I love imaginary Paris. I love the cafes, the art, the fashion, but mostly I thrive here because this is the famed city of French existentialism and moral relativism. I am comfortable here using the $5000 that I found in that imaginary wallet yesterday. Sure, I COULD have returned the wallet to the owner, but what’s going to happen to me now that I didn’t? Will God strike me down? Of course not. Not in a city where God is dead.
Imaginary Paris is at its finest in the spring. The flowers are blooming and the scent of perfume is the air. And the women? Oh, the women. I was in an imaginary tiny bakery in the 18th arrondissement just below Montmartre when I met Juliette. She had just finishing doing a fashion shoot for Paris Vogue across the street and was now enjoying a quick espresso. I immediately knew my reason for coming to Paris. I had to know this woman.
“Bonjour.” I said flirtatiously, deciding to open the conversation with a sure-shot French ice-breaker. “Excuse-moi, j’ai perdu mon numero de telephone. Est-ce que je peux emprunter le tien?” (Excuse me, I seem to have lost my phone number. Could I borrow yours?)
She smiled, wooed by my charm and wit. We chatted, at times in English, at times in French. We had some Parisian friends in common, including Elisabeth of La Coquette, Lauren of Maitress, and Tara of Paris Parfait. I made some jokes at the expensive of American culture and she laughed, her eyes twinkling. I offered her one of my Gitanes Brunes, and we enjoyed a smoke together. There was something very sexy about the way she smoked a cigarette. Like only a French woman could do.
I love imaginary Paris. Of course, there were some changes since the last time I was here. American chain stores had moved in. There was Starbucks. And Kentucky Fried Chicken. I even found a CVS Pharmacy right in Paris! I’m not a superstitious man, but I was half-expecting something bad to happen to me for using that $5000 dollars on my trip. But not in Paris. Nothing could destroy the magic of the City of Lights. In Paris, I was able to sit across from a beautiful model wearing a strapless Dior dress while dining at Le Grand Véfour, a restaurant nestled under the arches of the Palais Royal, overlooking a beautiful little park, at a romantic table once occupied by Colette and Victor Hugo and Jean Cocteau.
After dinner, I brought Juliette to my hotel room. She stood in front of me as I sat in bed. She danced for me a bit, swaying to a Carla Bruni song, then let her dress gently fall off her body. I felt a tinge of anxiety. Always neurotic and pessimistic, I figured this was the moment of bad karma. Here I would be with the most beautiful woman I’d ever met and because of my guilt over the $5000, I wouldn’t be able to get it up. But clearly this doomsday scenario didn’t occur. She looked at me and smiled. She slid next to me, purring.
“Avez-vous un préservatif?” (Do you have a condom?) she asked.
“Oui, I do.” I answered.
Luckily, before dinner, I slipped into that Parisian CVS Pharmacy and bought les condoms!
Within moments, Juliette and I were making passionate love. All I could hear was her heavy breathing and the pounding of the bed against the wall.
Or at least I thought it was the pounding of the bed against the wall.
In reality, it was the Paris police breaking down the door to my hotel room and an Interpol SWAT team smashing through the window. Apparently, when I bought the condoms at CVS Pharmacy, I used the CVS ExtraCare frequent shopper card from my wallet – but it wasn’t my card! It was the CVS card of Mr. Craig Tellerson of Studio City, CA, who had lost his wallet and $5000 cash while riding his bicycle in Redondo Beach.
“Fraud is a federal offense in France,” said the Parisian police officer.
Today, I am blogging from Devil’s Island in French Guiana, the first day of my 300 year prison sentence. On arrival, we greeted by the warden who said, “Welcome to the penal colony at Devil’s Island, whose prisoners you are, and from which there is no escape.”
While I enjoyed my date with the French model, this certainly was one expensive bill to pay. Take it from me, if you find a lost wallet, return it to the rightful owner. God is alive… and vengeful. C’est la vie!
Two years ago on Citizen of the Month: Clock and Crow