Saturday 21 August 2010

the tip of the dung heap

The BOF has sent word from St Tropez, where he is currently trapped. To leave the town by whatever means, one must endure the crawl along Boulevarde des Escargots which takes the traveller through the seven circles of hell that make up the Riviera. The satNav proclaims a journey of twenty minutes duration but each minute on its screen takes 5 real minutes to reduce by one.

The town (or village as they like to call it) has as its patron saint Brigitte Bardot. Seemingly without irony, her picture appears on the doors of shops selling nothing but real furs and expensive leathers. Those who wear these clothes saunter arrogantly down the cobbled streets, or cruise in Bentleys and Porsches and Ferraris and Lamborghinis and Maseratis. The BOF counted seven Range Rovers in the public car park on a quiet morning.

He is staying in a hotel which can only be described as a Eurotrash Centre of Excellence. To misquote Dylan, outside the hotel, avarice goes up on trial.

It is the casual commerce in human flesh which so astonishes. A delightful driver who has ferried the BOF to the beach with informative chatter confesses that the hotels have a real problem: they cannot, these days, distinguish the mothers from the whores. And whores there are aplenty. Mrs BOF, sitting quietly at the bar, overheard a permatanned gentleman explaining to two attentive beauties what would be required of them during the course of each day, and how he wished his companion to be treated. Later, clearly pleased by their performance, the BOF could not avoid hearing the John promising "a bonus for that!" whatever that might be.

Disgusting old men in their vile brequins are everywhere trailed by underdressed and overheeled prostitutes who make little attempt to hide their trade. At the top of the Place des Lices, the town square, is a shop which sells ludicrously overpriced and flashy clothing (more leather and fur), the sort of clobber that these revolting specimens buy as trinkets for their whores. It is called Mission Accomplished. Down at the beach, maybe at Ciquante Cinq, the women come and go. They do not talk of Michelangelo.

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