The Conspiracy of Flop

photo: no crosswalks, denfert

Some Paris intersections simply do without
any crosswalks.

'Trade Secrets' of Obstacles Revealed

Email from Eva Lee. Sent via the Internet on Wednesday, 13. December 2000:-

Dear Ric,

I don't want to undermine any feeling of stupidity or clumsiness or inattention you may be enjoying after your 'Frontal Pratfall' and subsequent encasement in a leg cast which I learned about from lovely Linda Thalman who will transmit an in-person hug to you for me, but - I must, as a loyal and occasionally card-carrying member of the Café Metropole Club - let you in on what has heretofore been a 'trade secret.'

Unknown to most pedestrians, speed bumps, yellow lines, cracks in pavement, curb stones, cobblestones, macadamed parking lots and all steps, however insignificant, have unreckoned volition.

Like rocks and garden gnomes, they appear to be inert. However, they can and do puff themselves up and change form, at will. Often the change is imperceptible to the uninitiated.

The amount of change may vary depending on their age, experience, location and/or determination. No one - no humans - know exactly whyphoto: eva lee they do it, nor when they will do it, nor how much or how often they do it. Whether it is done for spite or pay-backs for a long forgotten, perhaps inadvertent kick to a distant relative, or on a schedule or just at random or for fun or out of boredom, or to test their tripping skills, no one knows.

Eva Lee, in person at the Café Metropole Club meeting on 19. October.

No one knows if it is done under orders or on individual initiative. But experienced personal injury lawyers, paralegals, court reporters and certain medical personnel could tell you - things that get walked on will suddenly swell up, change shape, expand, contort, push upwards or outward to assault a foot, push up an arch, stick under a heel, jut in front of a well shod toe and make you fall down.

I have been a 'witness' to the accounts, re-telling and testimony of hundreds of such cases - and Marilyn Burke can also vouch for the overwhelming amount of testimony on record concerning this footbed of clandestine activity.

After one has heard the details of hundreds and hundreds of these incidents of overground mischief, marauding and mayhem, one cannot but come to the realization there is something more than coincidence and personal clumsiness 'at foot' here.

Trying to 'get to the bottom' of this fall-down phenomena, we realize there are facts in common to most of these incidents -

1. It happens suddenly
2. to perfectly healthy people
3. who are 'watching where they're going'
4. not wearing spindly high heels (how come it never happens to them?)
5. not carrying view-blocking bundles, and
6. by and large they are people with lots of walking experience.

The preponderance of the evidence points to the conclusion that 'more likely than not' you were yetphoto: crosswalks, rain another victim of the little-known- and-less-understood phenomena of semi-passive attack by the nefarious and devious footbed predators.

'Professionally-made' crosswalks can be more slippery than none at all.

Special forces of trained observers will continue surveillance. Your experience will be recorded and analyzed in the continuing search for patterns of behavior that may lead to a break-through in prediction of fall-down attempts and occurrences. (At present it is unknown whether it is the clumsy attempts of unskilled novices which only make people trip but not fall, or if it is failed attempts, rusty skills, or sweet compassion by seasoned professionals.)

Meanwhile, I wish you Tranquility and send you an e-hug to help the healing,

Eva Lee

'E-hugs' Unattached

Bonjour Eva,

Paris:- Friday, 14. November:- Thank you for your valuable insights regarding the problem of deranged speed bumps, yellow lines, cracks in pavement, curb stones, cobblestones, macadamed parking lots and all steps - as well as escalators.

I have looked carefully at your email and cannot find the attached 'e-hug.' The server-lady Linda Thalman also neglected to forward one to me, although she has sent several email 'bisous.'

It is a great relief to know that I didn't 'trip' out of sheer clumsiness, but was the victim of an unprovokedphoto: pavements, cobbles attack by a rogue traffic-lane divider. I will inform my health insurance provider before they withdraw coverage, and I will go to the nearest police commissariat to lay charges 'contre X.'

Can you spot the 14 different danger areas here?

To all readers and club members who have been sending emails, cards, letters, e-cards, telegrams and postcards - I thank you. I think the leg is doing okay inside its cast where I can't see it. I miss seeing the knee as well as using it.

It is supposed to re-emerge on Friday, 29. December - just in time for me for me to learn a new sort of hobble for New Years Eve. Learning to walk around Paris again will be a great way to start the new millennium!
signature, regards, ric

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