Where is Henry?

After a prolonged absence Henry Wessel (aka the Holy Vessel) is back. As one of our star player (and pillar of our club) his sabbatical did not go unnoticed.
Everybody kept asking, “Where is Henry?” but the man was nowhere to be seen. Some people ventured that he went on a secret mission to North Korea, but nobody knows for sure and Henry won’t tell.

Today, low and behold, the wonder boy came in from the cold.
It is thus with an unmitigated pleasure that we welcomed Henry and Calvert back into our bosom.

Calvert & Henry

Henry joined our club about 5 or 6 years ago. He was then a helpless greenhorn who yearned to play pétanque… but didn’t even know a single French cuss word. Can you imagine!
It looked like a hopeless case but through perseverance, he rose from the ranks to become one of our best cursers players.

It is never easy for an athlete to perform at a high level after a prolonged absence and it will take a while for “Hank” to readjust. But don’t believe for a minute that Henry and Calvert are “has-beens”; they will rise to the top again. It won’t be long before Henry Jr starts delivering his famed “carreaux” again.

My advice to you: take advantage of his temporary vulnerability before he regains his form and beat the c**p out of you.
You cannot keep a good man down ♫

Henry, among other things, is also a dog lover, which in my book puts him immediately a few notches above a bunch of people. As far as I am concerned, anybody who cares for animals is a friend of mine.

“Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.”Arthur Schopenhauer


I am sure that our club and the pétanque brotherhood will be delighted to hear that the dynamic duo is back in the arena.
Please join me in wishing them a wealth of success in all their future endeavors.



“If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name in a Swiss bank.” Woody Allen

Like Woody Allen, I am a doubting Thomas who refuses to believe anything without proof. This conviction definitely puts me at odds with the existence of God.

But no matter what you believe, it seems that you cannot avoid the influence of the Big Guy. His presence is felt everywhere under one form or another and he is venerated the world over.

Lord Ganesha

For many denominations though, God looks different, but they all claim that their God is the true one while all the others are imposters. And if you don’t believe what they are saying, they will kill you. God demands it.

The God business is a messy affair. All Abrahamic religions agree on monotheism but on practically nothing else. They all have their own version of their spiritual saga and they all claim that their beliefs are the only true beliefs. They are even ready to spill blood to prove it.

But despite their cruel deeds, they all maintain that their creed is a religion of peace. Good old Torquemada tortured and killed thousands of Muslims and Jews in the name of the Lord, and the Muslims in turn cheerfully slaughtered “Infidels” by the thousands.
Jews did not seem to have persecuted other faiths, maybe because just like Native Americans, it would have been difficult for a minority to victimize a majority.

If God exists though, despite his superpowers, he must be overwhelmed. We are close to eight billion (7,620,263 089) people on our planet and the Big Guy is supposed to keep an eye on all us, individually.
A tiny glitch in his worldwide network could have disastrous consequences.

On top of this, millions implore him every day for one reason or the other… No wonder he gets cranky and does not respond to all these calls. They must sound like robocalls to him. After 3 or 4 of these pesky jingles, you don’t bother to respond anymore.

If you need help with something, be on the safe side and start doing the job by yourself before asking God’s help because “God helps those who help themselves.” If God is in a good mood, he might give you a hand; if not, the job will get done anyway.

In short

Personally, I never ask God for any favor. It is useless.
First of all, I am pretty sure that he is a figment of somebody’s feverish imagination, and secondly, even if he did exist, he should know by now that I am a hopeless heathen and that he would not bother to acknowledge me, even by e-mail.


“It is better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite.” George Harrison

Old fart

Statler & Waldorf

At what age are you officially recognized as an “old fart” (vieux con) by the state? And when can you claim benefits?

I have been pondering this question for a while.
I am asking because even though these people can be found everywhere, this morning, in particular, I was involved in a traumatic incident. While shopping in a supermarket I was mobbed by a swarm of slow-moving old geezers.

First of all, I want to clarify something. After doing some research, I came to the conclusion that almost anybody can be an old fart.
I first thought that this had something to do with age, but I was mistaken. You can be an old fart at 22, 34 or 47. You can even be a teenager old fart.
Surprised? Those are the facts.

An old fart is somebody who was born old and will stick to old-fashioned views his entire life. Don’t laugh; I have known quite a few of those peculiar individuals.
The first time I met one was in the Army. I remember it because his first name was also Alain and we were about the same age (around 22). At 22 Alain #2 was already married, had a child and went religiously through the same routine each time he got a chance.

After coming back from a field operation, he would remove his boots, put on his slippers, light his pipe, fix himself a cup of coffee (on his personal stove) and start penning a letter to his wife. Most of the guys were just happy to remove their boots and crash on their bunk, but not Pépère. His routine was etched in his young brain and he could not deviate from this practice.
So as you can see, anybody can be an old fart.

On the other hand, I know of vigorous octogenarians who are not old farts and probably never will be. They are Young Turks, ready to accept changes and tackle any job.

Personally, I have often been solicited to join the OFA (Old Farts of America), but I have steadfastly declined. Suffice to say that their rituals clash with my religious beliefs.

Being an old fart is a state of mind. If you embrace changes you will never be one. Otherwise, you will continue “ad eternum” using VCRs, flip phones, writing checks in stores, and driving at walking speed.

Joining OFA is entirely optional! Don’t be a stick in the mud.



“Just let them sit in the goddam sun. But the world won’t let them because there’s nothing more dangerous than letting old farts sit in the sun. They might be thinking. Same thing with kids. Keep ’em busy or they might start thinking.”  Frank McCourt