Mea culpa

Mea maxima culpa! I acknowledge my fault and repeatedly beat my chest in contrition. Mea culpa! I goofed.

I am deeply embarrassed to report that Sneaky Pete, my iconic little camera, was never lost or stolen. It was misplaced in my camera bag and it was hiding in plain sight. You can judge for yourself by looking at the included photo. At a glance, would you spot Sneaky Pete?

I apologize to everybody for any embarrassment I might have caused… but all is well that ends well. I repacked Sneaky Pete II and I am shipping it back to Amazon.

Now that I am forgiven (?) I can talk about yesterday’s 14thof July & tournament celebration in Sonoma.

Sixty people (20 triplettes) signed up to participate in the tournament. The format of the tourney was mêlée, meaning that we would arbitrarily be paired with strangers, and indeed we did.

The tournament started rather late (about 10:30 am) and ended equally late (7:30 pm).

Two 45 minutes games were played before lunch, and elimination games were played in the afternoon.

The lunch, by the way, was extremely good. The duck confit melted in your mouth and went down well with white or red wine. Good job Marco Ilaria!

Jean-Michel Poulnot, dressed in his usual tricolor outfit, led the crowd for a spirited rendition of La Marseillaise. Some innocent souls tried to understand the lyrics and were shocked by one stance “qu’un sang impur abreuve nos sillons” (that unclean blood water our furrows). Why do you think that fruits and vegetables are so tasty in France? It is the blood.

My team and I lost one game and won one; we were then propelled to the Concours… where we were promptly defeated.

But I am not here to talk about myself, but to praise the unsinkable Tamara Semionovna. That woman had the nerves to win all her games and to top it all win the *$&**# tournament.

She was paired with notorious Ed Clay and mysterious Daniel Daniloff who helped her claw her way to the top. Especially Ed who did a fantastic job of pointing AND shooting. I did not know that this mild-mannered fellow was so talented.

Tamara, Ed, Daniel

Being busy somewhere else I could not follow all of Tamara’s games but I managed to catch the semi-finals (against Hans Kurz and his gang) and the finals, (against Mike Cooper and his goons).

In the semi-finals, after winning the coin toss, wily Hans took everybody to the most difficult court in Sonoma. A rock-strewn area adjacent to the Bocce ball courts.

If you are not experienced with this kind of terrain you are in big trouble. When pointing you cannot roll the boule and when shooting, it has to be exclusively “au fer’. If you cannot cope with these two hurdles you are a dead duck.

But Tamara did amazingly well and managed to put many of her shots inches away from the “bouchon”. Hans who had been hot through most of the day fired repeatedly and hit some beautiful shots. But Tamara was relentless and wore off Mad Dog Hans and his goons.

In the finals, played in the”pebbly” area  closer to the picnic tables, Ed, Tamara and Daniel faced Mike Cooper, Minette Etallaz and John T. It was a very close game, but by 7:30 pm it was finally over.
Ted and his team prevailed. Final score 13/11.

To the victors go the spoils. Every winning member of Ed’s squad was rewarded with 2 bottles of wine. So were their opponents.

With Tamara getting so many accolades, life is getting difficult for me. Next time you meet me on the field, have mercy; let me win for a few games for chrissakes! I cannot keep losing face all the time. I need to bring some medals home to negate Tamara’s insufferable boastings.
I know that you will understand.

For good measure, mea culpa again!

Concours:
1stplace: Ed Clay, Tamara Efron & Daniel Daniloff
2ndplace: Mike Cooper, Genevieve Etallaz, John T.

Consolante:
1stplace: Jim, Maggie. Tim
2ndplace: Delio, Don, Bill

That’s all folks.

Alain

Enjoy yesterday’s pictures (no particular order).

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