Silly Grins

Friday, October 4, 2013

33 Days: Day 15 - 33

...rorre .pmud kcats stack dump. error...

Improvised collaboration...

DAY 15

Ridiculous sun.  Beaching in the morning with Angela, in the afternoon we try a new scheme where Jean-Philipe (The Belgian dude) and I take a separate car to go to our beaches.  Translation:  no more annoying visits from boss guy Romu with his ridiculous attempts to motivate me because he's too busy with the other ice cream venders.  The down side is that I have to haul a cooler stuffed full of restock ice cream (this is all kept cool thanks to a pack of dry ice we keep in the coolers, by the way) down the trail to the beach, whereas before Romu would come by asking if I'd sold enough of anything to need a restock and get it out of a freezer he keeps in the back of his large child molester van.  Whatever, for less boss I'm willing to carry more weight.  

The day passes alright except that I step on a lit cigarette someone has graciously left in the sand while I'm touring around with the chariot, ow -- for a split second I had the impression that the sand was just extremely, inexplicably hot in one certain spot due to the sun.  Clint spends his time at the beach digging a huge hole in the sand, this attracts the wrathe of the lifeguards who come to complain saying that kids could fall in and get hurt, shucks.  Angela and I almost make French minimum wage today so we decide to go out for one of Bretagne's famous crepes afterward.  Yummy, and we steal a salt shaker from the restaurant since we're almost out at the house/tent.

DAY 16

More sun, no wind.  Being the 14th of July (vive la révolution yeah) this should be a blockbuster day...after an average morning hit the beach only to discover that there's practically no on[e] there.  I take advantage of this to swim with the little girls Cleo is babysitting, we find no sharks and Cleo watches my ice cream cart for me while we swim.  Angela, the younger of the two girls, takes to walking around with me and reminding me when I forget to advertise certain wares -- she has my schtick memorized.  An average day, finally.  Exhausted and a little disgusted when I realize I'm not even making minimum wage...pass out on an uncomfortable air mattress lent to us by Romu and wake up at 5 a.m., when asshole idiots in the next tent over have a half-hour long conversation searching for their pajamas and whoremoaning about rocks under their sleeping pads.

DAY 17


SHIT HOT.  Am late getting to the beach but sell everything in two hours (selling everything means you make about 45 euro).  Clint and the girls aren't at Herlin today.  Sun headaches and someone starts a fire in the camping behind the beach where I work, luckily it's nothing serious.  The seasonal works do another aperitif party but Clint comes by (his hotel is a five-minute walk from our campground) and impels Angela and I to go for a walk with him in town instead of socializing with a bunch of people that we don't really know or get along with that well.  We walk to the harbor and stare out at the mainland as I've grown accustomed to doing...Ugh, tired...

DAY 18

Somehow the morning passes quickly (looking for goofy souvenirs, eating famous Breton pastries, attempting to make crepes on a camp stove which is kind of a disaster).  I find myself on the beach at 4 p.m.  On look at the number of people there tells me that the July 14th crowd have taken the ferry home.  I say fuck it and spent a good half hour swimming and looking for crabs with Victoria, the older of the two blonde sisters Clint babysits.  She sees phantom crabs everywhere in the algae.  

Phantom see...

I find several real ones and tap one on its shell though I don't try to pick it up out of a desire not to be pinched.  Clint generously watches my cart during all this.  Somehow manage to make 30 euro.  The day done, Angela and I have a tiff over who's going to cook since we're both tired and cranky.  Clint swings by and offers to buy us an ice cream, an offer hard to refuse even if I've been lugging the crap around all day in an insulated box.  Walking to the ice cream parlor we meet drunk, young, sort of stupid Normans from Evreux.  We eat our ice cream and watch as they jump into the waters of the port (which can't be super clean judging from the number of boats docked there...)

DAY 19

We make our way to a little beach in the morning after realizing we only go to the beach to work now and that's stupid.  Nice picnic with all our half-melted ingredients, lizards on the rocks.  Return to the campground and put up a parasol that Clint has lent us after listening to us bitch about having no shade and burning to death all the time at our campsite, it's nice to have a bit of shade.  Go to the beach with Jean-Philipe and am shocked when there are HALF of the people that were here yesterday (meaning 1/4 of the people that were there the day I made a decent amount of money).  Needless to say business is slow.  Clint and company are not there today but I manage to hop in the ocean anyhow, holding the fanny pack where I keep all the money and change over my head as I put the rest of my body into the water.  Afterwards I pretty much nap in the meager shade created by my ice cream cart, finishing the day having made 15 euro.  

