Who is the conductor?


Mrs… walks into a boutique at 34 Boulevard Saint Germain. She’s been a customer for a long time and her name is well known as her husband is one of the greatest symphony orchestra conductors from the last century.

She is being attended to by a young sales assistant and at times is quite demanding.

Mozart is being played in the background – it was a recording of a symphony conducted by Daniel Barenboim.

The lady’s attention starts to drift as she’s focusing on the music to the point where she can no longer hear what the sales assistant is saying.

While he’s showing her the latest diptyque creations, she suddenly interrupts him by asking in French “Mais qui dirige?”, meaning “Who is the conductor?”.

The young employee, who’s afraid of making a mistake, mumbles “Yves Coueslant, madam – he’s one of the founders of diptyque,” then stands silently before her, fearing the worst.

But Mrs… while deep in thought is repeating the name she’d just heard, then says “Yves Coueslant? Are you sure? I’ve never heard of him.”

The manager who was standing discreetly to the side realizes the blunder so says, “The conductor is Daniel Baremboim madam.”

Mrs… now smiles and seems quite re-assured as she seems to really appreciate this interpretation of Mozart.

She then resumes her shopping with geniality and good humour.