(of the privacy of people's bank accounts and data spoor),
as I brooded, barely heedful, suddenly came tourists needful
of my English, local knowledge, and my helpful demeanor.
Merely tourists, interested in my helpful demeanor.
Quoth the tourists,
"Excuse me, do you know if this church is Protestant or Catholic?"
I thought they were joking at first. Into my tentative pause, they explained, "We just came from travelling in Holland, where Protestant churches all have roosters on them." Gesturing to the weathervane on the roof of Notre Dame. They seemed to think this merited intent consideration, so I gave this a few seconds. Then I informed them that I was pretty sure that Notre Dame was Catholic, because (1) France is a historically Catholic country, (2) Protestants don't usually build giant gaudy cathedrals, and most importantly (3) the cathedral's construction began long before Protestantism existed. I made some effort to be friendly about this; however, a sneer of this caliber cannot be fully contained by any system known to man.
Another step of my assimilation into the aloof French stereotype.
This post's theme word is simony, "profiting from holy things, especially the buying and selling of positions and pardons." I should have parlayed my knowledge into simony somehow.