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”.



Arracheur de dents

Cela avait commencé par une légère douleur dans le coté droit de ma mâchoire supérieure.
Puis la peine est devenue plus intense, et c’est finalement a contrecœur que j’ai pris rendez-vous avec mon dentiste.

Depuis ma tendre enfance, j’ai toujours été bercé par un préjugé populaire contre les arracheurs de dents. « Menteur comme un arracheur de dents » disait-on.
Cette engeance n’avait pas bonne réputation. Des fréquentations à éviter disaient les bonnes gens.
Mais pour l’absolution il faut passer par la confession.

Visite donc chez mon tortionnaire attitré.

Apres quelques rayons X et un examen de la dent coupable,  « Vous avez un  abcès sous la dent » me dit-il. Il va falloir procéder à un canal dentaire.
Un canal dentaire ! Pourquoi pas une ablation de la rate ?
Zut, crotte et flûte !

Je ne crois pas être un cas unique et j’avoue avoir certaines phobies.
L’introduction d’instruments acérés dans ma bouche par exemple en est une.
Tout mon être se révolte à l’idée de cette procédure contre nature.

Mais la peine est là, et il faut faire quelque chose. Mieux vaut une souffrance temporaire qu’une douleur permanente.


Je donne donc le feu vert a notre homme et il entreprend l’opération.
Au bout d’une demi-heure il s’interrompt et me dit « vous avez une dent fêlée, je ne peux pas continuer l’opération »
Gottverdamnt !

Il va falloir arracher la dent me dit-il, et ensuite mettre un bridge ou un implant dentaire.
On ne m’a jamais arraché une dent, et le souvenir de quelques photos dans de vieux magazines jaunis n’est pas là pour me rassurer.

Laissez-moi réfléchir lui dis-je.

Je délais l’échéance autant que possible et je me décide finalement a faire le grand saut.

A l’heure H je me présente chez le dentiste et il me sent nerveux.
N’ayez pas peur, vous ne sentirez rien me dit-il.
Ne disent-ils pas tous cela? Pourquoi est-ce que je ne le crois pas ?

On m’installe sur la table d’opération.
Voulez-vous du Valium ? me demande l’homme en blanc.

Pendant qu’il va chercher les pilules magiques, je regarde autour de moi.
A ma droite, un petit plateau avec une douzaine d’instruments pointus et recourbés ; ils semblent me narguer.

Le dentiste revient. Il sera assisté par un jeune homme grand et costaud.
Son rôle sera probablement de me maîtriser si je rue dans les brancards. Comme dans les asiles.
J’avale le Valium comme on avalerait une hostie.

On me badigeonne la gencive avec une sorte d’anesthésiant.
Viennent ensuite quelques piqures. Je ne sens presque rien.

Attendons que cela prenne effet dit le dentiste qui disparaît hors de mon champ de vision.

Quand je suis cuit a point, mes tortionnaires réapparaissent.
Ils me donnent des lunettes noires.
Bien, je préfère ne rien voir et je préférerais aussi ne rien entendre.

Ouvrez la bouche !

J’obtempère et les deux acolytes se mettent à la besogne.

Bruits divers. Inquiétants. On m’étire la bouche dans toutes les directions. On farfouille dans mon gosier.
Etonnamment, je ne sens pas grand-chose.
Le Valium et l’anesthésie locale font bien leur travail.

Je vais maintenant utiliser un marteau me dit le dentiste.
Un marteau ? Est-ce que j’ai bien entendu ?
Good Lord !

Je sens des chocs répétés sur ma gencive.
Je pense à Lady Macbeth. « Out damned spot ! » Out damned tooth !

Les bruits finalement s’arrêtent.
Je tâte délicatement ma mâchoire supérieure du bout de la langue. Là où il y avait une dent, je ne sens plus qu’un vide.
By George, the tooth is gone!

Nous allons maintenant suturer tout ça me dit le dentiste.
Allez-y maestro !

Mais l’anesthésie s’estompe et je commence à sentir les piqures du fil et de l’aiguille.
Les points de suture s’avèrent plus douloureux que l’opération.
Je gémis doucement.
Nouvelle piqure dans la gencive. La peine s’atténue.

Encore dix minutes.

On me met de la gaze dans la bouche pour arrêter le saignement.
Voilà, c’est terminé.

Mon dentiste me prescrit du Vicodin pour la douleur qui reviendra certainement après que les effets de l’anesthésie auront disparus.
J’espère que j’en n’aurai pas besoin, mais ça me rassure.

Il va maintenant falloir que je revienne pour l’implant dentaire.
Je n’aime pas l’idée, mais je crois que le plus dur est fait.
J’ai meilleur opinion des dentistes.