Le Travailleur Nomade dans Paris

Oklahoma’s favorite Francophile, Monsieur Roy Bob Le Blanc, wanders the streets of Paris, pompously impressing himself with his mastery of the names of hundreds of landmarks, streets, markets, wines and classic dishes. It’s probably better that he talks to himself since no one else can understand his pitiful French.

He cannot even properly pronounce Au revoir mon cheri or Merci beaucoup. Nonetheless he is in heaven. It is the heaven of blissful pomp and circumstance. He shops for French fries and naughty lingerie for his wife back in Lawton. After hours of cooking school he still cannot make crepes.

Whenever he speaks people look up annoyed and often angry at the linguistic slaughter going on within earshot.

Agenda du Jour

8 am breakfast at Cafe La Ferronniere

9:15 a stroll on Champs-Elysees past The Opera and through the Arch Triomphe and then on to the Eiffel Tower.

10 am: for another coffee and a croissant at Cafe Lateral.

And now I’m fueled for the morning, he says.

11:00 am Will you look at the tranquil taxi stand, quieted after rush hour. I will take a quick spin to Pate Petén, Rue Marmot, and Place du Venisonne to read their posted menus for tonight.

Noon: Luncheon at the Les Crepes de Louis Marie over at 1 Rue de l’Arbalete.

2 pm The first race is at 3:30 at Auteuil Hippodrome. I don’t want to miss it. Damn, now I can’t find an empty cab anywhere. That’s all right with my instincts and knowledge of the City of Light I can walk there. Maybe I’ll pass Jim Morrison’s grave. Isn’t it in that cute little cemetery off Avenue Victor Hugo? Or is it Chemin des Dames…No that’s up north.

3 pm Hmmm. I don’t see Avenue Montaigne. …Rue de Rivoli, Passages Couverts, or Boulevard de Clichy. …Where have they gone?

4 pm I have misplaced Claret Rioux. I seem to be turned around.

5:30 Now what has happened to my Paris map? I must have taken a wrong turn at the Louvre Museum this morning. This shabby neighborhood is not mentioned in my book…I don’t recognize these the street signs. I’ll just duck down this alley and take a shortcut. I will simply double back to Avenue de L’Opéra.

6:30 But which way is the river? Now I believe I’m lost and it’s getting dark.

“Lost you say monsieur. How can you be lost in Paris? Maybe I can be of assistance,” says a beautiful, young woman passerby in a navy pencil skirts and horizontally striped blue blouse. “Come with me. I will relieve you of your worries and your burdens. Do you like my city? Have you been to L’Avant Comptoir Wine Bar or Macarons? …I work there sometimes. You speak beautiful French you know…

“I love Paris and I am well versed in its delights…it’s landmarks and history…”

“Oh?’ she smiles. “We shall see.”

The young woman leads him along three tiny streets, through an open-air market and down a long flight of steps to where her accomplices are waiting. They tense up as he smiles a greeting. Is this the Gendarmerie, or is he just another stupid tourist mesmerized by Paris?

“Give us your wallet and cell phone or we will dismember you and throw you into the Seine!” says the largest one, a cigarette dangling between his lips.

“We will throw you off the Eiffel Tower,” he continues. “See how you like that.”

“Take off those shoes too,” demanded another, “and that map, that stupid map.”

He dismissively throws the map into a litter barrel in the alley.

“Ah, the Seine,” sighs Monsieur Le Blanc. “Gore de Lyon, Place de Vosges…”

“No, those are sites are near the Bastille. You must be thinking of Pont des Arts or maybe the Sainte Chapelle,”said the woman.

“Your hotel is near Montmartre?” asks the second thief. “We know the neighborhood very well. Come, we will walk you there. You never quite know about who you might meet in the dark.

“My name is Monet and my associate here is Renoir. The lady is Joan of Arc, or was that Marie Antoinette, dear?”

– Pierrot

Filed Under: Lifestyles at Risk


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