Monday, September 19, 2011

Bakery Bouncer: Just Another Tick on the CV...

Totally bouncer material...

My new friend Madeleine told me that I was a very impressive videur.  I detected no sarcasm as I crossed my arms and puffed up my chest.  I supposed that I could have passed for a threatening videur, or bouncer, like in a club.  Well, if the club was for 11 year old girls…

During the Journée de la Patrimoine this past Sunday, my local baker asked me to help out since, for the first time, Du Pain et des Idées was opening its doors during the celebration to hold talks about their famous ceiling, a sort of landmark that rarely gets any attention during the week when delicious pastries and bread line the counters.  But this Sunday, with no pastries in site, the focus was all on the ceiling with a member from the local historical society giving presentations.

Snore, I know.  Instead of attending the talk, I, along with local mother and deliciously-named Parisian, Madeleine, stood at the door taking tickets and making sure that too many people did not enter the extremely popular talks about the bakery.   Imagine it, little old me and an equally unintimidating Frenchwoman acting as bakery bouncers.  Sweet deal, right?

Things got heated as people showed up without tickets – which were distributed immediately that morning – and I did my best to tell old local women and families that have come from afar that, unfortunately, it would not be possible to attend the talks.  As disappointment ran across their face, Madeleine stepped in and played it cool, saying sorry but there are more things down the street.  We were a good team.

Their "Pain des Amis".

We didn’t get to select people based on their shoes or overall style, and we didn’t get to throw anyone out because they got too drunk on history.  We did have to chase away a local woman who started to râler because the bread at this particular bakery was pretentiously overpriced, in her estimate.  By the looks of her shoes though, I imagine that the prices weren’t an issue for her.  Bouncers can tell these things.

By the final presentation, the line had grown impatiently long, and like any good bouncers would, we crammed every last person into the bakery, well beyond capacity, and walked away.  Fire hazards don’t exist in Paris.  I suspected that several people were standing literally on top of other peoples’ shoulders, but in the end, that’s a great way to get even closer to the ceiling, right.

And so ended my day as a videur.  I’ve learned how to handle French crowds peacefully, quelling senior citizens and making sure children don’t get out of hand.  It’s not a skill that just anyone can do, and one day, when I’m about 200 pounds heavier with a shaved head and a pair of opaque black sunglasses, I think I’ll be ready to try my talents bouncing on the Champs Elysées.  Just you wait…

This is what people should really be waiting in line for, yet there is no bouncer when they sell them...


  1. wow just keep flaunting that escargot... i am absolutely going to ATTACK you. ><

  2. How fun! You're totally tough enough to be a bouncer. Make anyone cry?