J’ai des tuyaux.
zhay day twee-YO. Click below to hear how to pronounce this!
I have some strings I can pull.
But not really. Literally, I have pipes (or hoses).
Picture those tickets to the sold-out concert. I know the right people, and I can pull their strings like a marionette’s. I’ll have tickets in hand for you in no time. I have some strings I can pull.
Now imagine the drive-through lane at the bank. You know those pneumatic tubes you send your deposit through? And they send back the deposit receipt with a whoosh. In the 19th century, Paris was criss-crossed with tubes like those. That was the mail system! You could send a pneumatique (p-nuh-maa-TEEK) to someone, for same-day delivery. The actual letter traveled through those tubes, zooming across Paris and being redirected at intervals into another network of tubes till it reached your friend’s neighborhood and was delivered to her door.
If you sent your plea for those valuable tickets to your friend-with-connections through the pipeline, you might get the tickets back on the same day, through the pipeline. That’s J’ai des tuyaux.