August 4, 2012 “Ooh la la!”

I’m not much of a gambler.  I used to play the cards a little in college, won a little, lost a little but I have maybe spent ten dollars in the last twenty years in the pursuit of instant riches. In Deadwood I put in a quarter and got two out is what I think the last time I’ve gambled, save for the buck I chipped in on an office lottery pool.

Carnival games are a bit like gambling.  Like a slot machine, you put in a dollar, a quarter, or in France, a Euro, and you can do something in the hope of winning a prize.  One of these that is popular with my kids, we call the ‘claw’.  You line up a claw in three dimensions push a button and see if the claw picks up the prize and drops it in the hole.

This game was even popularized in Toy Story as a ‘way’ the alien toys got delivered.  Typically, you play for toys, stuffed animals, or maybe candy. Some people I’ve seen are pretty good at this game.  My son has won a few stuffed toys… and in France, you can play for something more interesting…sexy thong lingeries and other goodies! So right in the middle of a kids carnival was a game featuring the prizes as satin sneak thru thongs, thongs with little hearts, g-string panties, and crotch-less thongs.  I have always wondered why a crotchless thong, isn’t nude easier?  It seems so much simpler.

So are these for the teenagers or what?  Typically the boyfriend wins a stuffed animal and gives it to his girlfriend as a sign of macho, …but sexy lingerie? Only in France… only in France.

One may ask the question of why but I ask the question of why not?  This is the country of basically no drinking age for wine and beer (officially 16) and yet less alcohol problems than in the USA where we can drive at 16 but not drink to 21?  They can only drive at 18.  Which is worse?  This is also a country of outside urinals.  That is urinals on sides of buildings with nothing more than air for privacy and there is nothing to see five people on a trip urinating on the side of the road.  The unisex bathrooms have unisex urinals on the floor.  Not something North American women I think are used to.

Shower commercials have naked people on them as do suntan lotion commercials.  This is a country of Ooh la la! And we are a country of ooh no no!  We have this theory of liberty yet we like to restrict everything. We want it not in our back yard, hidden, or and old argument, sex ed taught at home.  Where it is open, like say France, they have less, yes less, unwanted pregnancy, less abortion, less sexual problems in general than where it is hidden or in a prohibition state like ours.  France and the USA have the same divorce rate, they have a slightly lower birth rate, and a much lower sexual violence rate.

This is not an essay of libertarian values, just makes you think of what matters and what doesn’t.  We paid $1.75 for some very good wine, some wine was even cheaper (dollar wine?).  You could buy it like gasoline in your own bottle from a huge tank in Bordeaux and other locations.  There are no Sunday sales laws, and every grocer sells it and I was served alcohol by sixteen year old waitresses and you could buy it on the street in the open air market next to chickens, melons, and cheese.  The drinking age is less to non-existent and yet the per capita alcohol consumption in France is the same as here.  You can serve your country and DIE but his 19 year old Marine buddies can’t go and buy a drink to toast and remember you.

We are banning smoking everywhere.  In Europe, everyone seems to smoke and I’m not sure the disease rates are that much different.  We have taxed and raised prices of cigarettes as we have to some extent alcohol but have we really increased life expectancy?  We have made poor people poorer with this policy not to mention the tax money raised.

Oh well, I had no intention of getting on a soap box since I just started this taking a picture of a funny carnival game prizes in St. Denis d’ Oleron, France.

But it raises a larger question…did I invest one Euro for three turns at the ‘Claw’?  I’ll let YOU decide. My hand eye coordination is pretty good and maybe the wife is now giving me the wink with a little sexiness down under! It isn’t 50 shades of Grey but OOH LA LA!

Send me your spare change my friends!

Olaf

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