Real French Conversation about Weird News 2023

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Real French Conversation about Weird News 2023

Transcript of the video

Did you hear about that store in Paris that allowed its customers to steal?


Did you hear about those American tourists who got stuck at the Eiffel Tower and slept there?

No, I don't.

Today, we're going to talk about unusual news. These are news items that are unusual, a little original, either funny or a little crazy, that happened during this year 2023.

We each chose three news items.

Have you chosen your news?

Yes, I chose.

And we're going to discuss it together.

We know you love conversational and news videos.

So today, we've merged these two concepts.

As usual, you can of course download the vocabulary for this conversation by clicking on the link in the description of this video.

I'll start with a news item from Italy.

This news item concerns a mother and her two children. What's original about this news item is that the mother filed a complaint against her two children, she went to court, because her two children refused to leave her home.

How old were they?

They were 40 and 42, I think.

Ah yes! They weren't really kids anymore.

Yes, they weren't children, they were adults.

They were over 40.

They made money. They had their lives, their professional lives.

They were pretty good.

Except that the mother filed a complaint because the children refused to leave her house. What's more, they wouldn't give the mother any money to help her. And what's more, they didn't take part in any of the household chores.

So they didn't wash the dishes or do the laundry.

No, they weren't doing anything.

So what happened? The mother had had enough and went to court.

So a trial was held and the judge decided to expel the children from the mother's home, I believe, at the end of December.

They don't even let winter go by.

They don't let winter pass them by.

And so it's going to be horrible for them because it's actually going to happen just before Christmas. And it looks like they'll all be celebrating Christmas together.

And that's going to create a bad atmosphere.

But it really reminds me of the film Tanguy.


I don't know if you know him.

It's a French film where it's a bit of a story.

He refuses to move out of his parents' house because he feels very comfortable there and his parents can't take it anymore.

They keep trying to do things to make his life unbearable and make him want to move out.

Because, of course, they don't dare tell him "go away, we can't stand you anymore" because he's their child.

In fact, in France now, because of the film, someone who stays with his parents for a very long time is called a "Tanguy".

Whereas Tanguy is normally a first name.

Yes, it's true that the film was popular enough to give this name to children, or at least to adults who don't want to leave home.

They're people on welfare, so to speak.

But then, the funny thing is, there's a law that obliges parents to look after their children, except when they're of age and can afford to look after themselves.

So if they earn their money, if they can do things for themselves, if they're not sick and all that.

This law protects children until they are 18, but after that, if they work and can support themselves, then they have to leave.

In Italy, the law considers them squatters.

People squatting, using a place and resources that don't belong to them.

Do you know if the Italian justice just expelled them or if they were sentenced to pay money to their mother all those years they lived off their mother?

I didn't see it in the news, but I think if I had, they would have said so.

I didn't see it. Maybe I have, but I haven't seen it.

In any case, it's going to be weird for this mother when they're gone, when she wakes up in the morning, when she's like "ah I don't have to do anything for anybody."

Before moving on to the next news item, I'd like to tell you about the sponsor of this video.

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I left you alone.

Yes, with Pastis (our dog).

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By the way, cuckoo Jade, if you watch the video.

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Shall we move on to my unusual news, Mathieu?

Yes, I want to hear it.

I'm going to tell you about an operation that was carried out in a sports store.

I think it was in October.

The sports store that sells sneakers offered its customers... No, not "offered", allowed its customers to fly in the store for a day.

Of course, as you can imagine, it's not as simple as that.

There was one condition.

To keep their stolen goods, customers had to outrun the security guard.

But then again, as you'd expect, it's not just any security guard.

For this very special day, they put Mickael Zézé in charge of security. I don't know if you know him.

No, I haven't.

He's an athlete, he's a runner. He runs the 100-meter dash.

He's one of the best sprinters in France.


So it's a bit tricky.

Yes, it makes the game a little tougher.

Yes, it's very difficult.

It's very difficult.

In fact, you walk into the store, pick up a shoe, run out and the security guard runs after you.

