan can't solve. One of Amynah's first interactions with one of the senior researchers in her institute occurred when Amynah was fixing some substances for her experiments under a fume hood, which vents gases outside the building. The professor - a formidable woman - approached her and asked what she was doing. Amynah explained, at which point one of Amynah's colleagues realized that it was 3 pm - time for the professor's mid-afternoon cigarette, which she would enjoy under the fume hood. Amynah expressed some surprise that she would smoke in a laboratory, to which the professor, in classic French style, replied "It is my priviledge."