Just Above Sunset
Volume 5, Number 10
March 11, 2007

Our Man in Paris

Enough Foolishness

Paris, Saturday, October 28 - I don't know what came over me. I was stressed and anxious because of the server problems but they got straightened out, so it must have been relief. I didn't see whatever it was about that Wall of Bush's but news about has been around for a while. There was a clip on TV about human rights in the San Diego area and they showed this huge fence - fences I mean - going right into the Pacific. The joke ocean for Mexicans. Can't they swim around the end of it? Or are there trained sharks in there? Gobble them up.

I was making dinner, humming to myself, "Wall, wall, wall" and it kind of got to "bears, bears, bears," then "beers, beers, beers," and the rest is, as they say, history. And then I remembered the cartoon I did when I set off my sister's burgler alarm and the Horseman rode out to see if the looters were still on the scene; and I was. I thought it was better to wait for him and confess, instead of maybe getting swept up in a usual suspects dragnet.

 The world as seen from Just Above Sunset -

"Notes on how things seem from out here in Hollywood..."

Russian submarine in the round pond at the  Tuileries, Paris

Then, that was normal life. So today I am in the Tuileries because the weather is still nice - they are swimming on the Riviera, playing hopscotch on the sands - and some hustlers are having a big art expo and they borrowed part of the state garden to show off some of their bigger pieces.

A big crowd was watching a tall pile of shiny pails. When it's a free show folks will look at anything. There was a chromed beer bottle opener the size of a small whale that was just as interesting. Maybe it was a chromed small whale. More arty than the pile of pails anyhow.

The piece, as they say, de resistance was this Russian submarine in the round pond. It looked like maybe it came up the Seine from the sea and made a wrong dip and surfaced in the garden's pool, and got trapped there. And of course, all these Parisians are sitting all around, waiting for the sub races. We used to do that in Vancouver in the old days on dark nights.

I tell you it was eerie. Here's this black submarine, red star and everything, just sitting there in the water. Its navigation lights were on and it was leaking water from near its tower. When I got about halfway around the pool the sub's aerials and radar mast and other antennas shot up, and a hidden sound system began to transmit navy orders in Russian, mixed with patriotic music and the weather report from Archangel. 'Yo Ho Ho Fifteen Men On a Deadman's Chest' in Russian, maybe sung by the naval cadet chorus from Saint Pete.

Imagine how we would have freaked out if the Wall was still there. Short cutting through the Tuileries from Concorde to the Louvre and here's this evil, crazy-looking black U-boat, red freaking star and all! But, hey! We've been dancing in the streets for free since the Wall fell. The Commies ain't going to get us, turn us into robot slaves, make us watch the Moscow peace parade every May 1st.

Let me tell you. You don't want a Wall. Somebody mentioned that crazy French Wall. It cost a fortune and it didn't work because Heinz Guderian just drove around it like it wasn't there, just like it was made out of old garlic. I don't know the whole history of it, but that Humpty-Dumpty dude fell off the Wall and all the King's horses and the King's men couldn't put him back together again. Walls are a Middle Ages thing. They used to work, sort of, but they don't any more.

Meanwhile the girls who like sailors are having a good time tonight with the Reds on shore leave. We don't get many sailors in Paris, but the girls do know what to do. Submariners are cool.

- ric

Russian submarine in the round pond at the  Tuileries, Paris
Russian submarine in the round pond at the  Tuileries, Paris
Russian submarine in the round pond at the  Tuileries, Paris

Text and Photos, Copyright © 2006 - Ric Erickson, MetropoleParis

For a discussion of "the wall" business, and beer and such, see A Diversion - which includes a cartoon from Ric.

[Our Man in Paris]

Last updated Saturday, March 10, 2007, 10:30 pm Pacific Time

All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 - Alan M. Pavlik