Monday, September 17, 2007

Need an Alibi? C'est dommage, mais est seulement en français.

If my recall of high school French is intact, what I think I wrote in the header is "It's a pity, but is only in French." However tortured my translation is, it certainly is a pity - I guess - if you are in desperate need of an alibi and don't have one. Because if you were in France, you could get one from IBILA.

As reported by Alasdair Sandford in The Guardian the other day ("French website offers 19 Euro alibis to adulterers "- those Brit headline writers sure don't mince words, do they?), IBILA is:

...France's first agency for adulterers who don't want to be found out. It provides alibis for a range of other situations, but acknowledges that its clients are often men who "need a little freedom".

Among the first on Alibila's books was a man who wanted to join his mistress on a tropical island without his wife suspecting. A fake wedding invitation from a distant cousin did the trick. 

The wedding invitation costs a bit more than 19 Euros, however. For the entry-level price, you just get a phone call to your home. Fake invites to faux events will set you back a bit more.

Although I only know enough French to ask where the toilet is (but not enough to understand the answer unless it's coming from someone who only speaks tortured, halting high school French) - and although I personally am in no need of an alibi, I went over to to check them out.

There is obviously a universal language of alibi, because I could pretty much figure out the site a moi meme, or as an English-speaker might say, "on my own."

The initial positioning goes right after putting prospects at ease. I didn't get a few of the words in the middle, but I could definitely parse out "Let those who never need a little alibi cast the first stone" or, if you prefer, jette la première pierre! We're then told that, "thanks to IBILA, satisfying this need will be child's play." Again, my French isn't great, but what else could "un jeu d'enfant" mean?

IBILA even has it's own pithy little taglines:

Votre générateur d’alibis
Alibis virtuels pour situations réelles

Just the sort of tagline that will stay in my mind if I every need someone to generate a virtual alibi for a real situation.

Their list of reasons why you might want an alibi extends beyond those in which you might "put in danger your family life, your marriage." It might be a family event, or dinner with friends, that you want to dodge without hurting your hosts' feelings or royally ticking them off  (sans blesser vos hôtes). I'm not really sure what blesser means, but I'm guessing it doesn't mean "bless."

You don't get just any old boilerplate alibi, by the way. IBILA will work with you to come up with an alibi that will be totalement crédible  to the person you're using it on. No "the dog ate my homework" or "I have to work late again tonight" for IBILA.

What is the world coming to when adulterers can't even make up their own little white lies? What's going to get outsourced next?

By the way, if you use IBILA, you do so at your own risk. As The Guardian warns, there are no refunds. But if  your alibi doesn't work, you've probably got bigger problems than the 19 Euros you paid for it.


A tip of the chapeau to my sister Trish, who spotted this story.



John Whiteside said...

I see fabulous French film farce in the future, in which the adulterous husband (Gerard Depardieu?) is stood up by his young mistress (Audrey Tautou?), who's used the same service to generate her alibi to him, and then somehow their paths cross on a holiday weekend in Provence. The wives and husbands will of course also turn up. There will be some jokes involving small dogs. Mon dieu!

Maureen Rogers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maureen Rogers said...

John - Forget marketing, you obviously have a future in film.

(And, no, the removed comment was not racy. I had a typo and forgot that if I deleted it, the deletion would be noted. From now on, to heck with typos.)