Israeli pétanque

Not too long ago, out of the blue, a totally unexpected e-mail fluttered into my mailbox.
It was from a French-speaking Israeli who, wonder of wonders, happens to read my column.
(As you can see, my fame is now worldwide. Even camels know my name.)

This gentleman lives in a kibbutz, in the Negev desert.
There, besides herding sheep and cultivating the land, this fellow tells me that his “kibbutzniks” also play pétanque.
Who would have ever thought…?

I pressed my correspondent for more details and he referred me to an Israeli website.
My French and English are fairly decent, but my Hebrew is feeble (non-existent truth be told) and I found it rather difficult to navigate through the Hebrew reefs.

After making him aware of my problem, he redirected me to a YouTube video.
On this particular clip, a bunch of people is seen playing pétanque. But they are still speaking Hebrew (what did I expect?) and I still don’t understand a word of their jabbering.

After visioning additional YouTube clips though, I came to realize that pétanque is a popular game in Israel.


I checked the Israeli Pétanque Federation website and I discovered that they have 7 clubs in the North, 6 in the Center and 4 in the South, for a total of 17.
For reference, Northern California lists only 13 clubs.
Not bad for a country that is 20 times smaller than California and has a population of about 8 million people compared to 38 million for California!

But how good are these dudes?
Could they beat any of our local teams? Let’s not be cocky. History has taught us to never underestimate a little guy (David) facing a much bigger guy (Goliath).

Wouldn’t it be interesting to invite some of their players to come to California To settle this question?

Not so long ago, a big delegation from New Zealand came here and gave us a run for our money.
Could these dudes be as good as the Kiwis?

On the other hand, we could also consider sending some our people to the Land of Milk and Honey.

This could be an idea in search of a solution…



Blog Navigation

Over the last few months I have tried to make my blog as visitor-friendly as possible. But I realize that some features might still not be obvious.
So here is a brief explanation of the different links (always shown in blue) appearing on the homepage.

Search window
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When you click on « En français » all the articles written in French will show up.

Local pétanque clubs
Major Bay Area pétanque clubs are listed on this page.
Clicking on one of the club’s name will bring up its website and hopefully what you are looking for. Unfortunately, not all the websites are kept up-to-date

LPM calendar
The LPM calendar will show you all the events scheduled by La Pétanque Marinière for the 2013 season. It is constantly updated. Before heading for a tournament, be sure to have quick look at it for facts confirmation.

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Hoping that all the above has been helpful, I wish you a pleasant day.




Are you an accomplished Thumbnick? I am not.
Despite my best efforts I am still a pathetic plodder when I try to emulate generation X.
I think that my thumbs are too big.

I have tried to reduce their size by going on a diet, but as you well know, it is more easily said than done.
I have well-shaped extremities which I daresay brought me many compliments, but lately I have been forced to recognize that I have a problem.
My thumbs are enormous and they get in the way.

I came to the realization of this shameful handicap after watching young people texting, sexting and generally orgasming while fingering their smartphone.
When communicating with their peers, they use their thumbs at a death defying speed that leaves me envious and wanting.

When I try to match their feat, my humongous digits stomp on two keys at the same time and I struggle to complete my task.
For my defense, I will say that these whippersnappers started practicing thumbing much before I did.

To give them a leg up on competition, their parents gave them a smartphone while still in their cribs.
Never mind sucking on your thumb they said; you need to focus on something that will prepare you for the hardships of life. The smartphone tiny keyboard proved ideal for toddlers.
By age four, some were already virtuosi and even gave recitals for their parents jealous friends.

Me, I am still struggling, and I might give up my dream of becoming a real Thumbnick.
Since I am unable to do text messaging, I am reduced to using the crude, antiquated technology known as telephony.
But what can I do? A thumb reduction? Too risky.
I will have to learn to live with it.

To mask my grotesque affliction, I have taken to wearing mittens.
If you see me donning those don’t be afraid. I am not covering an ugly skin disease.
I am simply trying to make you feel at ease by hiding the object of my melancholy.

You still can shake my hand. Just don’t mention the size of my thumbs.
Thank you.