Our cut...

Painfully aware of how stupid it is to work for four hours for this amount of money I scam Romu out of a couple extra euro thanks to a scheme the lifeguard David suggested to me (he did this job several summers back and knows that it blows) and I don't feel bad about it at all.  In the evening Clint brings by some bread he has baked, forgot to mention that baking bread is his hobby and he does it for the guests at the hotel right now, it's hot and really good..also try stewed mussels with fries thanks to the Belgians, all in all a pretty gourmet evening considering we're living in a campground and cooking on tiny camp stoves.  Hit the sack relatively early...what else is there to do?

DAY 20

As a friendly gesture after a week straight without a day off Romu takes us to an ugly beach to swim and we start work an entire hour later than usual, whoopee (I am noticing that this job is all about extremes, no work or too much, no money for an entire day or 50 euro in two hours).  I make practically nothing despite resting on the beach for 3 hours and am struck by the fact that this is the worst job I've ever had and I never, ever want to work on commission again.  

Good times...

I seriously consider blowing off the last two weeks of work before it completely ruins my image of Belle-Ile and tell Romu that I don't want to work the next day even if the weather's nice.  We have a barbecue in the evening with all the venders, inane conversation between people who are all here *to make money* but pretending there is some other connection between us which compels us to converse.  I get fielded all the same questions about the U.S. that every French person, everywhere asks.  I say that I find it useless to discuss politics with French people in my experience because it's all rhetoric and everyone seems somewhat taken aback.  I feel childish and somewhat dramatic but at least it steers me clear from a discussion I don't want to have.  As usual Angela and I go to sleep without really talking or thinking of anything else to do, thanks fatigue.

DAY 21

Rain pelts the tent in the early a.m., wake up to clouds + humidity.  The group of boys from Rennes who arrived a week ago have had enough of ice cream vending, they pack up, give us some extra food they don't want to transport, and catch the boat back to the mainland.  We lounge around the tent until 3:30pm-ish, buy lunch at the little supermarket where I have a Franglish conversation with the cashier (noticed he's chatty and likes to speak English several days ago), we head to the beach where I usually work with the Belgians, swim and lounge though it's not exactly a day for sun to be there without the godforsaken ice cream cart.  We return to find Clint waiting at the tent, who invites us to come eat at his "hôtel de charme", it's weird to be inside of a building and eat a three-course meal at a table after three weeks of sleeping in a tent.  

No longer raw...

We take a long walk afterwards, Clint is antsy to get back to the mainland (Paris) and this reflects a little in his manner...upon returning to the tent we make hot chocolate and are in the process of sipping it carefully when I hear weird noises: after a bit of rummaging I find a terrified hedgehog behind the cooler!  It balls up and I nudge it gingerly into one of our pots, its back legs dangle out of the pot as I transport it to safety in the bushes nearby.  I go to wash dishes and find my favorite stray black, whom I haven't seen for days, digging for morsels in the sink drain (I let him lick the hot chocolate cups).  The day finishes somewhat strangely with all these animals and the awkward peace of a day off from our shitty job.

DAY 22

A day of average heat and scattered clouds.  After lounging around the tent and a decent vegetable curry for lunch we hit the beach to work.  The gendarmes are at my beach today, making me nervous that they'll ask me for my residency permit and find out I'm not exactly working legally because they have a reputation for messing with beach venders...but they talk to the lifeguards a bit and then take off.  This morning I bought sugar-coated peanuts at the grocery store, (an item which we should have available to sell but don't due to some logistical problem with the warehouse on the mainland), packed them up in sandwich bags, put them in a backpack, and brought them to the beach with me -- the boss guy, who drove me to the beach today, eyed my backpack a little suspiciously but didn't say anything in the end.  


I sell all of them, make back what I spent on the peanuts plus an extra 10 euro, and thereby gain as much money as I would have by selling 50 dollars worth of stupid ice cream, a petty but nonetheless satisfying way of feeling like I am capable of changing the disappointing financial outcome of this job.  Legal ice cream income is average, meaning bad.  Angela's new beach continues to give her a slightly better income than mine, which is good since she's trying to save money four our trip to the U.S. after we finish here.  Eating dinner afterwards, Clint comes by and wants to take the same walk, buy us ice cream, etc.  It strikes me as somewhat eccentric to do the same circuit every evening, but I guess we all have our treasured habits.  He seems a little bit less anxious today.  We drop off into sleep minutes after returning to the tent.

