Let them shoot

“A woman can do anything a man can do.” I do believe this, especially when it comes to pétanque.
As part of a long-established custom, women in this discipline have long been pigeonholed to the position of “pointer”.

Beth Lysten

Some like it, but some aspire to more. They would like to move up and take control of their team. They want to shoot, but the men don’t think they can and prevent them from doing so.

In the history of the American West, there has been plenty of women shooters… Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, Belle Starr would not take any lip from anybody, and regardless of what the men would say, they did their own thing. They merrily shot… anything and anybody trying to meddle with their affairs.

Anybody can shoot. It just takes practice. Be it tennis, pole vaulting or car racing, women can do it all. And the longer they practice, the better they will be. If women express the desire to shoot, let them do it and prove themselves.
There is no rule in the book saying that they can’t.

History is full of dames who did extraordinary things when peed off.

Jeanne Hachette was one of these women. Read her story by clicking on the link below:

Jeanne de Clisson was another one badass woman.

So my macho friends, never underestimate the power of a woman! If she wants to do something, let her do it because “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
Women are more emotional than men and given to extremes when annoyed.

We have in our midst, a few excellent female “shooters” like Shannon Bowman, Barbara Hall, Beth Lysten, Vang Chia but it is not enough. We need more and we need to give them the opportunity to blossom.
Remember that in your own life, somebody gave you once a chance to prove yourself. The least you can do is to return the favor.

If a woman in your club expresses the desire to shoot, give her a chance to so.

 “Know what? Bitches get stuff done.Tina Fey


2019 Commemorative Cup

“There is nothing like a dame…” I agree, but yesterday (and each time we have a mixed tournament) dames are in short supply.
On Sunday, a few forlorn gentlemen were desperately looking for female partners and some ended up not playing at all. Somebody suggested paying bail for some women prisoners across the street, but the proposition was rejected.

On a personal level, Le Facteur outbid me to secure the services of Tamara. So, I (temporarily) hung up my cleats and spent the day observing and digitally recording the happenings on the field.

The tournament, by the way, was run by Christine Cragg and Michael O’Leary. Michael was one of the players who were unable to secure a female partner and spent the day assisting Christine. Michael is a hard worker and one of the nicest guys I know; I will play with him any time he asks me.

The weather was mild and pleasant and coffee and pastries were served.

The Marin field which used to be fairly easy to play on has become, with the addition of new coats of gravel, a treacherous minefield full of sand traps. If you want to come on top, “plombés” have to be part of your game.

For their first game,Tamara and Jean-Michel encountered Damien and Maggie Lane. Tough break! They were annihilated 1 to 13.
Damien Monnet, by the way, was the revelation (to me anyway) of this tournament. He is a complete player who seems to have mastered every move in the book.

When he shoots and misses, he looks surprised. When a guy like me shoots and hits, I look surprised. That’s the difference between and a great player and a journeyman.

Their second game was against Patrick and Shannon. They managed to reach 12/12 but Jean-Michel flubbed a crucial last shot that cost them the game. They lost 12/13.
I have always said, if a woman is willing to do it, let her shoot. They will often surprise you, as Lisa Vaughn did later in this tournament.

Their 3rd game was against Toy and Cindy. They barely lost 12/13 and ended up in La Consolante.

As luck would have it, they won all their games in the afternoon and reached the Consolante finals.

They played against Donna von Edelkrantz and Mark Shirkey, two individuals who practiced a lot and improved a lot. Tamara and Jean-Michel lost 8 to 13.

Henri Cartier-Bresson said, Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”

The same is true in pétanque or any discipline. To be a good player you need to put in the hours. You need to practice continuously until every shot becomes natural and accurate.
Some of us though are work-shy and practice only on holidays. We always end up paying for that.

In the Concours area, Ed Porto and Monique Bricca won the semifinals 13 to 9 against Hans Kurz and Lisa Vaughn. It was not an easy match and it was full of spectacular rebounds. Lisa saved Hans’s skin a few times with amazing shots and usually unflappable Hans could not help but hug her enthusiastically.

Maggie Lane and Daniel Monnet

In the Concours finals, lefty Ed Porto and Monique Bricca battled Damien Monnet and Maggie Lane. It was a great match full of spectacular shots. Both shooters and pointers outdid themselves and drew applause from the spectators. Monique and Maggie were amazingly on target… and so were Ed and Damien.

Ultimately though, Damien and Maggie won the contest 13 to 5.

1stplace: Damien Monnet and Maggie Lane
+ their names engraved on the Commemorative Cup
2ndplace: Ed Porto and Monique Bricca
3rdplace: Steve Dudgeon and Kris Edwards

1stplace: Mark Shirkey and Donna von Edelkrantz
2ndplace: Jean-Michel Poulnot and Tamara Efron


PS: Since the pictures shown today were recorded on 3 different devices, they are not displayed in a chronological order. Sorry about that.

Lend me your ears… please

“A good marriage would be that of a blind woman with a deaf husband.” Michel de Montaigne

According to the National Health InstituteApproximately one in three people in the United States between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing.

I am alas, no exception to this state of affairs. My hearing, which used to be perfect (I could hear a mouse break wind) has lost some of its luster, and I sometimes struggle to grasp what is being said around me.

Hearing loss, like all deteriorating bodily functions, slowly manifest itself. You are not aware of it until somebody (usually your wife) starts  making snide remarks about it. Then comes a time when you earnestly have to start looking for a solution.

There are plenty of hearing aids on the market but they have 2 main shortcomings: they are  imperfect and they are obscenely expensive. They can cost between $1500.00 and $6000.00 a pair.

How could such tiny devices (smaller than my pinky fingers) be more expensive than the latest 75” television set? It is more than ridiculous, it is indecent.

I think that the answer is relatively simple. You can get by without a television set, but it is much more difficult to manage without being able to hear.

The merchants know that and they abuse their (unregulated) monopoly. Hearing aids, like any medical implements, ought to be affordable and covered by medical insurance. But (hello Big Pharma) they are not.

None are so deaf as those who can hear!

Viagra is covered by most Medicare and insurance plans; why couldn’t hearing aids be covered as well? It looks like our legislators have more appetite for sex than listening to their constituents.

But having a hearing impairment has some advantages. It allows you to use “selective hearing”. You have the option to hear or not to hear whatever is being said around you.

Although deaf and dumb, I totally agree with your ideas! Raymond Devos

You can also turn a deaf ear to your wife grumbling when she is on a “search and destroy” cleaning rampage.

Can you repeat what you just said dear?