If he catches you, of course, you return the shoes.

You return the shoes, yeah.

The goal is to prevent him from catching up with you, in which case you can keep everything you've stolen.

Obviously, it was a marketing operation.

The aim was to get people talking about this store chain.

But I think it's a highly original way of getting people to talk about you.

I think it's a really great communication operation.

I don't know what you think.

Yes, that's a great idea.

I forgot to mention it, but this athlete runs the 100 metres in under 9 seconds 99 hundredths. So he runs very fast.

Yes, going under 10 seconds is always very, very difficult.

And how many thieving customers do you think managed to get away with their loot?

Loot is treasure.

I'd say one person.

No, there are two. Two people made it.

But did they do it honestly or did they do it with an electric scooter?

Honestly, I think. No, no, no. At least, that's what the brand has communicated.

Two out of 76 people who tried their luck.

Okay, but that's crazy. So these two need to race.

But in my opinion, since it's in the city, it's not just on a track. All it takes is a few slow passers-by. I imagine that's a factor too.

Yes, it's funny that they did that, because the brand was also taking a small risk, because it's not just speed that counts, it's also the chance of, well, there being passers-by, a bike.

Yes, but in reality, I think they must have... In terms of merchandise, it cost them maybe €200.

Yes, it's true.

What's your next story?


The news is set in Alicante, Spain.

He was a tourist from Lithuania who used to go into restaurants and pretend to feel ill so as not to pay the bill.

So, in fact, he got caught because at one point, he went to a restaurant, ate for about... Just under €40 and when it was time to pay, he told the restaurant owner that he didn't have his card.

He says, "I don't have my card, but don't worry, I'll pick it up at my hotel and be right back."

The restaurateur said, "No, I'm going to call the police, so you pay now."

At this point, since the person was used to doing this, he pretended to have a heart attack. Except that the restaurateur doesn't believe it.

So he calls the police. First, of course, he checks that everything's okay and that he's in good health, and they take him to the police station.

But how many times did he do it before getting caught?

Apparently, because he was somewhat well known in the sector, he did it about twenty times, so about 20 times.

Oh, yes.

Yeah. And then, what the restaurateur did, he shared the picture of this person with all the restaurateurs around to make sure it didn't happen again.

It reminds me of the United States, of New York.

We went to a store where, on the front door of the store, you remember, they put pictures of the thieves.

To say, "We know you, we've spotted you."

That reminds me.

Yes, it's true that this was the case in the United States.

But for this tourist, was he only doing this in Spain or was he doing it just about everywhere he travelled?

From what he said, it was only in Spain, but I have no idea.

I think he was quite old. Well, old enough...

No, he wasn't that old, but I think he was around 45-50. So, yeah, he'd probably done it somewhere else.

So he was faking a cardiac arrest?


To avoid paying. But in fact, it never happened that firemen came?

I don't know about that. It's true that it's weird. But in fact, apparently, the restaurateurs were saying "OK".

Oh yes, go to the hospital.

Here, go quickly to the hospital.

And there's a French film where this happens.

In fact, it's a film called "The Three Brothers".

It's a film... It's a very old film in which there's a group of comedians called Les Inconnus. They're very famous comedians in France.

Really, everyone knows them.

At one point, they were very popular and made this film.

And at one point in the film, they go to a restaurant with a child in tow, and they eat an awful lot.

They order the best champagnes, they order the greatest dishes and all that.

And when it's time to pay, they pretend that the child is unwell, so the three of them coordinate to say, "I'm a doctor. I've got a car, I can take him to hospital."

And the three of them can leave together without paying the bill.

If you haven't seen this movie, you really must, because it's very, very funny.

After that, it's obviously at a very advanced level, because there are jokes and all that.

But if you put it on with French subtitles, I think you'll have a good time.

It's really funny, this film. They've done several movies and they're all really funny.

Les Inconnus are great comedians.

So, my next anecdote, it's not very funny, I think, but it's really unusual.

Maybe you've heard of it.