DAY 23

Not so nice weather in the a.m. (strange to wonder about your fate for the day every time you look at the sky)...Angela and I down a bottle of hard cider with lunch thinking we probably won't work but come 3 p.m. it's somewhat sunny.  Head to the beach therefore a bit tipsy...despite my doubts as to the ice cream potential for the day, business isn't bad, I do a mini Japanese lesson with Victoria, Auralia, and their friends, an 11-year old boy licks his ice cream thoughtfully and asks me "how do you say 'unconstitutionally' in Japanese?"  

Strength, protection, & innocence...

Not sure how to answer that one though I looked it up afterward (ikenteki ni) in case there are any other burgeoning little smartasses on the beach in the days to come.  Pretty weird to practice counting in Japanese with four cute French kids licking their ice creams on a beach in Brittany tho I'm not sure it's worth all the bullshit of the last several weeks for this one odd moment.  Back home we cook Norman-style with a crème fraiche/mushroom sauce, it's comforting to think of dairy land and the Rouen that I know and miss.  After a short walk in town we meet up with Clint, he is with a nice English-speaking Dutch girl who is staying at his hotel with her parents...discuss foreign languages, the exploitation of the ice cream industry, Paris...pass out...

DAY 24 

Scattered clouds gives the impression that it could rain; we head to La Citadelle Vauban ( and find out the real reason no one could ever get into this fortress was the high entrance fee.  After eating lunch and loafing around at the campsite for a while the bossman calls to say we won't work today because there's only one beach where the weather's nice!  Seeing as we were going to head to a beach anyways, I suggest to Angela that we ask if we can take a cart out to the beach with miraculously good weather (happens to be the beach where she works normally)...boss says O.K. and we end up making 20 euro between sunbathing, swimming, and goofing around.  It's really fun to do the shit job together, it turns out.  

Our last mile...

In the evening Clint comes by, recounts howe he pretty much bedded the 17-year old Dutch girl last night, though he had the deceny to stop short of de-virginizing her apparently, claiming an attack of morals at the last moment.  We congratulate him (for the exploit or for his self-control?).  Before he had talked of his long-distance girlfriend (she lives an hour from Paris) and how he wouldn't touch any of the beach hotties because he wanted to maintain the integrity of his relationship, but this evening he is more like 'ahhh screw it, it's been a fucking month man...' and starts raving about the concept of sex in a tourist environment.  If I understood correctly everyone on vacation is looking to get laid by someone that they don't know?  I decide not to reflect on this too much and we go get a nice ice cream (sour cherry! yes!) before conking out...

DAY 25

Wake up to crap weather, thinking we won't work, and learn that our Belgian friends have decided to split -- somehow making less than minimum wage and being constantly insulted by our petty, eccentric supervisor isn't enough to hold them here.  The weather clears up miraculously and I go to my beach in high spirits...despite there being at least double the amount of people on the beach (it's the weekend) that I'm used to seeing, the water is cold and there's a fair amount of wind.  This means that the beach is a perfectly comfortable temperature and I make an average 27 euro for four hours of work.  Sitting on the beach I think of how it's strange that people have to feel physical discomfort - overheating, hunger - in order for me to have a decent day at work.  

Butt sweat...

Meanwhile Clint makes me listen to all his 70's disco songs on his semi-functional MP3 player.  We share headphones - it's very romantic except for his tendency to change the track every 15 seconds.  Afterwards a BBQ with the Belgians, grilled sardines, tabouli with lots of parsley and lemon juice, a lovely green salad - they have whipped up a formidable feast to say goodbye.  Our amazingly thoughtful boss says he will come to the BBQ but doesn't show up until after 11 p.m., very polite.  His first subject of discussion is of course how much the Belgians owe for the camping, an atmosphere of real camaraderie here.  Clint stops by, anxiously smokes a cigarette, then leaves to take the same walk he takes every day...he's obviously losing his mind slowly.  People talk of life in Spain, and how to take revenge on the fuckers who live on an adjacent campsite and always let their dogs shit all over the place.  Sleep...

