Jumping over the lazy dog

or, taking the bull by the horns.

Who chases after a convict?

Granted, The Tall One isn’t really a convict, and also, granted, the fellow couldn’t know that, but do you seriously think, as a drunk/high, short, black dude, that you’re going to get three American ladies to your “very big house” in Paris at 11PM on a Monday night?

Ok, rewind.

It was a calm and totally un-stormy night.  There are whispers – no, ardent shouts – of a grève tomorrow, and even though that means I have to be  up at 5:30AM tomorrow, I decided to join The Tall One and The Accomplice on a night on the town.  Well, when our attempts to go to a Scottish pub and watch a game over a pint were thwarted, we wandered down Rue St. Denis and ended up at a very nice café by the Pompidou Center (whose plaza, incidentally, is where I was almost peed-on by a drunkard two summers ago…).

This was a good decision, at first. The waiter was very nice, we shared a pot (not quite a bottle) of Brouilly, a nice, smooth red that is slightly swishy and has a bit of a tang (like my fancy wine vocab, there?), une carafe d’eau (order this at a French restaurant if you want free water, not the pricey Evian stuff) and some jaunty conversation.  An hour or so later, the waiter comes around asking us to pay the addition he had so kindly left at our table and not so subtly attempting to usher us out the door.  Well, The Accomplice still had half a glass to drink, and we weren’t done talking about song playing in the background, so we lingered.

Bad decision.

Cue: drunk dude who speaks “a small” English.  Who plops himself down in the empty chair beside me, and proceeds to tell us about his “big house” that he shares with his sister, and how we’re welcome to accompany him back to stay in his four bedrooms.  At first, we entertained ourselves by listening to The Tall One regale him with tales of her convict life in America, where she killed a man and now has no choice but to stay in Paris.  And then we decided to get lost.

But we couldn’t. Because this Don Juan was a persistent little bugger.

We exited the café and turned the corner, with our friend in pursuit.  For a drunk guy, he sure was quick. I thought, at first, he was several meters behind us, but before we knew it, he was grabbing The Accomplice’s bum and The Tall One was sprinting off ahead with my stumpy legs in pursuit. The whole time, this guy is blathering on in broken English.  By this point, we’re running (well, run-walking, that awkward skip-step you take, when you’re not sure if you want to be sprinting just yet) down a relatively-major street, I’m wondering how much Karate I remember from my 3rd-grade classes and why I don’t carry pepper spray, when The Accomplice yelps, “Get into a bar!”

We duck into the first one we find, and good thing – it turned out to house some really swell guys.  Slamming the door in our pursuer’s face (as well as a swinging glass door can be slammed), we huddled by the bar, our hearts thumping and our awkward entrance gathering curious looks from the locals we seem to have interrupted.  The drunk fellow leaned on the swinging door and promptly fell to the floor, face-down, on what was probably marble. It would have been funny if I wasn’t so scared.

One gentleman took a look out the door. “Is he with you?” he asked in French.  “Non.” We shook our heads vehemently. He stepped outside with his friend and I assume had a bit of a talking to with the dude, but I was a bit too terrified to notice what he was saying.  In any case, he bought us some time and we slipped out a side-door, shouting our “Merci beaucoup!” as we sprinted to the nearest Metro stop.

In the relative safety of the underground (relative because there are definitely some creeps wandering the Metro at night), we had a giggle about our near-something experience. I know city-living is something to get used to, and man was this something. Lest I have scared you potential Paris visitors, I’ll have you know that I still absolutely adore this city, and I suppose you must take these shenanigans in stride. At the very least, it makes for an entertaining blog entry.

Speaking of, I, for one, am curious to see how this eventful night appears on The Tall One’s blog. I also find it interesting that this occurs the week I choose to discuss Halloween with my kids at school.  Now I have a real-life creepy story to share…

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