Photo of the Week

ParisUpdate-ParisNight

The view from the Théâtre de l"Odéon at dusk. Photo: Françoise Deberdt-Meunier

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Paris Update What’s On

Links to events happening this week in Paris.

Left Bank gallery crawl
> Open house at 50 galleries for Art Saint Germain des Prés. Various venues, Paris, May 18-June 3.

Gold in galleries

ParisUpdate-CarreRiveGauche-Passage AH 0

“Passage” ((2017), by Aude Herlédan. At 1831 Art Gallery during Carré Rive Gauche.

> The Carré Rive Gauche, an association of Left Bank galleries, celebrates its 40th anniversary with an event called ExtrORdinaire, featuring gold in works of art. Various venues, Paris, May 18-June 3.

Literary evening
> The Nuit de la Littérature in Belleville and Ménilmontant presents 20 foreign authors reading their work in French. Various venues, Paris, May 27.

 English-language theater festival
> Paris Fringe returns for its second year of English-language theater and comedy. Various venues, Paris, May 18-28.

Hollywood glam
> Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Ava Gardner, Marlene Dietrich and more in classic films from Hollywood's Golden Age for the Glamour cycle. Forum des Images, Paris, May 3-31.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Etienne Comar’s Django, preceded by a themed cocktail party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, May 26.

Virtual reality
> Drop in on Saturday or Sunday from 2pm to 8pm for a free virtual trip at the VR Express festival. Forum des Images, Paris, through June 30.

Dance in historic sites
> Monuments en Mouvement offers free dance performances in national monuments like the Pantheon in Paris, the Abbaye de Cluny and châteaux. Various locations, through Oct. 21.

African culture festival
> The 100% Afriques festival showcases dance, theater, music, fashion, design, art, food and more from all over the continent. La Villette, Paris, through May 28.

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Hot Topics - C'est ironique !

 

Re-raising the Bar on Ridiculous Rhetoric: Rationalize This!

What Kind of Dope
Does He Take (Us For)?

Paris Update Tour de France

Last year's Tour de France (see previous Ironique article) was — some say amazingly — untainted by doping, but now the husband of a famous French cyclist is back-pedaling furiously to save her reputation.

Paris, February 2012: Scandal rocks the sports world in France! While semanticists are busy trying to figure out how an entire world can be contained within a single country, detectives are busy trying to figure out why Patrice Ciprelli, the husband and coach of champion cyclist Jeannie Longo, purchased €15,000 worth of the banned performance enhancer EPO (erythropoietin) over the past five years.

So far, there is no evidence that Longo herself ever took any EPO to help her win any of her dozens of major prizes, which include four Olympic medals and three women's Tour de France trophies. Her husband swears that she never saw the drugs or heard of them. Or, presumably, smelled them or tasted them, although I suppose that doesn't rule out feeling them.

Still, if you think about it, it stinks. In fact, it stinks even if you don't think about it. It doesn't look good for Longo, and it looks even worse for Ciprelli, who has admitted to making “three to five” purchases of Chinese-made EPO over the Internet, but maintains that it was for his own personal use.

So there I was, just two weeks ago, razzing French politician Hervé Morin for implying that he had witnessed the D-Day landing in Normandy even though he was born in 1961. But now Ciprelli's lawyer, Pierre Albert, may have outdone even Morin in the high-level competitive discipline of self-serving blather.

Speaking to the press on February 10, he needed a good story to justify his client's avowed purchases of an illegal substance. I'm sure he thought long and hard before coming up with his explanation. But not quite as long or hard as I thought before coming up with...

Another C'est Ironique Top Ten:

My proposed explanations for why Patrice Ciprelli bought €15,000 worth of EPO

10

He needed the doses as visual aids to show his wife what she shouldn't be taking.

9

He needed to buy up as much EPO as possible so there would be less available that might tempt other athletes to cheat.

8

He planned to sneak the drug into other cyclists' Gatorade bottles to get them disqualified.

7

He was buying it to test the efficiency of the doping investigators. You know, like airports have those security testers who try to smuggle in bombs and guns and stuff. Well, yeah, the bombs are fake and the drugs were real. But still.

6

He didn't order the Chinese EPO: it was a promotional gift-with-purchase every time he bought a case of Tiger Balm.

5

He thought “EPO” stood for “extra-potent oregano,” which he needed to make his famous spaghetti sauce.

4

He ordered the drug while sleepwalking. Oh, and he has this recurring nightmare...

3

He bought it as a gag gift for his wife's retirement party. The date of which has now been moved up to next month.

2

It comes in these really nifty little plastic containers that are just perfect for holding twist ties (he collects twist ties).

1

His English is poor, and he thought he was investing €15,000 in the Google IPO when he clicked a box on a Web site marked “Gobload of EPO.”

Alas, dear readers, try as I might, I couldn't concoct anything quite as fatuous and outlandish as the lawyer's actual rationalization. (He is, after all, a trained professional.) Albert claimed that Ciprelli needed the EPO to help him recover from old cycling injuries, and for another reason: not to enhance his wife's performance on the racetrack, but to enhance his own performance on his wife.

According to the lawyer, the effects of EPO compare favorably with those of Viagra.

Uh-huh. This line of thinking can only lead to...

Yet another C'est Ironique Top Ten:

If this guy uses a powerful and potentially dangerous steroid as a sex aid, what does he use as...

10

A mouthwash? Drano?

9

Shaving cream? Agent Orange?

8

A nasal spray? Diet Coke and Mentos?

7

Self-tanning cream? White phosphorus?

6

A decongestant? Tear gas?

5

A painkiller? An actual killer?

4

A nail clipper? A mini-guillotine?

3

Birth control? A slightly larger mini-guillotine?

2

A laxative? The fear of ruining his and his wife's entire lives?

1

A sleeping pill? Propofol?

A video of Albert giving his explanation can be seen on lequipe.fr.

David Jaggard

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© 2012 Paris Update