Beach In France

Let’s see, I think I remember. It was 1997, my first trip to Southern France. Actually, I even remember returning to work after that trip was over. At that time I was very fortunate to work at a State College that was located in my hometown. I was a lecturer. My title was “Visiting Professor.” Yeah, there were people who actually called me “professor.”

Shortly after my return to work, one of my mentor professors met up with me in the corridor near out department. I had known him for quite a while, and he was one of the people that recommended me for the position. The hallway was crowded with students. While we talked, he leaned in close and whispered, “did you see any topless young ladies while you were on the beaches of Southern France.”

“Of course!” I replied unabashed, “I also saw many topless old ladies on the beach.” He responded by doubling over in pain.

Pampelonne

At that time, my parents visited a village in Southern France called Gassin every August. They still go to Southern France to this day, and I’ve taken my family there with them a few times.

There was one day where my son, who was a young child at the time, was quite tired from the trip and adventuring. This same day, my wife was feeling under the weather. Mom and dad took me and my son to the beach, while my wife got some extra needed sleep. The beach was, I guess, Pampelonne Beach or at least a beach near there.

You see, as I understand it, Pampelonne is a long stretch of beach just south of St Tropez. I guess we visited somewhere from the middle to the southern end. I was lead to believe that as you go north on the beach toward St Tropez, the beach goers get more and more topless and nakeder.

Of course, my mother bought a bathing suit for me, just for this trip. Now, I was a slender guy at the time. I’m about 5 foot 8 inches, and I probably weighed about 160 or 170 pounds at the time. Now this bathing suit was a “medium.” However, when my mother buys clothes for me, I believe she goes to a big and tall store along with profession athletes who play football, basketball and sumo wrestling. I vision her elbowing her way up to the men’s bathing suit rack blurting out, “Out of my way, Tubby!” She finds the first suit with the key words on it: “Ralph Lauren” or “Polo.” Mom always gets me that Ralph Lauren stuff.

Now, imagine my mother, all five feet two of her, holding a pair of navy blue and olive green swim trunks by the waste band high above her head. Now, imagine the hem of the trunks brushing the floor as she stretches her arms up as high as she can. Now, imagine my mom saying to herself, “Yeah, well, I guess these will fit him.” Off she goes to pay $120.00 or more on enough fabric to set sail in a three mast square rig tall ship.

So, now, here I am on Pampelonne Beach on the Mediterranean coast of Southern France. Speedo land, and here I am wearing a circus tent around my hips. I just know there was a trapeze act going on between my knees, and clowns were piling out of a VW then pointing at my ankle and laughing. I couldn’t feel them, because there was a lot of room, but I just had a feeling they were there after the show with the dancing elephants’ was over.

Beignets

While I was sitting there on a beach, I witnessed a behavior that I felt was totally unexpected on a beach. A young, college aged man, wearing nothing but tight red speedos and a straw hat, is walking up and down the beach yelling, “Beignets!” at the top of his lungs. No no no, not “big nets.” It’s French. Some of the letters you say, and some other letters you don’t mention. The word sounds more like “ban yay.”

What is a beignet? It’s a doughnut. (That’s right. It’s spelled doughnut. Do not spell it donut). A beignet is a rather large, sticky, sugary doughnut filled with chocolate or cream filling or jelly. If that sounds good to you, that’s okay. On my more recent trips, I’ve seen beignet vendors selling … doughnuts … to very sexy, bikini clad girls and young women from special carts that can be pushed through the sand.

This guy in the red speedos, however, had a huge tray of beignets. These doughnuts were piled at least three layers deep. They were getting squashed. The hot sun beat down on them melting the sugar and frosting. They were exposed to the sea breezes full of grit, sand, and salt. The very sexy, bikini clad girls and young women bought them up like mad. Imagine your favorite ever February Sports Illustrated cover model, wearing a top optional bikini that barely holds itself in place, gnawing on a warm and squashed éclair the size of a large submarine sandwich from you favorite Italian deli. But, they eat whatever in France, and everybody stays skinny. Maybe the ingested sand gives them extra fiber.

The attempt a swim

After the beignet boy goes away, and after the German women go by (I was told that you can tell when there German, because they’re completely naked), I felt it safe enough to traverse the sand to take a dip in the sea. As I walked, my legs swung back and forth like clappers inside humongous church bells, that were the pant legs of my enormous bathing suit. I slalom my way around people in tiny skintight swimwear, half on and half off.

I enter the water. The azure water was warm and lovely. I slipped in about belly deep, and there I saw this woman. Yes, she was topless, and her small perky breasts were exposed for all to see. She was petite, slender and fit. She played and splashed in the water. Her hair was short and blonde. But, there was still something rather ugly about her.

following me

Der Mann mit dem großen Badeanzug verfolgt mich.

Well, this sounds mean, but I didn’t want her to catch me looking at her. Well, yes, I’m sure women say the same thing about me all the time. Anyway, I turn away from her. I hold my breath, dunk fully under the water, and swim away. I pop my head above water. I get my footing. I wipe my wet hair and water from my face, and there is the same woman in front of me continuing to splash and play. I immediately turn around, dunk and swim away. I pop up from the water, and there she is again. I immediately turn, dunk and swim away. I pop up from the water, and there she is again. Only this time she’s with a … paramour wearing black speedos. Nothing came of it, but they were look at me as if I was a prowling letch. Normally, I am a prowling letch, but hey, I got standards.

Oui!

I retreated back to the blanket and chaise next to my parents. I think it took the better part of the week for my swim shorts to dry.

Now I come to the most intriguing part of my recollection. I’m sitting in a chaise, surrounded by a crowd of European beach goers. Yet, over to my left, I can’t see them, but I know they’re there. Well, I did see them once or twice venturing back and forth from the cabana for cold drinks and snack. These were the cutest college aged partially bikini clad French girls on the beach. The exact kind of sweet, tender young things – douces jeunes filles – that a fellow would fantasize about when thinking of travels to the French Riviera. Of course!

Now, I can’t see them. The sounds of the beach – the talking, the sea birds, the breeze, the crash of the waves – are all quieting down to a low hum. I can hear them giggling away in French.

Then, they are visited by a man, un hom. Now, they were speaking in French, and my grasp of the language is limited. However, I’m certain that the conversation went as follows:

Three sexy filles:
Le Hom: Bon jour.
Three sexy filles:
Le Hom: Doo yoo lak mah classeek Mediterranean features?
One of the sexy filles: Oui!
Le Hom: Doo yoo lak mah curlee dark har?
One of the sexy filles: Oui!
Le Hom: Doo yoo lak mee?
One of the sexy filles: Non!

Then the poor fellow left all dejected. As soon as he left, the sexy French girls return to their giggling in French. That is, until the next fellow comes along.

Three sexy filles:
Le Hom: Bon jour.
Three sexy filles:
Le Hom: Doo yoo lak Leetel red speedoh?
One of the sexy filles: Oui!
Le Hom: Doo yoo lak mah beeg tray of beignets?
One of the sexy filles: Oui!
Le Hom: Doo yoo lak mee?
One of the sexy filles: Non!

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