DAY 26 
All consuming allergies, 7:30 a.m.  Did I mention I've had a stuffed-up nose and sneezing attacks every day for the last two weeks thanks to the beautiful French summer?  Clint brings hot bread (a bit undercooked but I'm not complaining if someone wants to bring me hot bread in the morning!) as the Belgians pack.  We see them off, hamming it up with obscene gestures as their ferry floats off into the distance, then go sunbathe nude on a difficult-to-access beach until we're surprised by some other audacious hikers.  Feeling very euro, I giggle and put my clothes back on behind the shelter of some rocks.  Return to find stupid boss waiting for us, we ask him to come back in an hour because we don't want to work yet (it's early in the afternoon and there's usually no one at the beach at this hour).  In the van he starts talking and wants us to take his side, seeing as the Belgians basically told him the job sucked and he was a prick.  


I control myself for about five minutes but then let him have it, explaining forcibly in my caveman French why the job is stupid, why he is completely full of shit, and why I'm never going to take his side because all of his arguments are flawed.  This goes on for half an hour, he drops off Angela and he + I continue to butt heads all the way to my beach.  He is shocked when I say I'm not willing to bust my balls and put on a little salesman show to make an extra 10 euro a day, and cites this as a 'cultural difference'.  Funny when it's supposed to be the French who are supposed to be the least inclined to support the relentless, opportunistic capitalistic mentality.  I take the cultural difference comment as final proof that he's a complete fucking moron.  I don't sell too much ice cream and feel great about it.  Dinner at Clint's hotel, the usual walk followed by his usual abrupt deparutre.  Pass out before midnight, totally exhausted.

DAY 27

Loco exposure...

Rain! Cold! No work! No motivation!  We mostly laze around the tent all day, drifting in and out of sleep, playing our favorite card game, etc.  The most exciting event is our grocery shopping expedition...we opt to walk through the hay fields on the way back, it's nice to abandon the diesel-reeking road and feel the brush crush under my feet.  We attempt to make fried rice following a recipe I learned from a Japanese friend, it sort of works though I manage to burn myself in the process.  Clint comes by even more agitated than usual, we take and aimless walk and almost find the sunset though in the end our view is blocked by a stupid chateau.  Inexplicably tired, lights out at 11 p.m.

DAY 28

28 days later.  I awaked to find myself sleeping uncomfortably in a tent, a half-melted ice cream zombie wondering how I got here.  The weather is unclear, like my mind.  Beaching.  Braindead shuffle around Le Palais.  In the end we go to the beach with boss guy, he surveys the scene and decides no work today, I feel a wave of even greater bordeom engulf me.  At least when you are working, gaining a pitiful bit of money, you can tell yourself this money will come in handy in the future, for better things.  Without that...I start to feel stranded on a tourist island where I've seen all the reputed sights and there's no more confetti to throw.  

Leda and Zeus getting it on...

I crack and become an asshole for the afternoon, manage to piss Angela off good and proper, perhaps it's best to be alone when you feel like crap.  We walk and hitchhike around while I continue to curse Belle-Ile, then it's back to the magical campground for dinner.  Clint comes by, we take our zombie walk around town, he goes home and we attempt to have a long, emotionally productive talk before we drift off into a bored sleep, I have no idea if it was productive or not.

DAY 29

Lightning and thunder directly overhead, added bonus of pissing rain, probably about 2 a.m. Strangely we get up in the morn to nice it seems.  We dick around and then BAM, when work time rolls around the entire island is pretty much clouded over.  We work anyways because the boss wants to sell all the defrosted donuts he impulsively took out of the freezer in anticipation of a good day (it's illegal to sell them the next day after they're defrosted, he explains in his usual impatient, awkwardly annoyed way).  I make a pitiful 9 euro including the 2 euro I scam off of the boss with the lifeguard scheme.  

Always frigid...

Angela continues to make more money at her little beach which is constantly packed with children, at least someone saving a little cash here, though I'm not kidding myself, we're both making shit and will be lucky to cover the expenses of our trip out here and the camping fees.  Afterward is Clint's last evening on the island, we eat dinner with him at his deserted hotel (I love deserted hotels, by the way) and he is noticeably calmer between his sense of anticipated freedom and the joint he smoked with a young couple staying at the hotel, the only guests for the night.  A fine stroll on the harbor, I finally convince him to let me buy him an ice cream in return, and then he heads home...we go to sleep without too much distraction except for the usual din of reggae mixed with techno pounding in from all sides.

