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Thursday, January 18, 2007

suited to me

this morning i heard that a town in Maine is going to start giving out fitty dollar tickets to people in cars if they're driving and smoking cigs ... while kids under-18 are in the vehicle.


... 2nd hand smoke and all that.


Ya know ~ i'm all for helping out the little buggars who can't choose to not inhale the stuff ... but, there is a certain shiver up one's spine at the thought of that kind of BigMommy-ism law enforcement.

- - -

Reminds me of a story (don't it all, though?) ...


Deep in the innards of a eurotrash country, sitting at a cafe resting up the gams after a longer than long bunch of climbs and descents ... rolling through Alpine loveliness and soaking in the better the best life ~

next to me is a couple of middle-aged Frenchies, talking quietly and watching the world spin around them. Their soft conversation babbles over me like a soothing brook, an unintellible lullabye that makes me breath in just how lucky my ass is.

More time passes and one lights up a smoke for the other ... it's an intimate gesture and looks well practiced. The smoke wafts over to my table and i let it enter me as the conversation did, accepting it as part of the scene i've come to visit, joined by way of choice.

it's not overbearing, but it's not as pleasant as I'd hoped.


A huffing, scruffing family of Iowa-ites rumbles up to the cafe. "I'm hungry" and "what's 'le menu?'" reverberate in front of the American invasion. They are loud, loudly dressed, loudly complaining about the heat and if this place will "have a decent sandwhich ... i don't want an egg on it, Mom!".

I cringe slightly and wonder if this is the way we present ourselves to the world.


The woman is easily a couple c-notes in size and her kids are hauling themselves onto that train with a non-stop ticket purchased. The man is, stereotypically, thinner, in body mass ... and hairline. He looks frazzled and frustrated and sweats copiously in the humid warmth of the day.

They sit 2 tables away from the French couple and after a few seconds of arranging their masses, the woman heaves a glacionic sigh, an avalanche of sound, "does EVERYONE smoke in this country?"


The woman with the cigarette pauses, disengages from her converstation - looking at the American for a few slow moments - her quiet, steady gaze rolling over the layers of fast food and TV-watching encompassing the American bodies.

She moves a hand, elegantly, cigarette slowly touching lips, dragging in a long, deep, seductive breath ... an easy turn of her face, as she blows a pluming, deliciously malicious cloud of smoke directly into the scrunched, complaining face of the American woman.

15 comments:

PAB said...

gawd i hate french people....

Anonymous said...

Funny, you hear about Americans complaining about the French - but when you're over there, and you at least try to make an effort to fit in THEIR country (instead of always asking "Parlay voo longlay?"), it is amazing how you're treated.

We can be perty pig like us Americanos... If you really want to feel like a pig go to Italy. The sweatshirt and jeans look just doesn't cut it there...

Anonymous said...

oooh, cafe rage.

X Bunny said...

we all suck

Anonymous said...

Man I miss Italy. Need to take the wife back for a little adventure one of these days. We witnessed a similar show of middle america in Vernazza in the Cinque Terre. Snapping fingers, yooo-hooo. The one waiter was smoking a cigarette with the one cook I think on the steps as we sat out overlooking the water. The important americans didn't realize that they were already at a great destination, whats the rush to leave? Sip your prosseco and relax. Yuuummm, prosseco.

Anonymous said...

i miss my good looking French soigneur pushing me up the hill, handing me water on my ride...ahhh good memories

velogirl said...

i want to hear more about the good-looking french soigneur!

Velo Bella said...

we didn't do that at seven springs...the whole accept it as part of the scene and inhale thingie.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

"Reminds me of a story ..."

Velo Bella said...

cheeky monkey

Grey said...

J'adore les French. In fact, J'ai mange des french fries avec mon dejeuner aujourd-hui.

Anonymous said...

That's a funny thing, eh? That seeing the same behavior from our own culture can be repugnant but that seeing it from another it looks OK? To think that our culture is unique in its composition of idiots and jackasses is misguided.

...Which is not to say that one cannot enjoy the aesthetic of observing someone from a different culture be a jackass in their own unfamiliar way. I'm a jackass myself and I'm always looking for new ways to display my jackassness.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

shawnydawg always has trouble reading ambiguity

Anonymous said...

What do you mean by that? ;)

PAB said...

gawd i hate smart people...