The line advanced slowly because they only let handfuls of people enter at a time. As we stood there awaiting our turn to descend into the depths of hell, I noticed a sign posted next to the entrance. It warned visitors the catacombs may not be suitable for "those of a nervous disposition." Ruh-roh. It was like the catacombs were pointing at me, talking straight at my face -- "yeah YOU, the jittery one."
The problem is I can't tell the difference between having a nervous disposition vs. having ten coffees every morning before 8:00 a.m. Do I have a nervous disposition or just a heavily caffeinated one? We will never know because I'm not going to stop.
The catacombs didn't make me nervous but if you're claustrophobic or don't like being dripped upon in narrow subterranean tunnels, it may not be the place for you. It will be worse if you start picturing the water dripping on your head as slimy dead people bone water, so definitely don't do that.
The bones, which kindly reminded us we're all gonna die someday, were arranged very artistically. Bravo, bone arrangers.
After the bones, we went to M.P. Samie. M.P. Samie is the place in Paris for cheap French porcelain. You can buy Apilco serving platters or Limoges bowls for 8 euros -- the same ones available at Williams Sonoma for 50 bucks or more, suckers. We always leave with a bunch of stuff we never expected to buy. Sometimes it's stuff for which we can't even identify a purpose but squeal, three euros!
I like going there with Virginia Mom because she cooks more than I do and knows stuff I don't. She'll point at a shallow dish and say something like, "Oh, that's really useful if you need to do an egg wash or something" and I'll nod dumbly beside her like, "yep...egg wash....exactly what I was thinking...."
(What the f*ck is an egg wash?)
After buying a ton of porcelain and beginning to lug it painfully home on our persons, we stopped for lunch at a creperie near Montparnasse. Two American tourists sat next to us and were so wonderfully American in their chattiness with strangers, I missed my homefolk. We chatted a bit and witnessed them try their first glass of Breton cider. Mr. New Jersey said, "Hmm, that' ain't bad" and was promptly awarded the Understatement of the Year award.
Back to the subject of bones for a minute. Lucien is drawing a lot of dinosaur bones recently but unfortunately (or fortunately?) they all look like penises. He follows me through the apartment with his unintentional penis drawings and says things like, "Mom, you like the bone? Is it a good bone? Do you want the bone on the refrigerator?" I alternate between laughing uncontrollably and telling him to stop being so goddamn inappropriate.
Lucien also lost another tooth. The first time he lost a tooth he had a very awkward conversation with a homeless man. This time, as he was holding his tooth in his hand, he dropped it on our shag area rug and lost it for real. We've since combed through the rug and shaken the rug but the tooth is firmly entrenched somewhere inside and it ain't coming out.
A very upset Lucien then drew the Tooth Fairy a dinosaur (an Apatosaurus, his favorite!) and asked me to transcribe a message to her. I'm pretty sure he'll still get his euro. At least he didn't draw her a penis.
I might as well talk about the people across the courtyard who are always in their underwear. There used to be a hot drywall guy over there but now the apartment is all fixed up, our new neighbors have moved in and they don't seem to like their clothing.
The first day they moved in I said, "Hey, Al, there's a lady in her bra across the courtyard." He got excited until he realized maybe she wasn't his first choice of all the French ladies to see in her bra -- but bra pickin's are slim around here so he pulled up a chair and I popped him some popcorn.
We've seen both man and woman in their underwear many, many times since. More chairs, more popcorn. They're not the most attractive people in the world but what the hell, we don't have anything better to do since our cable TV still -- even after three years of complaining -- loses the sound every five minutes.
Here's a picture of my head. It's not possible to capture the brilliance of this new haircolor in a photograph. It's red, but with dazzling areas of orange and blonde. I have no idea what it looks like on your computer monitor, but trust me when I say in bright sunlight I look like a candle wearing a scarf and skinny jeans.
I'm going on vacation in a few days. I hope to check in with the posse during vacation because I want to show you pictures of where we are, and pictures of the guy's couch we're going to have to beg to sleep on for a night or two because we're going to an island with no hotel and few inhabitants. I love traveling without children -- we can be all "who gives a crap where we sleep or when we eat" again.
Ima go egg wash something!