I find it hard to believe that I’ve only just got round to reviewing Dents de Lait.
In fact, I had to check (twice) to make sure that I hadn’t already done so.
It’s another one of those blogs that I seem to have grown up with and, if even if I don’t read it every day, I’ve certainly checked in at least once a month since I started blogging myself, way back in 2006.
In a way, Dents de Lait should be classified as a Paris blog as most of the action takes places there.
But, I’ve put it in the Midi-Pyrénées section because that’s where Aralena now lives with her French hubby and baby (in Toulouse, to be exact.)
So, who is Aralena and what is she doing in France?
Well, she does admit to being Mama Grrrrrrizzly sometimes!
Where to start? With the Dog’s Poo, of course……
Only two mentions, you’ll be glad to hear.
And no, I’m not obsessed by the matter (even if I have looked into to doing guided Canine Cadeaux tours of that great city!), it’s just that it does seem such an easy starting point for any blog review that mentions Paris (even just once or twice.)
In J’aime mon quartier, ils ramassent Aralena describes how she … “came frighteningly close to stepping in piles of, or smears of, or unsympathetic pellets of dog turd.”
And then just to make my day she tells of a teenager who was not so lucky… “he cried out, “Agh! J’ai marché dedans!” followed by snickering from his skinny friends as he scraped his crappy Converse along the sidewalk.”
Pure poetry and what a great way to start the day!
And in It’s a bird! It’s a plane! she admits that she “nearly stepped in a pile of cadeau de caniche“ on her way to work when she was distracted by a poster describing a Grandmother Pageant!
It’s all exciting stuff when you live in the City of Lights, isn’t it?
I was rather hoping for some rude bits….
And I did find a few.
In a way I’d rather that Aralena hadn’t shown us the photo of the man dressed in a farmgirl’s outfit (think Laura Ingells rather than Laura Ashley) in the strangely titled Happy Halloween!
But she did and it’s too late for me to forget it now.
Should I ever visit Paris again, I’ll make sure that not only am I wearing my fishing waders (for Canine Cadeaux reasons) but I’l also studiously avoid looking in any shop windows!
For all I know though, he may have been Just a Sweet Transvestite? Who knows? I just don’t intend finding out!
Then again, there’s always Porn – Keeping the media on its toes? Adult entertainment they call it. I’m not sure how entertaining it all is but then I’m, by no stretch of the imagination, anything nearly resembling an adult!
I could, it has to be said, be tempted to join the Pleasure Party.
I’m all in favour of pleasure.
The pleasure of eating pig’s trotters or andouillette!
The joys of slowly sucking a frog’s leg or gently nibbling a garlic laden snail!
I’d certainly vote for any party that made those such things mandatory!
But there must be some normal bits?
And certainly there are.
Ty les fous is a beautifully written travelogue about a sejour to wonderful Brittany. It details the cultural heritage of that great region of France and explains, in detail, the mores, norms, virtues and values of the indigenous population and their impact on modern philosophy.
Well, actually it doesn’t; instead it concentrates more on “drinking cidré (among other appelation d’origine contrôlée libations), spending inordinate amounts of time shrieking Uno! and fighting over what constitutes “intempestif” behavior; eating copious amounts of meat and potatoes and practicing archery, karting, bowling, and tree-top destruction.”
Oh, and also sitting around on tuchases a lot.
And, if that’s not typical Breton behaviour, I’d like to know what is?
By the way, what’s a Tuchase?
But, in an afternoon of deeply scientific sociological observations, entitled The Man on the Terrace, Aralena manages to sum up the inhabitants of Paris better than anyone since Emperor Valentinian I stopped by for a quick visit, rather a long time ago.
To know Paris is to think of….
A grumpy elderly beret wearing gent griping about a moving van parked on the sidewalk;
An emaciated alcoholic whose ability to speak was impaired and who clearly had reached the stage of alcoholism where liquor replaces solids;
Many probably-tourists on the new Vélib bikes nearly careening with on-coming traffic;
A young woman wearing a billowy red caftan, on a bike, with a large pit bull;
A young mother pushing her newborn in a stroller, audibly tsking the young woman with the unleashed pit bull;
A veritable chain of female visitors, of all ages, shapes and sizes, chatting up the rumpy elderly beret wearing gent.
So, no need for me to visit Paris now. I’ve met everyone there!
Now, where’s my beret and what’s that bloody moving van doing parked on the sidewalk!
And, if that’s not enough about the inhabitants of Paris, in Public Property we get a mention of a woman staring at Aralena’s swollen belly (swollen because she was pregnant at the time; not because she had given into any Breton tendencies that she might have picked up and, as a result, overdosed on Pig’s Trotters and Andouillettes!) and achieving spontaneous orgasm on a side-street cafe.
Strange people, these Parisians, I’ve always said that!
I’m not going to mention Professor Simbo because he’s probably already predicted that I won’t and, there’s no point in trying to worry you about your next Pizza delivery by telling you about The Dancing Mouse; if you’ve ever watched Fawlty Towers (the Basil the Rat episode) you’ll understand why not!
So, it’s on to….
Party, party, party…..
Mental age aside, I fear I may well be getting to old for all that partying stuff!
We’ve all been to a Grab a Granny night at the local disco (or, for those girls who haven’t… you will one day!)
Aralena wisely says… “I need to form a pact with a girlfriend: if at 40 I find myself in a mega-boîte, gyrating lustily on a young drunk dude’s thigh, a Virginia Slim sticking to my lip, in a leopard-print bodysuit, please shoot me.”
I think I need to do the same!
So, if any of you see me even looking like I’m about to do the same, make it quick and make it painless; I thank you in advance!
Anyway, in Le Coq Festif we get asked that age old question… “What is about the French male species that, when examined as a lone specimen, represents the zenith of gentility, romance, and sophistication (wink, wink)… but when put in a group of 3 or more regresses into a bragging, bellowing, booze-imbibing homo erectus imbecillus?”
I don’t know the answer I’m afraid but I do know that most of the restaurateurs of Montparnesse are thinking about shutting up shop after hearing about Aralena’s little night out at the Korean barbecue restaurant “that we bombarded” in the Bastille; and who could blame them?
I wonder if Aralena was wearing her leopard-print bodysuit?
So, summing up….
There’s really every reason to visit Dents de Lait.
If you’ve never dodged Dog’s Poop in Paris whilst wearing a leopard-print bodysuit, having people watched all afternoon, you’ll probably be wondering what the attraction is and, do you have to pay to join in?
And, of course, if, like most people, you’ve already done all that stuff (and got the tee-shirt), you’ll enjoying reminiscing about your youth!
Of course, for me there is one overwhelming reason to visit Dents de Lait…
And that is, to answer Aralena’s ultimate and most thought provoking question… Do I smell French yet?
So, take my advice, watch out for doggy poop and women wearing leopard-print bodysuits and pop over to Dents de Lait for a good deep sniff!
And me? Well, at last, after all these years, I’ve found someone who’s almost as messy an eater as me!
Bib? Check. Splatter sheet on the floor? Check. Wet weather gear? Check. Goggles? Check.
And away we go…
All the best