A few months ago, I think it was in June, there was a Belgian influencer, a Tiktokeur, who makes videos on TikTok, who made everyone, including his family, his children and his wife, believe he was dead.

And a few days later, at his own funeral, a video was released where it's him speaking, he says "Welcome to my funeral."

And here, listen carefully to what he did.

He arrives by helicopter at his own funeral.

I find it really shocking.

It's true that on social networks, we're used to seeing jokes, pranks. In French, we use the same word as in English, at least to talk about jokes on social networks.

But for me, and tell us what you think in the comments, this goes way too far.

In fact, many people have insulted him on social networks because death is no laughing matter.

His children really thought he was dead.

His daughter posted a message on social networks in tribute.

Did he have any children?

Yes, he had children.

That's even worse.


And I understand that his children, and his wife, were notified two days later, so a little earlier than other people, but still.

If you think your father has been dead for two days, it's excruciating.

There could even have been consequences.

If her children are a little fragile, they could have done something stupid.

So it's very shocking.

Death announcements have been sent to the family.

And he, of course, says it's not at all for the buzz, to increase his views on social networks.

He says he did it to teach his family a lesson, a part of his family he doesn't see very often, with whom he's lost touch a little.

He says it was to send them a message.

Don't wait for funerals to see your loved ones.

And he, now, this influencer called Ragnard le fou, says he doesn't regret it at all, that on top of that, now he's invited everywhere to his family, so he sees a lot more of his family.

And so that he didn't regret it, that it was really necessary to shock them into realizing that they needed to see more of each other.

But then, I'm not very comfortable with this story.

And there's something I forgot to mention.

The day of the funeral was Father's Day in Belgium. So that added something shocking, and there was a lot of media coverage in Belgium and even in France.

And it makes me think, there's an episode like this from an American series, which I'm sure you're familiar with, called Friends, where there's a character, I think it's Ross, who pretends to die, to... same thing, to teach a lesson.

I think the story was about... There's a girl he liked, so he had pretended so the girl would say, "He really was great."

Except that the girl actually believes it.

So she says, "He was great, I'm so sorry."

And then he comes out of the room and says, "No, it's okay, I'm actually alive. In fact, I'm alive", and then it doesn't go so well.

But it reminds me of this.

Yes, but in a series, it's funny because they're trying to make it absurd.

I too had seen a film like that.

I wonder if it was an English film, but I think it was a family, they were Indian.

And I think he realizes that at his funeral, nobody cares.

And it was a bit like that, it's even worse.

Yes, that's horrible, though.

It's true that if there's no one there... 

And then it reminds me of the song "Aimons-nous vivants" by François Valéry. But that's still... But yeah, OK. Listen, an anecdote, yes, not very happy, but quite unusual.

But it's true that I won't, in any case.

I hope so! What would Pastis say?

Yes, our little dog.

The next news item is a bit... She's funny.

She's cheerful. She's really great.

Finally, she's happy.

It depends.

For people who are gambling addicts, it's not a happy one.

But for the others, yes. So Elisabeth and I have a dream, which is to win the lottery.

We'd love to. Who doesn't have that dream?

And we often play.

I play a bit too much myself.

It's true that I tend to play too much.

I know that. I know it's absurd, that mathematically, the expected gain is negative.

I know all the arguments.

I know that the odds are tiny, that it's ridiculous, but nevertheless, I buy myself this little piece of the dream every time I play.

So, this unusual news has something to do with the Loto.

She was in her apartment and bored.

In France.

In France.

And he wants to play Lotto.

He says to himself, "I'll play.

Except that he had no inspiration. He didn't know which grid to play.

So, what does he do? He picks up the first item that comes along, which was a hot sauce, and looks at the barcode.

The barcode is what you beep at the supermarket for the price.

He takes the barcode and starts playing the numbers on the barcode.

And what happens?

I'll give you that. It's an expression.

He wins by playing these barcode numbers.

How much did he earn?

He won 13 million euros.