DAY 30

A nice day if a bit windy.  We see Clint, his stepfather, and his stepfather's daughters off at noon, it's strange but exciting to watch them float off toward the continent.  I have a feeling I'll see Clint again, I hope I'm correct because he's one of the first French males I've felt capable of having a decent friendship with after ten months in this country.  We dick around until 2:15, I have a feeling my Corsican Battle skills have improved because I kick Angela's ass 80% of the time now.  She says it's because she ran out of luck...Work is average, a lot of wind and I only make 20 euro, but I meet a nice French lady who has just returned from living in the U.S. for seven years, we talk of bullshit visa sagas, the INS, improvements in American food culture, and how in her experience the west coast is about a million times more relaxed than the east coast - living in Philadelphia made her want to move back to France!  


This makes me smugly satisfied due to my lack of travel experience back east and subsequent inferiority complex.  Afterwards Angela and I cook dinner and pretty much conk out due to boredom and fatigue.  I get up at midnight to do the dishes, pet the stray cat who is always there, then go for a walk.  I lay out on top of the retaining wall of the harbor and listen to the tide mixed with the sound of hippies playing their African drums, coming from the direction of the town.  Return to find the campground full of noisy idiots as usual, somehow fall asleep...

DAY 31

Clouds, mist, but somehow we hold onto the hope we might work until about noon.  Yeah right.  Counting the days we realize we've had as many days off as days working, I should have read up about the weather in Bretagne before deciding to take a sun-dependent job here, putain de moi.  We do a little souvenir shopping (for the second times in two days the person working the cash register at the store is someone we know and ends up almost screwing me out of money because they're gabbing with us, not paying attention to what they're doing and end up giving me the wrong amount of change, that's right, take advantage of the foreigner).  

Ha, ha...

Later on we take a hike along the sea and check out an old well, staring down into the black water reminds me vaguely of some horror film, I'm mostly interested in the wild blackberries along the trail.  Back in town I find some apples which have fallen from a tree in someone's yard, it's free fruit day.  The evening is unremarkable, I go to the ocean, watch the waves rush at the rocks and recede, think about my time on the San Juan Islands in Washington a couple years back and compare the two the campground the fuckers next door drink noisily until 4 a.m. just like yesterday...

DAY 32

A gray and rainy morning, we have the impression we will not work until about 1 p.m. when the psycho weather clears up and we get a text message saying the game's on.  Another semi-crappy day at the beach work-wise.  I make 15 euro and talk to the annoying kids who always screech "ICE CREAM! COLD DRINKS!" at me when I pass - they're at the beach every day and I have trouble deciding if it's me or them who is the most bored here.  I catch the lifeguards smoking weed in the lifeguard hut as I go to leave the beach, they try to act like nothing is going on...back home we scrap together our few remaining ingredients to make dinner then it's off to the garage where they keep all the ice cream for some final obligatory drinking with the boss man - after all, we're the only 2 people out of the 9 who have come to sell ice cream here who have stayed for the amount of time we said we would in the beginning.  We play a couple rounds of Corsican Battle and I am amazed at how fast the fucker's hands are - I'm secretly content because I gouge a chunk out of one of his fingers while we are playing (it's a pretty violent game and involves smacking piles of cards faster than the other players)...once we're drunk off his disgusting vodka/mint/perrier concoctions he starts asking our candid opinion about the job and explaining his 'reasoning' for his chode-ish behavior.  


For me it's too little, too late, on top of which he sticks to his annoying habit of speaking from experience in a manner that seems to say 'you are too young to understand the ice cream game'.  I pretty much tune him out except for when he talks about fights in the past between competing ice cream vendors - this is crazy.  I realize that anyone who spends more than a couple weeks in this business is inherently, perhaps genetically, dysfunctional. This means I have fear for my own sanity.  We finally go to the nightclub, he is still talking about ice cream in the car on the way there.  He buys a bottle of vodka, he may be a dick but at least he pays for the drinks (I have noticed this is his M.O. for trying to make people think he is a good person)'s a foam party at the dance club tonight, wet, disgusting, and it gets in your eyes.  
Keeping warm...

