As I write this, police are besieging a council flat in Côte Pavée, Toulouse's equivalent of Beverley Hills/Upper East Side/Hampstead/Blankenese etc etc ad nauseam, waiting for the moment to wipe out cuddly little scamp Mohammed Merah, who has murdered seven people in the last week, including three children aged between five and eight.
I found about about this psycho just before picking up the Fingernails from school on Monday afternoon, having opened up my computer on returning from work and finding some concerned e-mails from family and friends. Police cars swept around the building as we waited for the doors to open. On Tuesday morning we were welcomed by journalists waiting in front of the main doors (there's also a journalism school just round the corner; I've already been interviewed a number of times by students), their presence diluted, if you like, by several heavies with walky-talkies. No-one talked of anything else for the little time they spent dropping their offspring off. Mrs. F's younger, child-free colleagues don't seem overtly bothered, but for anyone who has ever been responsible for creating further life, there's no other topic of conversation, however reluctantly embarked upon. As far as that goes, this cretin has achieved his goal: he's being talked about more than he could ever have imagined. Apparently, he was rejected by the army and the French Foreign Legion. Sorry, but that latter is going it some; the FFL has long been known as an organisation lacking in probity as long as it swells its personnel to do the job it was created for. Basically, we have the King of Losers who finally found means to make everyone else pay for his own shortcomings. Quite how the rest of the French presidential campaign will now play out is anyone's guess; all major candidates are playing very coy as to how to proceed, and rightly so.
This dead man walking lives two miles from Château Fingers.
You've probably encountered this news report on the radio or TV, so I won't be telling you anything new. I just jotted this message down in case there were any people still under the misguided impression that living in France was just one milk 'n' honey-lubricated blow job. No ha-ha funny picture today; you'll understand why, I'm sure.