These are anecdotes that La Française des Jeux, the company that organizes the lottery, loves to put forward, because it obviously encourages people to play.

People will say to themselves, "Well, it's possible. I can do it too. And so, they'll play their milk barcode. We've done it.

What's this barcode we've been playing with?

I don't remember.

I think we played the milk barcode.

Was it milk?

Yeah, I think it was milk.

And we played the barcode and didn't win.

We didn't win, but in any case, it's a pretty funny anecdote.

And obviously, for him, it's extraordinary because now he's at peace.

He's a millionaire.

He's a multimillionaire.


So I saved the Eiffel Tower anecdote for last.

It was a few months ago in May, there were two American tourists, two men who wanted to visit the Eiffel Tower. So they took their ticket quite late, it was in the evening, around 10:30 pm, something like that.

They went up the Eiffel Tower to visit it, and by the time they came down, they were...

In fact, they were drunk, they'd been drinking alcohol, they were drunk, and they went to an area between the third and second floors that isn't normally accessible to the public.

They stood there and got stuck, precisely because of their alcohol level, because they were too drunk.

They got stuck there and slept under the stars, out there in the Eiffel Tower.

And it was the security guards from the company that manages the Eiffel Tower's security who found them trapped the next morning.

They called the fire department. The fire department came to help them get out, so they wouldn't be trapped any longer. And they were taken to the police station for questioning.

The company that manages security at the Eiffel Tower said it wanted to lodge a complaint, but in reality, the Paris public prosecutor's office...

The Paris Public Prosecutor's Office is the legal body that enforces the law in a specific area of Paris.

The Paris public prosecutor's office said there was no damage.

The fine for trespassing on a historic or cultural site, such as the Eiffel Tower, has been dismissed and no further action will be taken.

They're safe. They were able to spend the night in the Eiffel Tower without any legal consequences.

Don't do that.

I think that if other people do this, it won't happen in the same way. And I also think that now, before closing the access to the Eiffel Tower, they check a little better that everyone has left.

It's true that it gives them a great anecdote, a great story.

Because in my opinion, there are a lot of people, tourists, who would have loved to be able to sleep on the Eiffel Tower.

Trying yeah...

It's true that it's a good anecdote for Secret Story.

It's a French reality show that existed many years ago, but is about to start up again.

The aim is to discover other people's secrets.

I slept in the Eiffel Tower, which would be a very good secret.

Yes, that's a great secret.

In fact, it reminds me of one of my little brother's friends.

She worked in a Carrefour store.

It's a supermarket chain in France and also in Belgium.

Yes, there are many countries where there are "Carrefour" stores.

It was her first day on the job, and I think she was working in the fishmonger's shop.

She took a while to tidy up and when she tried to leave the store, it was closed.

She was locked inside the Carrefour.

She had to call her mother, who came, but couldn't free her.

I don't know if the police came or security to free her, but horrible when you start a new job. You get off on the wrong foot a bit.

It reminds me of... There are quite a few videos on YouTube of people trying to sleep in places like this.

One of them, I remember, tried to sleep at Disney, but got caught by security.

In fact, there are YouTube videos about it.

If you type in "sleeping in parks" or whatever, and there are people, I think, who still manage to infiltrate places like that.

But there, very recently, I think it was... I don't remember if it was around Nantes, in any case in the west of France, in my memory, it was this year.

One man, I think it was a homeless man, managed to sleep in a supermarket.

Like, he was up all night eating, drinking.

Once again, it was discovered in the early hours of the next morning, when the supermarket opened.

So it happens. It can happen.

It's true that when I was a kid and my father took me shopping fifteen minutes before closing time, I was really stressed about being locked in.

I was in a panic, in a panic, in a panic.

My father used to laugh and say, "But no, it's okay, it never happens, it never happens."

Apparently, it happens.

Here we are.

Well, that's that. The video is finished.

We hope you enjoyed it, that you liked the fusion of these two concepts.

Don't forget that you can download the vocabulary sheet for this video by clicking on the link in the description.

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