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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Let Them Have Their Cake - French Mobs

Tydus and I went to the Minnesota Timberwolves home opener last night. I have season tix with a friend of mine who coincidentally needed to be out of state yesterday.

This worked out good for my son.

So the 2 of us, watched the the game, the auditorium was packed to the rafters, and our home town squad just barely lost to a team that is considered by many to be one of the leagues top contenders.

So after the tilt is over, we shuffled back over to the Macy's parking ramp where a certain bread truck was revved up and waiting for us to vacate.

But when we entered the Macy's lobby, there was about a million people waiting in front of the elevators. Everyone was in a hurry because every minute you waste in transition will turn into 15 minutes that you will end up spending in a vehicular log jam.

So now we are in the elevator. Tydus pushes the "D" button, and people keep pushy,smooshing, piling in....a woman shouts out....

"My God, will you people be careful, you are crushing my child!"

When the doors prepared to shut, perhaps it was good that we were packed liked sardines. There was booze on the breath of many of my co passengers, and I'll bet w/o flesh balancing rods to lean up against....more than one of these "enthusiast's" would have been face down in the gutter.

The door shut.

BEEP-BEEP-BEEP goes the warning siren.

Our lift is over it's weight capacity, the doors reopen, Tydus turns to me and says......

"Enough of these savages."

Then he smiles, get off. I join him and watch him smile some more as he slides his hands into the pockets of his "P" coat.

"Sonny Boy, our chivalry is going to tack on an additional 1/2 hour in the ramp you know."

Tydus lined his eyes with the elevator floor lights and responded with a Paul Newman - matter of fact like responce.

"I'd rather wait all night in the ramp than subject myself to those freaks, that elevator was riddled with bandits anyway."

So eventually we make it to the bread truck.

The both of us hop in, I turn on the Wolves post game report, and while the announcer continues raving about Ricky Rubio's NBA debut, my son goes into that mode where he embraces his best friend....his smart phone.

Tick-Tock goes the clock.

The line of cars resembles a dead snake, it doesn't even have a pulse.

Tydus starts laughing and informs me that it appears he missed a riot by just a couple of hours earlier in the day while he was out at the Mall Of America.

Apperently a rumor started that Hip-Hop sensation "Little Wayne" was going to be out there with "Drake" and when peeps figured out that this wasn't going to go down.....gang members started throwing chairs in the food court.

The Mall went on shut down.

My son laughed in disbelief as he witnessed the carnage on You Tube.

Tick Tock goes the clock.....the line still won't move.

You gotta figure that there are 8 or 9 levels on this ramp. Each level has at least 100 vehicles trying to desend at the same time.

Down at the bottom there are only 3 toll booth people taking money.

When you factor in that the attnedants don't really give a crap because they get paid by the hour, with the fact that 1/2 the people who are complaining don't have the presence of mind to have the proper change ready when they reach the attendant......

The result shouldn't be all that surprising.

22 minutes have now passed, and we are still stuck on level "D".

Then it happened, almost like a lone snipers shot, off in the distance, from a different ramp level some unpatient soul blasts their horn...

HONNNNNNNNNNK - HONNNNNNNNNNK, and then there is silence for 3-2-1 and then in unison, a choir of car horns join in........


If my life depended on it, and I had to estimate, I'll bet 75% of the drivers on that ramp participated in this audible mutiny.

Tydas and I just shook our heads in disgust, we were ashamed to have any possible link with these people, it was even embarrassing to share a species with them.


At this point I couldn't help but laugh at the countenance of my fellow ramp dwellers.

Tydus has always enjoyed history, so I used our current circumstances to mirror a happening from the past that intrested me.

OK...this is me talking......

"Did you know that when Marie Antoinette said LET THE PEOPLE HAVE THEIR CAKE that she was actually wasn't reffering to cake?"

Tydus looked up, he didn't say anything, but just getting "the glance" was his way of saying that he wouldn't hate me if I continued.

"Yeah, at this point there was economic upheaval across France, and more particularly Paris. People were pissed because all the money was in the hands of.... like 5% of the populace.

It wasn't like it is here today in America, where we complain about corperate greed....and then go home to plasma TV's and 3 cars.

No, at this time your typical French person was considered lucky to even bring food home to place on their dinner table, and on those lucky days...more often than not the stuff they brought home was crap.

The word cake is kinda bogus, I don't know how it ever got translated that way....maybe they wanted Marie to come across more like a diva, but the proper transliteration would be "brioche".

"Let the people have their brioche." is what she really said.

Americans find this difficult to understand as well.

Brioche has surprisingly never pierced our counties bread culture.

Basically we started off with sourdough concepts and then that kinda segued into enriched breads, which in turn got swapped out for multi grain and whole wheat concepts.

But in France, during that time, brioche was what it was all about.

Brioche is primarily comprised of eggs, butter, milk and often times honey. Just think of the ingredient cost.

The middle class was outraged because their brioche often times was simply weak flour, water, yeast and maybe salt if they were lucky.

So in some ways this traditional French loaf of bread was viewed as an etitlement by the entire nation.

The officials tried to pacify the mob be selling them a story that ingredients were scarce because of this reason and that, but when the cover was blown off and the commoners found out that in all actuality the butter,milk and eggs were being hoarded by nobles and dignitaries...well let's just say compliance was lost, and something hit the fan."

Even though my son is 20, I do enjoy throwing some of my tribal wisdom at him every once in a while.

I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that I thought my parable of greed and mob mentality was impressive.

But my kid can be quiet at times, so sometimes you have to pull accolades out of him.

Just as I was about to cast a line in that area, Tydus looks up at me, you could see in his eyes that he was oblivious to my most recent rant, and instead of praising papas knowledge, he simply closed with.....

"Dude,here's an excellent You Tube fight video from the mall today, you gotta check this out, it's killer."

I guess a fathers job is never done.

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