I dance up viciously on a guy who starts trying to basically hump Angela from behind, I figure if he wants to hit on her he can at least grind with me a bit but he doesn't seem amused, he practically runs off the dance floor and Romu is horrified at my behavior, but I'm so drunk and looped after 32 days on this island that aggressive acts of territory establishing seem like a reasonable distraction from my increasingly overpowering misery.  In the eye of the tornado that is this drunkenness, I see things clearly and practically want to explode into absurd laughter at the thought that this pathetic human drama is taking place in the midst of a giant gunky bubble bath in one of the most podunk discotheques i have ever seen in my life, but to my surprise a blinding white light of anger is building inside of me, overpowering my mirth.  I go sit down to have another drink, covered in bubble goo, when a young guy sits down and starts talking to us, within a minute of learning that I'm American we are on the same stupid-ass political conversation as usual and I can only amuse myself by trying to maintain enough drunken control of my slurred French to manipulate him into feeling just as hopeless about the French political situation as I do about the American political situation.  But it doesn't work, I can't feel satisfied even as I mess with him.  The anger keeps building.  I watch Angela bum a cigarette off someone, she doesn't smoke but has the "I only smoke when I'm partying" thing going on sometimes, I think about cancer and emphysema and how I hate cigarettes as fashion accessories, and how since coming here I've noticed that she's started to bum considerably more cigarettes as a result of stress and boredom though I doubt she'd ever admit it, and without really knowing what I'm doing I knock the thing out of her hand and watch as it falls, glowing, to the floor.  I stand up and the white light explodes, I laugh hysterically and scream out something along the lines of "I CAN'T TAKE THIS FUCKING SHIT ANYMORE!"  Of course with the techno bumping Angela is probably the only one who hears me, I storm toward the door and as she comes after me I stop and screech into her face half in English and half in French that I'm catching the next flight out of this ridiculous country, that I don't want to be in France anymore, that I can't take any more of people acting like complete fucking morons all the time.  Of course part of this is probably a result of me wanting more attention from Angela seeing as, frankly, being here and spending our time together exhausted or cramped into a small tent has not been exactly a health tonic for our relationship or how we act toward one another; I feel sort of distant from her.  However there is something in me that is absolutely rejecting all France has to offer, its bitchiness and its stiff, overplayed hospitality, the overbearing, theatrical presentation of personality, a rhetorical, hollow self-assurance which seems to be the hallmark of a country stuck in the formalism of its past...nothing that I haven't felt before, but in this moment I am not reasonable and the conglomeration is like a knife in my head.  I mumble something which compels the coat check lady to give me my coat, Angela is behind me as I burst out the door into the night, shuddering as my bubble-wet clothes hit the night air, I can hear her sobbing as she gets her coat.  We walk a ways, screeching and yelling at each other, before collapsing by the side of the road.  We talk for a bit, drunk and shivering, Angela blurts out that she had a friend who used to come here on vacation, he committed suicide several years ago, and she chokes out how she doesn't understand how she is here but he isn't anymore...I am not sure why we are talking about this but as a result I am overwhelmed by what this island means to her as an image of her childhood, she came here every summer for something like eight years in a row, and how coming back under stressful conditions where she is emotionally affected by me and everyone else around her bitching about how this place sucks because we are basically pegs in the tourist economy...must be really horrible for her.  Add to this the fact of her dead friend, yet another blow to her emotionally and further proof that the Belle-Ile she knew is almost impossible to resurrect...and I feel like we are being pulled into an abyss, we both beginning sobbing and she asks me repeatedly why her friend is dead, I tell her I don't know why and I apologize over and over because I can't tell her why, we lie there in a pile by the side of the road and sort of disintegrate.  It's the nadir of everything this trip seemed like it could be.  After a good 20 minutes like this we pull ourselves up and walk home, I have no memory of this walk thanks to the alcohol.  At the camping Angela wants to use the bathroom but can't because someone is busy CLEANING THE BATHROOM at 4 in the damn morning, Angela looks panicked and I suggest that she pee in a shower stall in the next building over, as long as she washes it out a bit no big deal right...the guy who was cleaning the bathroom overhears us or something and flips his shit, he starts yelling about how it's not O.K. to piss in the showers as soon as we walk out out of the building, how we are miserable ingrates.  I'm already up to my ears in bullshit so I start fucking with him, I tell him to give me his cleaning gear and I'll clean the goddam shower if it's such a big deal to him, this flips him for a loop because it's the cleaning gear that gives him authority on bathroom matters and which simultaneously humiliates him because it's obvious he doesn't want to be cleaning toilets at 4 a.m.  I push him a bit verbally, asking him what the hell he's waiting for and to give me the damn gloves, he grabs me by the collar and hisses out some crap about kicking me and my improperly pissing girlfriend out of the campground, I say go ahead but you'll fuck yourself out of a month of camping fees for two people and challenge him to hand me his cleaning hose (yes, his job is so hard, he has to wash out toilets from six feet away with a fucking garden hose, oh i feel so sorry for him).  He lets go and leads me angrily to a supply closet, giving me some latex gloves.  In the shower room he obviously has no idea which stall the offense was committed in and hesitates a bit before randomly choosing a stall for me to clean, not the one where Angela pissed by the way.  I start hosing down the stall, smilingly smugly like a little bastard.  At first he looks triumphant but within a minute or two his shoulders fall, he has a look of self-loathing which weighs heavy on his tired face, he quietly tells me to leave.  I give him more shit, you sure you don't want me to go in there with a toothbrush, because I'm drunk, but eventually back off...I leave snickering but halfway up the hill I'm realize I'm a drunk asshole and go back to talk to him about his shit job, why he's in such a bad mood, and our respective nasty circumstances.  He's impatient and still a little flustered but we part on better terms.  Eventually pass out, exhausted in all senses of the word, vodka-reeking and dumb.

