Saturday, April 4, 2015

Wrapping One Self in a Flag

Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.
                   Samuel Johnson


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Je Suis Charlie

No, not the publication.  It is often rude and vulgar and low classe.  But we are for the right of freedom of expression.  That is why we protest.  France, and the free world, will not be cowed.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Underdressed in the Store

Fortunately, the passage of time does heal most traumas.  Here's one from when I was a teen.


Our family started to go to Bretagne when I had about 15 years.  The coast is gorgeous place but the water is frigid, and it took a couple of trips before I found enough nerve to go in the water. I  finally was able to do this because of a beach I found.  It was so serene, so natural, and no one else was around. I happened to have no bathing suit, but this was the kind of beach where you knew something like that wouldn't matter. So I took off my clothes other than my panties, set them on some rocks, and then slipped into the water.  Brrrrr it was freezing! I was only able to abide it for about 10 minutes of it, so then I stretched out on some rocks on an island about 50 yards from the shore.  I needed the sun to warm me up. Well, this was the only my third trip to Bretagne, and I was not quite accustomed to the massive tides there. After warming to a degree that allowed me to brave the temperature of the water between my island and the beach, I began to swim back. When I arrived on the shore I realized that it was high tide, and I must have laid my clothes on the rocks during low tide.   I was in trouble!

My clothes were gone! My trainers were bobbing in the surf, but that's all I could find. I was stranded on the beach wearing only my semi-transparent panties and my trainers! What made this whole situation a bit tricky was that I had walked to this beach from the house in which we were staying. I had no car to go to and get some more clothes, or even a towel.  My parents had gone to Vannes sightseeing for the day, and I knew when they would be back. If I waited for night before I began to walk back not many people would see me as I walked down the road naked, but then again, arriving at the door nearly nude with my parents was not good, either.  If I wanted to arrive at the house before my parents did I would have to leave right away. And it was 4 o'clock, and it was June. It was perfectly light! So I began my daring journey while covering my tetons as best as I could.

This was no quiet country road. There were houses, and there was an occasional person who peered out of a window.  A car drove by and beeped.  It was exhilarating, but deeply embarrassing. All in all I walked just about two miles. I met a man walking his dog. We waved at each other. I made it home before my parents, and they were blissfully unaware of my nearly-naked trek in broad daylight. But in my rush and panic to get home I forgot that the key to the house had been in my shorts pocket. I was locked out. I had to think of something.  
I was desperate, and in that desperation I decided to go find the lady that owned the house that we were currently leasing. She also managed the town grocery, which is where she was working. So I sprinted down there, which was on the very edge of town.  

As I entered I got a shocked look from her and her customer. I rushed over to the counter to explain the lady the situation I was in, and I asked her if she had a spare key. Her startled face began to laugh. And she said she did. She went back and got it, and I was just about to rush out the door, when the lady informed me that she had a marvelous idea. She offered to lend me some clothes. I had never thought of that! All I wanted to do was get home.


I then heard a snap behind me. A man behind me had taken my picture. The lady behind the counter obviously knew this man, and she began to yell at him. I was too startled to get mad. She made the man give her the roll of film before I left. So now fully clothed, and key in hand, I made my way back to the house. 
 I asked the lady promise not to tell my parents the whole story. She laughingly agreed. But the next day when we went down to the store in the little town, I got about three humorous looks. My parents saw them and wondered what it was about.


I was so glad that my parents never found out that probably upwards of 50 people saw me nearly naked that day.




Monday, March 31, 2014

John Donne on Virginity

I call not that virginity a virtue, which resideth onely in the bodies integrity; much less if it be with a purpose of perpetually keeping it: for then it is a most inhumane vice. - But I call that Virginity a virtue which is willing and desirous to yield it self upon honest and lawfull terms, when just reason requireth; and until then, is kept with a modest chastity of body and mind.

John Donne (1572 - 1631)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Marriage, French-Style

In France, in order to be considered legally married, one must undergo a civil ceremony.  Afterwards, couples could have a religious ceremony, if they wish; but only the civil ceremony is recognized by law.

A large number of couples forego both, and live together in a free relationship.  In America, this is referred to as "shacking up."  Actually, with the decline of religion in Europe, religious ceremonies are on the eclipse. 

While the magistrate can look formidable in his sash, and many are very skilled in making it impressive, there is still the sense that one must also have the religious ceremony in order to be truly wedded.  Legality is not enough.

Yes!  The proper white wedding dress, the church setting, the solemn words of the priest, the vows, the candles, the rice thrown, and the post-wedding picture of all attendees.  And, yes, the bells! 

Usually, no whistles.

I am pleased to mention that the American custom of removing the  bride's garter, and throwing it to the unmarried boys, has not caught on.  However, in Gascony the groom does remove the bride's panties and throw those!  I'm glad that we will not do that!