Category Archives: Switzerland

Tic Tacs are the Mint of All Evil

Yesterday, Tic Tac USA condemned Donald Trump’s use of their products to “score” with women.

tic-tacs

Today, I have my own Tic Tac crime to report.  I firmly believe that without Tic Tacs, Donald Trump would not be the scumbag he is today.

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An International Life of Crime

When we got Cooper in 1998, we owned a Toyota Picnic, a little six seat van not available in the U.S.  It was kind of a vomit van, actually, because it was well known to induce vomiting by anyone who traveled with us.  We kept a large supply of cleaning supplies with us at all times.

Anyway, I read an article about how, if you stop suddenly, while traveling at 60 mph, a 50 lb Springer Spaniel dog — exactly MY DOG will travel significantly faster as he flies through the car.  He will, in fact, become a projectile and might end up killing your kid.

Now I liked the dog a lot even at that early stage.  But I didn’t really relish the idea of the dog killing my kid to whom I was quite attached.  So, to scorn and jeers from John, I bought Cooper a special doggie seat belt that attached to the seatbelt of the seat behind the driver’s.

Cooper, however, did not approve.  I presume I hadn’t adequately educated him on the importance of self-restraint.  Because he ate his restraint.  In fact, he had started eating the seatbelt too when I realized what was happening and released the rebel.  He then happily sat wherever he wanted in the back of the vomit van.

Fortunately, Cooper hadn’t really done much damage to the seatbelt.  There were only a few bites taken out of it; it worked perfectly well and was not a safety hazard.

But when we moved across the border into France a couple of years later, well, we had to have the car inspected.  And the French car inspectors are famous for flunking Americans.  According to my husband, anyway.  I faced the villains alone.

Now, before you jump all over my husband for sending me into the lion’s den, well there is something you should know.  My husband cannot lie.  He cannot stretch the truth.  He cannot exaggerate.  Worse in this case, he would not have been able to restrain himself from explaining to the inspector that it really was not a safety issue.

Me, well, I’m different.  I grew up getting away with high crimes and misdemeanors.  I rarely got caught, and when I did, well, I got out of it. I’ve had practice.

So whenever we needed to deal with the French government, well, it was all up to me.

I drove to wherever it was, produced my paperwork, and waited my turn.  Truthfully, I was nervous.  I didn’t want to have to spend $1 zillion replacing a seat belt (car repairs in Switzerland/France are tres cher).  So I fidgeted with the container of mints in my pocket.  Tic Tacs.

When my turn came, I was outside with the inspector, chatting to him.  He was a young guy, and was nice and helpful as I tried to have a chatty conversation with him in my pigeon French. In fact, he couldn’t have been nicer to me.

Plus, the car was in great shape, clean and nearly perfectly maintained.  He found nothing wrong on the outside.  Then he opened the front passenger side, and tested the seat belt.  He closed the door and went to the rear passenger seat, and tested that one.

I started to sweat.  The chewed one was next.

He went around and opened the rear driver’s side door.  And that’s when I did it.

“Tic Tac?” I asked him, holding out the container.

“Oui, merci, madame,” he responded, closing that door without looking at the damaged seat belt.  He took a Tic Tac, and proceeded to inspect the driver’s seat belt.

My car passed inspection with flying colors.

And I continued to live a life of crime in France, just outside of Geneva for two more years.

*****

This is a replay of an old story. But How could I resist in light of the news about Donald Trump and how he was forced to be a cad and a boor and a truly disgusting human being.

Because of Tic Tacs.

tic-tacs-2Google Image

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This Really Gets My Goat

Do you ever want to pack it all in?  Shed these mortal coils?  Have an out of body experience?  Do you get so bored that you fantasize foreign travel, hanging out with a group of friends who won’t pester you with questions, eating a steady diet of fresh picked food, and drinking water from a mountain stream?

My inability to do that for a whole host of reasons, well, it really gets my goat.

But I think I can honestly say that when I consider having out of body experiences, when I think of packing it in, and when I contemplate shedding these mortal coils, I can’t even approach, neigh, fathom what Thomas Thwaite did.

Part of me sees the attraction.  After all, remember, I spent five years living in Switzerland.  And when you climb those mountains, your heart and soul expand.  You have what I dubbed Julie Andrews Moments where you want to sing with joy.  I can honestly say that I’d love to go back and spend some time there in those mountains.

But there are limits to how I’d like to go.  With whom I’d like to spend time.  And what I would like to wear when I get there.

For example, I do not want to imitate Thomas Thwaites.  He became a goat hung out on a mountainside.  With a herd of goats.  Eating grass.

There’s an article in the Washington Post about Thomas the Goat Man.  How he developed a prosthesis that enabled him to walk like a goat.  The challenges he faced.  The cold.  How he felt that human kind was progressing towards robotics, and he wanted to go a different way.  So he became a goat.

This video, read by a robo-caller, tells the rest of the story.  You can watch it and hear the story for yourself.  Or you can mute it, and watch a man in weird costume eat grass.  Your choice.

 

I can’t help wondering if the little goats used to laugh and call him names.  Did they let poor Thomas play in any goatherd games?

 

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