Garth returned from Paris only days too late to participate in the original French-Off: the day Chris S-G went down to Sebastien Leclercq – THE FRENCHEST OF THEM ALL. 

Ever optimistic, Ben and I assured him it was not too late to prove our Frenchness. Perhaps, under his tutelage, we could steal the title. We could be Frencher than the previously most French guy around! And so, at 3:30 on a weekday afternoon we began doing all the things Garth assured us would make us seem French. We ate copious amounts of butter. We smoked. We had funny mustaches. We tried not to laugh.

I had not thought about these photos for a long time until I was reminded of them by Kat almost a year after they were taken and almost five years ago. At the time I smiled, I laughed, and I thought very little of it.

Then I opened my e-mail to find the photos that led to these paintings, I realized Kat's interest in the French-Off was more than a passing fancy. She and her glacier-bound Greenland amis were looking to steal the title from Monsier Leclercq... and they in their striped-shirt-wearing, cream-whipping, wine drinking, tour-de-Kalaallit Nunaat way were getting closer than any had before. 

I sent the resulting photos to Monsieur Leclercq on a lark - a little trip down, how-to-say, Memory Lane... and was amazed to find in my inbox not his congratulations or consolations but rather further proof of his unquestionable Frenchness! 

And so, mes amis, consider this French-off to be officially ON. If you always wanted to be a Frenchie (or just look like one) now is your chance to show us if you're a man or an homme.