Yesterday evening, I'm trying to valiantly stave off another impending migraine by playing a little Guild Wars. I haven't made that much progress in the game yet, obviously, since I've only had it about a week, but I've grown rather attached to my Ranger/Elementalist, Karrina Lightwood (Karrina being one of my generic names for female MMOG characters):
Fleur, wandering by, exclaims; "WHO'S THAT?", presumably because she thinks I must be cybering with her or something. I patiently explain to her that Karrina in no way constitutes a threat to our relationship, because she's just a polygonal avatar in a virtual world, hosted on a computer somewhere in Europe. I also explain that she's a Ranger, my favourite archetypal D&D class. My girlfriend, distinctly unimpressed, takes a closer look, and comments; "Oh, she's got flowers in her hair! That's so sweet!"
Thinking the storm has passed, I revert the camera back to its default view, and start running to my next quest waypoint, when suddenly I hear Fleur say, in the most barbed tones possible; "NICE ARSE, TOO!", as if to imply that I'm somehow unhappy with her arse, and that I have to somehow resort to consorting with computer games in order to satisfy some perverse arse-watching fetish. Well, let's knock that *straight* on the head. My girlfriend has a particularly fine arse, and I'll meet anyone who says otherwise outside. And I'll be waiting with my friend Baseball Bat. Got it?
Anyway. Minutes later, we get a phone call from our friend Florence (who we're visiting this weekend, to mark the occasion of my 30th birthday; though if you're looking for existential angst about getting older, you're not going to find it here. I find getting older beats BEING DEAD, so I won't be complaining about it anytime soon. Come back when I'm 60), whereupon Fleur immediately recounts what I'm doing on the computer (and with whom - i.e. Karrina). I briefly introduced Florence to World of Warcraft last year, so she knows what MMORPGs are about. So what's the first question Florence instantly asks? None other than; "Does she have a nice arse?"
So either French women have such insecurity about their arses that they feel intrinsically threatened by anyone who doesn't buy their knickers at Marks and Sparks (with added tummy-flattening panels) or videogames designers make female characters with unrealistically nice arses.
There's the evidence. I leave you to form your own judgement...
[Edit: As Richard has just pointed out to me on MSN, it could have been worse. I could have been playing Lineage II...]