—The program is postponed professor Minowski.
—Postponed….until when? I had answered naively, six weeks earlier.
—Sine die, Talbot, the director of genolab, had mumbled.
As if it was less painful for a scientist to be sacked in Latin.
—Your whole team’s fired including you.***
Laurent Minowski’s life is falling apart, in the space of few days, he loses his job as illustrated in the opening quote and his doctor diagnoses him with high blood pressure. Laurent’s albeit unfortunate problems are not exceptional except that Laurent lives with Juliette, who is twenty years younger than him and is afraid that if he does not seem strong he will lose her. He begins by stealing a Vélib bicycle and selling it on at a flea market, leaving his telephone number with the crooks in case they can use him for any small operations. From this opening Bénégui sketches out a wild comedy, My Worst Enemy is Under My Hat, as Minowski gets deeper and deeper into trouble.
Minowski soon learns that success in any new field of endeavour, including larceny, requires experience as he is set up to carry the can for a murder, being sent ostensibly to steal some paintings into an appartement with two corpses in, he gets out just in time but with an abandoned baby!!! Now Juliette so wants a baby…..So after wondering how they will keep the baby they take him to the doctor’s where they are caught out and make up a name on the spot, Mateus:
You’ll seldom find parents who know their child’s head size but not his name…the paediatricians swallowed our story more easily than we could have hoped for.
Sitting behind his desk he looked enthusiastically at us with a beaming smile…
—Well Mateus Minowski, said the paediatrician, the talking’s over let’s examine you now, if your parents would be kind enough to undress you……
—Ok, pass him to me, I’ll Open the parcel joked Doctor Lebillon….I heard him pull back the Velcro on the nappy, and he was silent….
—Is there a problem doctor? Juliette asked.
—Has he dirtied his nappy?
A light, fun read.
First published in French as ‘Mon pire ennemi est sous mon chapeau’ by Julliard in 2012
*** My translation