Well if that ain't a steaming pile of crap. I mean, it's the Super Bowl, not the Continental Tire Bowl. You'd think it would merit some international television coverage, but evidently they don't call it "American football" over here because they like it. And since my car transportation to Aix has to wake up at 6AM tomorrow morning to go to work, I can't even go watch the damn thing in a bar. Couldn't they just play the game earlier, and broadcast it taped in the States? That would really help us expatriate football-watchers. Sleeping through the game will probably be more enjoyable anyway, because this way Tampa Bay is most definitely going to win. In my little dreams. While the Pats are cleaning up in real life, several thousand miles away in J-ville. Ah well.
Evidently ordering pints is a novelty in France. Witness the conversation after our waiter deposits a pint of Guinness in front of me, and then two little half-pints of light beer and a bottle of Smirnoff Ice in front of my companions:
Stéphane: "‹You bought a whole pint? Of Guinness?›"
Christophe: "‹I told you, Americans love beer. It's all they drink. There's tons of beer in the United States, right?›"
Me: "‹I'm not an alcoholic, it just helps me sleep at night.›"
And let me tell you, don't try eating at a French restaurant if you have cystic fibrosis. They sure smoke like chimneys considering cigarettes are sold with immense labels (covering half the package) that say, in French, "Smoking kills," and similarly dismal things. Every restaurant looks like a sauna.
I finally got to see that television puppet show Stéphane told me about, and it's actually pretty funny. Or at least, I assume it would be funny if I was remotely familiar with any of the personages involved. It's like the Daily Show, except with puppets. It's hosted by a puppet of some famous news anchor, and I hear the impression is spot-on. There was some French actress who had some reality TV show, and evidently her life was some huge hilarious scandal. And then there was this French Prime Minister or something who came into a meeting naked, but no one noticed, which was really funny, because he'd tried to resign a couple weeks ago and no one paid attention, or even let him resign. I did recognize a couple of the puppets: Michael Jackson is impossible to miss, especially when he sings "Billy Jean," "Thriller," and "Smooth Criminal." His (shockingly true-to-life) legal defense was described as, "Sure, he gave little kids alcohol and had sex with them, but he made so many awesome songs!" And then there was Sylvester Stallone in an army uniform, professing his ignorance of the results of the Iraqi elections because he was busy invading Iran. Ha-HA! Get it? Invading Iran!
Oh, and I really need to take a picture of the bar urinals in France. There's a piddly hole in the ground, and two little platforms for your feet to the sides of the hole. You stand on the little platforms, pee in the hole, press a button, and water swirls around the base of the platforms into the hole and washes all the filth away. Two things mystified me, however: first, grown men would stand up from their tables and declare, "Je vais faire pee-pee." Literally, "I'm going to make pee-pee." Second, I saw three or four women use that restroom. There's only that hole in the ground. I don't know either. All I'm saying is that I'm not letting a woman into my room until I'm quite sure she's a she.