Friday, December 30, 2011

The Golden Age of Leather - And Latex ...

People have been busy on Google over the festive season, if the search terms are any guide - but why, oh why, do I get ones like the following:

    erotic waitress wine
    strawberries lingerie
    poupee gonflable little suzy
    burned paper boat and a clock
    men in straitjackets
    i'm scared i have threadworms

Mind you, as stream-of-consciousness song lyrics go, they'd not be too bad.

So anyway, Beckham arrived back from Paris the other day and to do justice to the occasion I left the office early (the week between Christmas and New Year is bloody quiet anyway, not as though anyone would either notice or care) and we all met up at the Café de Paris for some celebratory vitamins.

One thing led to another, as it will, and we decided that her idea of a second-hand bookshop/café, whilst excellent in itself, was perhaps not sufficient, and thoughts quickly turned to complementary activities, like a sex shop as an annexe. You would, I admit, have to pick your books fairly carefully, and make it clear somehow that this particular area was not necessarily family-friendly.

Whatever, we got quite enthused with the idea after the second glass, and started brainstorming, for a good name is very important in commerce. All about brand recognition, apparently. "Becks & Bryan: Purveyor's of Quality Refurbished and Second-Hand Sex Toy's Since 2011" says it all but is a bit of a mouthful, and does rather encourage grocer's apostrophe: "Vibrators R'Us" is snappier. Or, quite simply, and kind of sums it up in a nutshell, "Dildo & Co.". The feedback so far has been positive, always an encouraging thing. (We'll try to forget about my Bryan's suggestion of "The Cock Shop", shall we?)

The other thing she needs is an angel investor, for although Bryan and I would be more than willing to help out as our talents allow, we're neither of us exactly the sort of thing one would want to see behind the counter in such an establishment, and in any case we have no free - or even indentured - cash, and a business does need a staff, and premises. So as Whisky Boy is out of the picture (and a diplomat's salary, although generous, is unlikely to stretch so far anyway) she's trying to hook back up with Ken The Rich Australian, to see if he'd be willing to sink a bit of his pocket-money into such an affair.

Against what in exchange I neither know, nor particularly care to discover.

Some sort of business plan would also seem a prerequisite, although exactly how one would go about establishing such a thing for an enterprise of this nature escapes me at this time. Perhaps, with a bit of luck, we'll have forgotten about it tomorrow. As a general rule, Thursdays are not usually quite this dissolute.

Also, for your edification, it appears that sex-toy evenings have overtaken Tupperware parties in popularity, at least amongst a certain segment of the population. I have nothing to do with that, I merely report.

Friday should not be dissolute at all. Up to the office, a bit of that sad trivia known as "paperwork", then back home. To make a galette des Rois, which is in some demand around these here parts.

Yeah, forget about that. Woke up in pitch darkness, because snow is not transparent and 10cm of the stuff on the velux makes a pretty effective screen. Margo bravely took the kids off to Montmelian to catch a train for Grenoble to go skiing with one of Mal's friends from her lycée days, and about an hour later, as I was enjoying the second coffee of the day and wondering whether or not the snowplough would have blocked the van, she rang to ask sweetly if I could walk down the hill with the chains for the Suzy. She'd managed to get halfway up, but no further ...

Walking past I saw that there was indeed a 50cm wall of snow across the entrance to where I park so getting out was not going to be an easy job (note to self: stop faffing around and just go get snow tyres for the thing) - made it a simple decision really, do not bother going up to the office. This does mean walking up to the village later on to get some oranges and eggs for the crème frangipane in the galette, but I think I can probably handle that.

Chains that have been tucked away unused in their little case for a year or so seem to take on a spiteful life of their own, and it doesn't help that the instructions always seem to have been written in a heavily Polish-accented English, and the helpful illustrative diagrams might as well be someone's holiday snaps of tourist attractions around Warsaw, for they bear absolutely no resemblance to the writhing mass of entangled steel links sitting in a sullen heap before you.

