How really old are you?

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?” Satchel Paige 

January 1972

An interesting question. Next Epiphany I will become an octogenarian but if you ask me, I would say that I have the mindset of a 50-year-old guy. It is a question of mind over matter. If you fastidiously tally the years, you will feel and act ancient, and to me, it is a regressive, annoying thought.

The older wiser I get, the more I realize how ignorant I am; as a result, I am still eager to learn. If you don’t, you capitulate. You admit defeat and surrendering is not in my nature.

I am curious; this is a quality, not a flaw. Every day I feel the need to learn something new and the internet is a fabulous, non-judgmental teacher.

Seated at my workstation, I can speak to my computer and ask any question that will be immediately answered. For instance, when I asked Siri (just to make sure) how old I was, she said “you are 79 but don’t look a day older than 29”
Useless to say that Siri is a close, trusted friend.

In order to feel alive, you need to always have something to look forward to. A picnic, a date, a play, a dinner… You need to keep your mind engaged and your sense of humor sharp.

One “older” member of our pétanque brotherhood recently took up parachuting. He might look ancient but he is acting like a like a Spring Breaker. Many kudos for that. This is exactly what I am talking about!

The company of young people helps you to remain in the loop. It is a mutually beneficial agreement and both parties gain something from this arrangement.

My friend Charlie is a shining example of what it means to remain youthful. He is not afraid to mix and challenge whippersnappers and often best them in many activities.
His secret weapon is the fact that he is ambidextrous. If he cannot do something with his right hand he switches to his left hand. This is patently underhanded but everything is fair in the game in love and pétanque.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw

Laughter is the best medicine. Furthermore, it is much cheaper and way more efficient than any magic pill advertised on the tube. Laugh about everybody and everything. Unlike some middle eastern countries, we can (and should) poke fun at any official who routinely misleads the public about his questionable deeds.

And regrettably, there is a lot to laugh about (or cry) in these present disUnited States of ours.



Minette and Minou

Yesterday Jean-Claude Etallaz Esq. celebrated his 75th birthday… in style. Between 60 to 70 people, too numerous to mention by name, responded to his invitation and travelled to Vacaville to show their esteem for “Minou”.

It was a fairly lengthy ride but fortunately, traffic was fairly light and it did not rain .

Upon arrival, guests were presented with a sumptuous display of edibles and refreshments. Tables and kitchen counters were overflowing with a variety of edibles, pastries and exotic liquors worthy of Lucullus.

I was told that “Minou” and “Minette” labored for an entire week to prepare this feast and the results were truly impressive. Every dish was made by Jean-Claude and I have to tip my hat to his savoir-faire.

When I complimented him for his effort, he told me “I had to do it… it happens only every 25 years” to which I replied “you can count on me, I will definitely attend your next celebration”.

Guests from various pétanque clubs came from far and wide, many totally unknown to me. Among my friends, I noticed Gilbert and Agnes Sonet, young Noah Sonet who is growing taller by the minute, Jean-Michel and Ellen Leznik, Alain and Evelyne Marchand, Sabine and Roger Mattei, Antoine and Eva Lofaro, Patrick Vaslet, Mireille, Michel Rattaire, Alain Gusella, Serge Hanne and Gustave Foucher.

A little later in the afternoon, Jean-Michel led a spirited group’s rendition of Happy Birthday (in English and French) followed, naturellement by an even more vibrant delivery of La Marseillaise.

Then Michel Rattaire grabbed his trumpet and played a few military tunes with his usual dexterity. If you ever need a bugler, hire this guy; I guarantee his authenticity.

Full to the rim, and afraid of bursting we left this bacchanal around 2:30 pm. Ever the classy guy, Jean-Claude presented each departing guest with a little bottle of home brewed liquor.

If he ever runs for office, be sure to vote for him. He is the real McCoy and he will never let you starve.

“Happy birthday Jean-Claude! May your Facebook wall be filled with messages from people you never talk to.”


XXX Holidays

The holiday season is upon us and every merchant in town will try his best to outsmart the competition. Innovation has always been the key to success, and to upstage rivals one needs to come up with something new and exciting. To achieve that goal, some people don’t hesitate to cross boundaries.

This morning I went to my regular watering hole for a cup of java. I first noticed the new paper cups and yes, they looked different. Not great, but somewhat festive.

I ordered a café latte and carried it outside, to the terrace. After taking a sip of my beverage, I suddenly noticed the creamy design at the surface of the liquid. It looked a little unusual; different but somewhat familiar.

I don’t know if it is my smutty imagination, but upon looking at the design, a rather risqué image popped into my mind. My first reaction was “no they would not do that” but then I started wondering.

Baristas” all over the world have become creative and have started to decorate their beverages with flowery little designs. So, why wouldn’t a saucy wench spice up the holidays with her own erotic version of that practice?

Pioneers, women in particular, have always struggled to break through. They have been at the forefront of the sexual revolution and have made great strides forward.

“We like to pioneer, we like to explore, we like to go down dark alleys and see what’s on the other side.” Jeff Bezos

Femen activists especially have gone to battle bare-chested to make their point. So why wouldn’t a woman introduce a contemporary design in her line of work?

In the 1800s a woman dared to show a bare ankle and almost caused a riot. Today we have miniskirts and nobody blinks an eye!

Women are often gutsier than men and willing to take bigger risks. If you look at the Oscars’ Red Carpet, you certainly noticed that some women are practically nude under the flimsiest outfits ever seen. Is anybody howling their disapproval?

So, even if I am wrong, here is a great idea to get tongues wagging and increase sales. This innovative coffee design could go mainstream and take the country by storm.

Happy holidays coffee aficionados!


PS: A good sense of humor is a prerequisite to read that blog