Wednesday, August 02, 2006


When Chad and were in Paris, we both noticed a strange phenomena. It took a few days to actually see it, since our primary mode of transportation was walking. Subtle and hidden, it lurked just beneath the surface, but due to the high frequency of events, we discovered that Parisians do not pay attention to anything when they are in motion. For example (and there are many), a man would be strolling down a sidewalk, tipping his Barrett to the local shopkeepers, or occasionally use his baggett to engage in a mock sword fight with another jaunty Parisian. Then, for no reason whatsoever, the man would make a right turn and walk directly into traffic. Some drivers would blare their horns, other would shake their fists screaming "Sacre Bleu!!" (which means, for some reason, 'Sacred Blue.') and swerve around the bread-toting pedestrian.

On another occasion, a person riding a moped tricked out with a basket and full frontal weathershield complete with those rubber arm covers you always see Homer Simpson using to handle glowing green bars of nuclear material, slowly drove into the back of a parked car. The road was not particularly slippery or congested, the parked car not was going anywhere (it was parked), and the person hit it at a speed of about 10mph. After striking the parked vehicle, he got to his feet, walked the moped in reverse, and sputtered off down the road. Chad and I looked at each other then turned to amuse ourselves with the aghast expressions the crowd was surely wearing. However, no one was remotely surprised or even paused to watch the scene unfold. They just wandered around, happily walking into traffic, walking into stationary telephone poles, and driving into each other with their strange, small vehicles.

The reason I bring this up has much less to do with the apparent absentmindedness of Parisians (I can't say the same from the rest of the country, people who speak French, or people who've ever eatcheesee and wine), andmorer to do with the way Buckeyes drive. It's the same. The majority seem to drive very slowly and very dangerously. When atraffice signal turns green, for instance, most are content to wait for the light to cycle back to red. When cars stack up behind red lights, it's not in any kind of straight line: the vehicles end up pointed in completely random directions. And while pedestrians do not stop to engage in mock swords fights with loafs of hardened bread, they do occasionally stop to punch each other.

'Till next time!

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