I ask you, does "clip green links A and B together firmly, ensuring that connector F is lying flat against the tyre as shown in diagram (missing), before carelessly fitting yellow tensioner C and enrouling it around D (red)" make any sense when you're kneeling in the snow, with more of the damn stuff falling on you, and your fingers stiff and numb?

We eventually got them on, more or less, after much cursing and a few threats of violence, and slowly made our way back home to the warmth: cue five minutes exercise shovelling the wall of snow away from the garage doors so that Margo could actually get the car in, and then repeat the earlier performance, in reverse, to get the chains off again.

If these are indeed, as they say, "quick-fit" chains, I would hate to contemplate the time taken and the acres of gouged flesh and skinned knuckles (absolutely amazing all the sharp pointy bits there are behind wheels) resulting from trying to fit the older variety.

Work continues apace on the new apartment buildings above us in the road, and in keeping with the seasonal spirit the solid peasantry of St Pierre are preparing to welcome newcomers to the village.

As you can see it's a time of great festivity and the sour local wine flows in abundance: the municipal trebuchet has been wheeled out, as is the custom on such occasions, and M. le maire, wearing his official beard, is about to order the firing of a salute. (Blanks, one hopes: still can't forget the unfortunate incident two years ago, when it turned out that the 1950s vintage napalm had not, in fact, gone off over the years. Never mind, it was all in good fun, and anyway that's why we pay for emergency services.)

For some strange reason the local life-saving club have been called upon to do the catering: sadly, Mme Pétasse is of the opinion that alcohol is, of itself, a food group and that solid nourishment is therefore unnecessary.

Poor M. Ducrotte (that's the Mauriennais Ducrottes, sadly inbred: not for nothing are they commonly known as les cretins des Alpes) seems to be labouring under the impression that carnaval has come early, and for reasons known only to the dim workings of his feeble brain has come dressed in the full regalia of a Navajo chief, perhaps under the impression that it looks more welcoming.

The visitors and inhabitants-to-be, arriving fresh from Grenoble (and, in one case, Aiton prison) after a crack-down on the Sicilian-run cuddly-animal prostitution rings, seem unsure as to their welcome and their new lives in a small village, but they'll soon get the hang of petty theft and tyre-slashing, and become upstanding and valued members of our little community.

Sadly, our friendly local gendarme appears to be in no fit state to offer them a few words of advice: having jumped into an icy torrent to rescue the legless (and extremely dimwitted) Batârd baby, he is resting, overcome by exertion and, I'm ashamed to say, rather excessive consumption of hot spiced goudron. (A local specialty, which does not really travel well. Fortunately.)

Happy New Year.


  1. Hmmmm... your brother hasn't had a hand in this post, has he?? Either that or you have a scarily similar turn of phrase at times!

  2. Which phrase in particular were you thinking of?

  3. stream-of-consciousness song lyrics
    A Rush album, one suspects.

    I am on record as suggesting to my colleague mikey that when he sets up his reconditioned vibrator shop, he call it 'Oestrus', purely to have the opportunity to explain (when asked) that "The O is silent". The other suggestion was that he work on his watchmaker skills as well, and have a side-line in horology, so that the establishment could be called "13 Clocks and the Wonderful O".

  4. sex-toy evenings have overtaken Tupperware parties in popularity

    Checking the definition of "tupping", I fail to see the distinction.

  5. I see your point, although god alone knows how the salad-spinner was involved. Who knew that was what housewives got up to back in the 80's?

  6. The... um... the bits about & subsequent to the appearance of the municipal trebuchet?

  7. Oh no, all my own. After a few stiff glasses of the cooking sherry.

  8. After a few stiff glasses of the cooking sherry.

    That sounds a bit low-end - has the snow interfered with your ability to restock the cellar?

  9. Things were getting pretty dire Friday night, down to the last eight bottles. And of course the kids drink like fishes.