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Le Crazy Man

FRANCE | Monday, 1 October 2007 | Views [798] | Comments [7]

Just a quick note for all of you who are wondering if there are crazy people in France... yes.

The other evening, Alex and I were returning home from some assortment of Parisian things, when we sat down on the train. The trains in Paris have seats that face each other in sets of four, and Alex and I slided in front of a large, muscular man with three or four necklaces. He smiled at Alex.

So the train pulls out of the station, and Mr. Smiley, less than a foot away from me, pulls out a small pocket knife and with a flick, opens it. He eyes the blade, thumbs it several times, and then runs it across the top of a small paper package. Okay, I thought... he just needed to open the package. My knees and groin area are safe from stabbing.

So he folds the knife and puts it away, and turns the small paper package over so that its contents may fall into his hand. What falls out? Another pocket knife, twice as big. Needless to say at this point I put my backpack in my lap and planned my escape. He proceeded to thumb this larger, sharper blade, until he was seemingly satisfied with it's killability. No, not satisfied yet, he realized. He sliced the paper package. Again and again, he slashes this small piece of paper, each time inspecting the paper wound his new toy has left behind.

Now, Alex and I are watching most of this through the corner of our eyes and the reflection in the glass, but I assure you he was enjoying his little series of sharpness tests quite a bit.

He finally establishes that yes, his new knife can cut through paper, and he folds it up. He reaches into his backpack and pulls out... a plastic bag containing a knife magazine. He looked at the cover for a moment and I guess it inspired him.

He set the magazine aside and took the plastic bag it was in and started slashing at it. He made a long gouge across the middle and decided his knife could also cut through plastic. So he finally puts away the dang butcher knife. We sigh relief.

Then he starts rummaging through his backpack again. Alex leans over and whispers to me (in Spanish) that if he pulls out a third knife, we are moving seats. Luckily for us, it was not another weapon but an entire book of said devices. He thumbed through the pages of assault and hunting knives until we reached our stop. That was the longest train ride yet (9 minutes in actuality) and is the last time we will sit next to les crazies. Next time we're gonna move after knife one.

Tags: Misadventures



Ohhhh I wish your brother Daniel had been there.
He is very good at self defense.

I would prefer that both you and Alex live at the very least until we see what I am going to be when I grow up. Has anyone taught you a word like...um...gendarme?

...Or did we just hire that guy so you guys would finally post something.


  Richard King Oct 2, 2007 7:08 AM


I thought I would never hear a scarier story than the one about leaving your credit card at the grocery but this one comes very VERY close.

  Rrrricardo Oct 2, 2007 11:39 AM


That event that you just described sounds like a normal day as a teacher. Each morning I am supposed to stand at the door and ask them if they have a weapon, if they don't I hand them one.
The only difference is that instead of just watching Le Crazy Man (or Woman), I start pulling out my knifes and we compare them.
Overall it makes for an exciting day.

  Spanky Oct 2, 2007 11:45 AM


Are you two nuts? Why would you sit there all that time and Andrew do you really think material is stronger than steel that has a deadly point on it, have you never played rock paper scissors (or in your case knife) and pray tell why did you cover your lap you are suppose to protect Shannon! Remember, knight in shinning armour and all that hero stuff? Of course they have nuts over there, crazy does not limit itself to race, creed, color or age, or even sexual preference. It has no boundries. I knew I should have packed coco in her bag, he would have taken care of the nut case. I really do not need to hear this as a knife is just one step away from a bomb. Ok let's get serious here, did you have any bread and cheese with you, maybe he was just letting you know that he had a knife that could slice and dice all the food products that you guys had in your play bag as we know you don't get them at the store. You know maybe he had you figured for Texans and you should have pointed your finger and said "bang". Please take care of yourselves and each other. Do they have self defense classes there? And Andrew don't you know chi-tee or something like that, didn't that teach you how to unarm the nuts if you forget your knife for a knife fight? And Annie I was so happy to see your input on the last update on our world travlers. Good to have you back, you and Richard are how I get through this time without our youngsters here to keep me busy, plus you guys make me laugh. And being 51 who knows how many I have left? Was it night time when you guys were on this train, as you know the full moon and nighttime are when they surface, so please watch the moon and the time of day you travel in close quarters. Shannon you do know that whispering is considered rude and speaking in a language that is not understood by all could be construed as really bad manners, and besides he may have thought you two were planning on doing something to him, did you ever think of that. And Richard ask a really good question if we all pooled our money and contacts we could have hired him so you would post as you do go quite awhile between them and we would like them more often, something to really think about. Stay safe both of you and let us hear from you often. love and miss you both. mom

  mardi Oct 2, 2007 12:03 PM


Andrew,you should have severly repremanded Mr.Slide and dice and reminded him that bags in France cost money, and his wastefulness with the plastic and paper could well cost a tree it's life, and if you ever saw him do that again, you would have to turn him over your knee and give him a severe thrashing. (then promply run like hell.)
Should you think the preceeding course of action unwise, you might find it more practical to be a bit more selective about where you park your butt. also I would suggest you start carrying a magazine about Mercinaries and another one from Guns and Ammo.

  luther parker Hinesly Oct 2, 2007 12:37 PM


ok as i have reread this posting i have but one thing to say, shannon i want to hear your take on it. the 2 things that might have altered andrews version is 1: "he smiled at shannon" and 2: andrew describes him as "big and muscular" while he describes himself as "knees and groin" and while describing the knife's going from small to twice the size and ending with it being a butcher knife size, i do belive andrew's mind may have made more of this than it actually was, so shannon please give us your take on the incident. i have been watching the dog whisperer and in it he tells you, you must become the leader of the pack. he points his finger at the offender and makes a harsh sshhh sound, works everytime, if the need arises you might try that. or andrew one of the best defense is a good offense, so if you think someone is crazy show them what crazy is really like. to get you in the moment just thing of someone trying to give you a dr. thunder or mr. pibb and stating that it is just like a dr. pepper in taste and probably taste better. that should get you snarling and foaming. and trust me i've seen you in that state and it should convince everyone that you a bigger nut than they are. love you both mom

  mardi Oct 3, 2007 1:44 AM


Andrew, I regret to inform you that you do not speak enough spanish to claim that you understood: "If he pulls out another knife we are moving seats."

Pulease. We all know all you can say is taco.

  Danmark Oct 3, 2007 10:51 PM

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