Going commando

I just read that retired Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria had a “dress malfunction” and was “humiliated” (like so many other actresses) when it was discovered that she was going “commando” under her party dress.

I am a little non-plussed about the humiliation angle.
Going panty-less is clearly a calculated move –I don’t think that one “forgets” to put panties on- and the “embarrassing” revelation reeks of blatant attention seeking.

When I dress in the morning, I could very well bypass my Jockey shorts but I must admit that it would definitely be intended to titillate (and please) my legions of fans.

I have an inquiring mind and I don’t sleep well if burdened by unanswered questions.
I often wonder what prompts women to go “commando”…
Is it a ventilation problem, is it really to avoid showing panty lines, or does it have a little something to do with the delicious guilty pleasure of exhibitionism? The secret desire to flash and thrill unsuspecting crowds?

In Hollywood, as everybody knows, “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about” and an actress needs to promote herself.
I do believe that “dress malfunctions” were conceived by some creative movie star agent, for a 30 seconds malfunction (see Janet Jackson) is worth a hundred pictures and each picture is worth in turn a thousand words.
Not a bad return for a 30 seconds flash-by.

For my part, when looking for a thrill, I sometimes intentionally wear only one sock and eagerly wait to be found out. I then pretend to be “humiliated” when the dark deed is “accidentally” discovered.
Oh, but don’t I love the fuss!
Pétanque star caught showing bare ankle, scream the trade mags…
I might lose tournaments, but people are talking about me, and for a publicity hound “there is no such thing as bad publicity.”

And that’s probably what “commando raids” are all about. The irrepressible craving for thespians to be noticed and gossiped about.

Personally, I am sometimes (for a fleeting moment) tempted to show my wares to the public, but I am also aware that familiarity breeds contempt and that national treasures should be protected and shown sparingly.

So for the time being, don’t expect any time soon any dress malfunction from my part (unless my agent urges me to show a little more skin of course).



Michel la Honte

A long time ago I was drafted in the French Army and sent to a rather inhospitable place in North Africa.
Our base was located on a mountainous peak overlooking a valley, and it was very hot in the summer and extremely cold in the winter.

Every two months a fresh batch of recruits would join us, and servicemen who had done their mandatory 28 months tour of duty would leave the base and go home.
The arrival of new recruits was always a big event that would break the monotony of our daily lives and make us temporarily forget the inherent danger of our situation.

One day a new batch arrived at our camp and one fellow immediately caught our attention. He was a Parisian like me and was doing a perfect imitation of a then famous French comedian named Darry Cowl.

Darry Cowl’s main shtick was his well-honed stuttering, and the new recruit whose name was Michel did a perfect imitation
He spoke with a superb stutter and kept us in stitches for hours.

At the end of the day though, some guys got tired of his shtick and asked him to stop. But Michel couldn’t put an end to it; we discovered that it was his natural way of speaking.
After realizing this, many people started picking on him and hazed him mercilessly.

But Michel was used to it and took it good-naturedly.

He was originally from a neighborhood called “Les Batignolles” and constantly referred to it just like Americans would refer to Brooklyn.
After a while everybody started calling him “Michel des Batignolles”.

Michel also had a favorite expression. When something upset him, he would loudly exclaim “la honte!” (the shame!). So after a while everybody started addressing him as “Michel la Honte” (Michel the Shame).

IMG_0002When we were not trudging in the field, we were staying in some ugly barracks covered with corrugated iron.
This kept us very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter.

I was bunking by the door and very often people would forget to close the door after entering or leaving the shack.
Everybody would then yell “the door, the door!”

Michel was not any better than the others and he often left the door open behind himself.

One day, exasperated by what I saw as callous negligence, I told Michel:
-If you leave the door open one more time, I swear, I will shoot you!
He laughed it up.

Knowing that this would happen again, I prepared for it.

I grabbed a pistol and a single cartridge.
I extracted the bullet from the cartridge and replaced it with a small paper pellet.
I then introduced the cartridge in the pistol’s chamber and waited.

As expected, Michel soon entered the room and left the door open behind him.
I screamed “the door!” to which Michel answered by an expletive.

I said, “you asked for it”, pointed the pistol at him and fired.

There was a loud noise but of course no bullet left the chamber.
Michel remained stunned and totally speechless for at least a minute.
You son of a bitch, he finally managed to say. You could have killed me. I felt the bullet whizzing by…

I just laughed and told him that I had removed the bullet from the cartridge before firing.

He was not convinced and swore that he heard the bullet whizzing by.
He then challenged me to a fight behind the barracks in late afternoon.

I couldn’t decently refuse.
I went there but La Honte never showed up.

I later apologized to him and we made up. We even managed to become friends.

In retrospective, I should never have played such a stupid prank, but as I now often say “when you are in your twenties, half of you brain is still missing”.



Open Sesame!

I am always willing to help somebody with a hardware or software problem but nothing frustrate me more than people who seem to be unable to keep track of their passwords (plural).
When queried about such animals, they blush, stammer and look at me as if I just uttered some indecent proposal.

Then they start riffling trough a drawer filled with rubber bands, paper clips, half chewed-up Snicker bars and hastily scribbled notes.
Finally they lamely confess that they have no idea where or what the darned things could be.

Today, if you a have a computer, you will eventually be prodded to choose passwords, so you should be prepared for this eventuality.

IMG_1260 - Version 2A password is basically a key that will allow you to unlock a safe place.
With no key available, the space will fill with cobwebs and soon become unusable.
You will have to wait a hundred years for your Prince Charming to show up and bring it back to life.

In our highly computerized world it is absolutely essential to have some system that will keep track of your passwords. And I said “passwords” for you shouldn’t use the same single password for all your transactions.
The best way to keep your secret codes under control is to use a software package that will do the maintenance for you.

Personally I use “Dashlane” and I find it pretty handy.
It will also keep your passwords securely on your Smartphone.
With Dashlane you only need to remember one single password and when entered, this “key” will unlock all the other passwords that you have stashed away.

This password of course should be difficult to guess and kept securely, like a strongbox combination or the key to a chastity belt.
It should be a combination of at least 7 characters and should include uppercases, lowercases, punctuation marks, numbers and letters.

Just in case, you should also keep a hard copy of all your passwords.
If your machine balks or goes on strike, you should be able to access all your accounts through another computer by referring to this handy cheat sheet.

Don’t call me unless you follow my advice.