The first time I saw one of these bikes in person, was in 1975, the summer after third grade. A kid in the next neighbor over cruised down 38th Street astride this god-like bike, taking his time and making sure we ALL saw what this lucky little fucker’s parents bought him. I hated that kid so much. These were OUR streets, and our bikes sucked! How dare he!?
I never got the Schwinn of my dreams, but I took some satisfaction in learning that this kid was a bully and his dad was complete asshole.
You want a good cup of coffee? Yeah, well, take my advice. Don’t use a French press. Just…don’t. You know why? ‘Cause they suck. They’ve always sucked, and they always will suck. And I don’t wanna hear, “You have to measure the grounds just right” or, “You have to remember to grind them coarse” or, “You have to use filtered water.” It doesn’t matter. The coffee will make you hate French people. So, from now on, here at chez Rapoport, we’re serving coffee how it’s SUPPOSED to be served…um, if you’re a hosting a Tupperware party…in 1972. 'Cause Tupperware is cool, parties are cool, and percolated coffee is the coolest.
These gals are members of the French Maquis. Here they are posing with their rifles and pistols in 1944 after attacking the Nazi garrison at Marseille. But, who are they?
(From: Left to Right) First up is Bernadette. She’s the den mother of these gals. And that’s her “go-to” outfit. The Maquis men are terrified of her, and rightly so. And the Nazis? Oh, they know all about her. In fact, Nazi headquarters refers to her as “Der Schottenkaro Ochse” (“The Tartan Ox”).
Next to her is Josette. Josette is wearing wedges. She’s all like, “I like them!!”. So, she wears them to KILL NAZIS. Poor Josette never laughs. Ever. She’s promised that she “will not laugh until every Nazi invader is dead and buried.” She suffers no fools. And unfortunately, standing behind her is a fool.
There in the middle, and behind the gals, is Mathilde. Mathilde doesn’t get a gun. She gets a flag. Why doesn’t she get a gun? Well…there was an incident.
Standing in the center, sporting her white satchel, is Agathe. Agethe wears black. For, she is in mourning. Her husband, Claude, was killed when a “not supposed to be dangerous” mission got badly fouled-up. (Let’s just say, Mathilde had something to do with it). That white satchel of Agethe’s is filled with plastic explosives. But they’re not for the Nazis. Nope. She’s saving them. For Mathilde. Poor Mathilde.
Ah, yes. Sabine. Everyone loves Sabine! Naive? Perhaps. Simple? Somewhat. Eager? Oh my god, yes! She’s also the group’s mascot…a mascot sniper who can take out a Nazi office from 500 yards! Vive La France!!! The stock of her rifle has a hash-mark for each Nazi she’s killed. In this picture, the count is up to 247.
And last is Colette. Colette’s rifle stock is also filled with hash marks. But they don’t signify Nazis killed. No. See, Colette, and her white wedges…and earings…and lipstick…and mascara…knows a lot of the men in the Maquis (and, according to some of the gals, a few men in the German army). Her hash-mark count is up to 1,275.
Seriously, just stop. Are you kidding? Come on! First of all, she’s a French Partisan, and she’s probably seventeen. And that MP-40 slung over her shoulder? That’s a German submachine gun. Which means the poor Kraut who did own it is probably dead, and has no idea whose hands it’s in now. Oh, and can we talk about that blouse? She’s wearing that in combat….with denim shorts. AndMessieurs, seriously, don’t even think about it. Do yourself a favor, and just walk away. She’s not interested. She’s engaged to this Maquis leader who’s off blowing up railroad tracks in Southern France. And he’ll be back. And when he gets back, he’s gonna marry that girl.
Every once in a while (though it seems like it’s been decades) a band, a sound, a new wave comes around where substance and form are on equal footing. When proficiency and creativity conspire to make something fresh and meaningful…and uneasy for the mainstream. Something that fills a void. Maybe the nostalgic punk in me is too romantic and can’t let go of the past, when music seemed dangerous and important…and mattered…but at least this happened once upon a time. And it still gives me the same chills….
"Alright, what the hell am I gonna make for dinner?….It’s butt-ass hot outside, so, maybe something light?…Like, fish?….Yeah, fish would be nice…Oooh, maybe with, like, an orzo salad, or a, like, a rice pilaf?…Wait, did you just say "rice pilaf"!? Jesus christ, why don’t you just whip up some Ratatouille? …Rice pilaf!?…Who’re you, Rhoda!? …Idiot…OK….Well, wait a minute!….I could do a potato dish…Like, a potato salad with, like, a light dressing, and maybe some fresh herbs in there…Dude, I don’t wanna make a potato salad…Fuck…Oh, man, but you know what is good?! Scalloped potatoes…Oh yeah, totally…Wait, I think I need cheese for that….and cream….Oooh, some Gruyère would be awesome…Dude, what the fuck happened to eating light? And salmon? Really? You went with salmon?? Salmon is the loaded potato skins of the marine world…Oh, my god….Loaded potato skins??…OK, I’m in trouble….”