DAY 33
OW.  It's pissing rain and I can barely leave the tent to go to the bathroom my head hurts so bad.  Angela in parallel condition, we manage to come back to life at 8 p.m. to go eat some hot sandwiches at a bar in town.  The T.V. is scary after a month without.  The rain continues, we look at the ferry schedule and decide to leave the island the next morning on the 11 o'clock boat.

that's it for the ice cream.  the two days after leaving the island we camped in a pitifully ugly campground off a regional highway several miles from Carnac in order to see some of the megaliths in the area:
we camped on a site with other ice cream vendors because that way we were able to get a cheaper rate by being classified technically as "seasonal workers"; talking with them it sounded like their experiences were pretty similar, everyone was downtrodden and bored, waiting for the next sunny day in Brittany...
Reading back through everything I wrote I can see that there were moments in the last month that were really really memorable and I hope in the long run those will stay with me while the rest of this metaphysical....bubble gunk...will slowly wash off.  I look forward to seeing all you and/or hearing from you and I apologize for having been off the face of the planet for the last month.


(That's it folks, the final part of a few of the chapters that got started on this blog, but were never finished. There are a few other side-stories that would love to be sorted's just, I don't know...I don't know if I'm going to be able to do them justice in a timely manner. Five weeks is a long time to sit on the platter with no movement. Sushi is usually served raw.)

She was a beauty...

Photos: Day 15 & Day 16 were ripped from the Net - - - the bottom peeking up on Day 15 is P1rs1g inspired.


  1. Just got done reading the whole thing, Day 1 through 33. I never had a chance for seasonal work aside from the one summer in high school where I worked for social services. I thought it may be fun but maybe not, I guess it really depends. I don't foresee myself taking on seasonal tourist season work and it makes me glad. At my age and station in life it would fair badly. Hangovers are not as easy to bounce back from and the marriage would probably suffer.

    When I got to day 32 I was reminded of the one and only time I went to a foam party. I was in my early 20's and it was the worst time in a club EVER. After leaving the club, it was cold as hell and the ride home was 40 minutes of intense itching from the stupid soap. But then it got worse, when I finally got home to shower up and get into comfy dry clothes, I realized that my nipples had been chaffed raw by my t-shirt. The warm shower felt like boiling water on my nipples, the healing process wasn't any nicer. I imagine what I experienced could possibly be on par with what a breastfeeding mother has to endure. And I am also remembering that the foam party was nothing more than a bunch of grabby dudes groping what they could since you couldn't really see who did what under the heaps of foam.

    1. Seasonal work, I've done similar stuff a few times that might come close to fitting the definition. Labor definitely, but nothing as truly backbreaking as shearing sheep. Funny thing is, folks don't seem to realize how skilled it all really is on top of how much physical will power can be required. And at the end of the day, it's no big deal. Even though you may have earned something.

      The first time I heard about a foam party, a Canadian was recalling his first circque du soleil parade where the happy ending was quite an unexpected, yet beautifully choreographed, finale of sorts.

      What is loading up to be the 'Last Post' is, in some ways, related to an ultimate foam party that many describe as being very comfortable and better for having experienced it. Like Guy's circus, while the performances/displays are fun, most people take something back with them which can be likened to being as being able to see more clearly.

      Wifey used vitamin E and aloe, although she was reluctant at first. Wheatgrass juice gave her a kick-start on her journey into motherhood since we're not big fans of formula.

      Thank you for your time.