The joy of “carreau”

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Everybody has heard of the Joy of Sex… at least I hope.
Well, the joy of “carreau” is as satisfying as the joy of sexThe joy of “carreau” is almost as satisfying as the joy of sex
Let me rephrase this.
The joy of “carreau” is not really as fulfilling as the joy of sex… but it comes close.

In pétanque, the king of shots is the “carreau”, the “dead on the spot” shot. It is the most difficult, spectacular and rewarding pitch of the game.
But in order to achieve this, you need to learn how to “to shoot the iron” (in French, tirer au fer).

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This means that when you shoot, your boule (without ever touching the ground) should hit the target boule and take its exact position on the ground.
In French it is called a “carreau parfait”, a perfect carreau.

It is a difficult and intimidating shot and most of the beginners shy away from it. But with some practice, I believe that almost anybody can do it.

Because it is relatively easy, beginners start by firing “à la raffle” or “à la raspaille”. In this shot you try to hit the opponent’s boule by aiming in front of the target and hit it after a bounce or two.
This shot (unpopular with purists) can work but has some serious drawbacks. If the field is uneven or if another boule stands in font of your target, it becomes difficult or impossible to do it.

The advantage of “shooting the iron” is that this shot is possible regardless of the field conditions or the positions of your opponents’ boules.

Personally, I started by shooting “a la raspaille” but became frustrated by its limitations. So whenever I could, I started practicing “shooting the iron”. After many, many misses, to the wonder of my partners and adversaries, I suddenly started to hit my mark.

Let me tell you. Nothing feels quite like a “carreau parfait”.
The slight anticipation while the boule in the air, the smacking sound, the yelling, the applauses… Cloud 9.

If you want to elevate your game, stop shooting “a la raspaille” and concentrate on “shooting the moon”.

It is worth the effort.

Alain aka La Foudre

By the way, I don’t know why it is called a “carreau”. In French, the word either means a floor tile or windowpane.

Oval Office or bust

Why in hell would anybody run for the Presidency of the United States?

president-sealIs it a craving for power? A longing for attention? Vanity? To increase fame and fortune? All of it?

Don’t the candidates realize that if they run for office their background is going to be scrutinized like never before?
Don’t they understand that hundreds of highly motivated warrior ants are going to dig in their past and unearth all their carefully concealed secrets?

Don’t they know that their opponents can and will hit them repeatedly below the belt?

Seasoned politicians know that and stay safely on the sidelines.
But some so-called “captains of industry” obviously are not aware of this and will try to prove that they know better than anybody else.

The reality is that when it comes to politics, businessmen are babes in the woods.
When you are running a corporation, very few people will dare to challenge you. Everybody will kowtow to you. Yes sir, absolutely sir.
But in the political arena, it is a totally different story.

Anybody can and will attack you, and you cannot simply subdue an opponent by firing him.
A political fight between a businessman and a seasoned politico is more like a confrontation between a gladiator and a shopkeeper.
The gladiator knows how to wield a sword and will use it skillfully. The shopkeeper only knows how to protect himself with a shield of shysters and this tactic does not work well under the burning sun of the public arena.

The reality is that the path to the White House is littered with the bodies of “know better” magnates.

In the age of ubiquitous electronic devices, it becomes more and more difficult to hide your true persona. Everything you have (even unknowingly) said or written will come back and haunt you.
And the closer you get to the finish line the hotter it gets. Like live grenades embarrassing questions will be lobbed at you and pop all around you.

Did you always pay your taxes? Did you ever cheat on your wife? Are you a misogynist? Have you ever used drugs? Do you have a criminal record? Are you hiding money abroad?

Politicians know that it is the nail that sticks out that will be hammered down. Businessmen don’t seem to be aware of that. They will learn that success in business does not necessarily translate into political success.
And in case of defeat their lifelong reputation will be tarnished forever.

No one is a prophet in his own country, but I am willing to bet my virginity that the bloodied body of the intellectually-challenged businessman is going to be carried out in a stretcher at the end of the fight.

Alain

She loves me, she loves me not

“In love, there is always someone who kisses and someone who offers the cheek.”

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Unrequited love is arguably one of the most painful emotions that one can endure. It hurts like an open wound and takes a long time to heal.
When you become smitten with someone, you find it difficult to accept that your feelings are not returned in kind.

Love cannot be explained. It is an irrational emotion that can drive to semi-insanity.
It is easy to love, but the most difficult part is to make the one you love, love you. Many people fall for people who do not love them, but they cannot stop obsessing about it.

You can try to buy the stuff but it is futile. If you buy it, like a new car it immediately loses half of its value.
But this doesn’t stop elderly men (and women) from buying trophy wives. It keeps them warm and always looks good on camera.

Georges Bizet’s opera (Carmen) is the typical example of unrequited love.
After first spurning her advances, José falls in love with Carmen. Then Carmen abandons José and takes up with Escamillo, a bullfighter.
After José pleads with her and after Carmen rejects him, he stabs her to death.

This is sometimes the tragic outcome of unrequited love.

I presently alas love somebody who doesn’t love me.
When I first met her, I was struck by her beauty and her eagerness to flirt with me.
Like Carmen she first seduced me and ultimately betrayed me.

img_8395I took her home and treated her like a princess. I bought her a necklace, baubles, toys, fancy food… To no avail.
She accepted me but never really loved me.
She now has only eyes (and ears) for my wife and follows her everywhere like a little dog.

My wife (who did not care much for her in the first place) can roughhouse her without any fear of retribution.
If I try this with Kate, teeth and claws will quickly find their way to any area of my exposed skin.

I don’t know what it is? Females are supposed to be catty to each other, but in my case, my two “femmes fatales” seem to taunt me with their inhibited display of affection.

Is love fair? NO. “L’amour est enfant de bohème, Il n’a jamais, jamais connu de loi. »

Dear Abby, what can I do to make Kate love me?
Where can I purchase Love Potion Number 9?
Help!

Alain

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