Tensions reached boiling point during the American election campaign, when the Democrats started to deliver their libertine blows below the belt. The puritanical Republicans were caught in the gunfire; they found themselves defending charges of 'bestiality'.
At home in France, I mulled this over in front of the television. Why were the Americans speaking about ‘bestiality’ all of a sudden? Were they saying that the election battle had turned beastly and inhumane? Or can Washington politics generally be described as a jungle-like field?
Turns out I was far off the mark. What is termed ‘zoophilia’ in French, Italian and Spanish, is the term for sexual relations between a human being and an animal in English. To which an Irish friend I was with quite rightly asked; ‘so what do you call people who like going to the zoo in French?’