Monday, June 18, 2007

A moment on the bus

On the Number 70 bus, heading back from Hotel de Ville, I was happy to find a seat. Actually, I sat in a place prioritaire, to be ceded to personnes agées or mamans avec enfants. Fortunately for my tired feet, no senior citizens or young mothers were on board, so I reveled briefly in my good luck. A young woman sitting across from me was engrossed in a phone conversation and I stared blankly out the window.

Suddenly my fellow passenger jerked her head back, startled, and I saw why. Dancing down the inside of the window between us was a one-inch wasp, looking for lunch. Not wanting to be any guêpe's pincushion, I sprang into action. In very unladylike fashion I removed my ballerina flat from my right foot and -- thwack! -- the nasty little critter was history.

Incredulous, my bus-mate stopped her phone conversation for a moment and gave a smiling thumbs up. Then she resumed again, explaining, "Non, non, ça va. I was just witnessing un crime. Un crime de guêpe." (A pun on "un crime de guerre," a war crime.)

I added, "Oui, un guêpicide?"

A round of muffled guffaws rose from the supposedly non-eavesdropping fellow passengers who were packed around us.

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