Flying home with Mr. Blowhard

While in line for our return flight boarding pass at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, I was in the unfortunate cue position directly in front of Mr. Blowhard d’ American, who blabbered-on without mercy about his amazing travel acumen. At an unreasonably high a decibel level, I and everyone else within 20 feet learned about Mr. Blowhard’s brilliant car rental arrangements, how he avoids crowded beaches in Spain, how he orders food cooked just the way he likes it at home, and how smartypants knows the correct way to do pretty much everything.

As I prayed quietly to St. Jude for the appearance of a giant sock filled with cow manure to clobber this guy with, I noticed a boy standing with his mom’s suitcase. The little guy was adjusting the suitcase’s travel handle, so it would be exactly his height, which was about three feet tall. He would adjust and then move his flattened hand from the height of the handle to the top of his head. It was perfectly parallel. And he had an expression on his face that said, “The handle is not just for wheeling the suitcase through airports – it also measures the exact height of people like me. Voila! This is my great discovery.”

And I thought, my brain works much more like the little french boy’s than Mr. Blowhard’s.

And that’s fine with me.

Here is a poster of a photography exhibit that I really wanted to attend, but missed – one that appealed to the little guy in me.  Next trip to France, maybe.


The Rivers of Babylon on Bastille Day

At the crazy Bastille Day dance party by the town fountain last night in our tiny Provence village, between the hours of Midnight and 1 am, I heard only three songs that were not french: the Village Peoples’s YMCA (hugely popular with this young crowd); a DJ line dance version of Cotton Eyed Joe (no line dance was performed, but some french kissing); and my personal favorite – Rivers of Babylon. Two young french girls standing on the fountain wall sang along with this reggae classic. It gave me hope for the world.

“‘Cause the wicked carried us away in captivity
Required from us a song
How can we sing King Alpha song
In a strange land?

Sing it out loud!
Sing a song of freedom sister!
Sing a song of freedom brother!”