Paris's Secret Shame

The world’s attention is currently focused on the 130 day
around the world relay taken by the Olympic torch. The attention, of course, stems not from the spectacle of a highway built up the side of Mount Everest for the torch-bearer to climb in May, nor from the touching traditional display of Olympic unity that is the message of the worldwide torch relay. Instead, the real story has been the protests and anger surrounding the "Journey of Harmony," most recently in San Francisco.

But amidst the talk of China’s human rights violations, of brutal crackdowns in Tibet,
of abysmal
pollution and air quality
and concerns over whether China will have enough imperial consorts to satisfy the world’s athletes, one bizarre facet of this situation has been overlooked. Cops…on rollerblades.

Yes, this quintessentially Minnesotan conveyance has made
its way across the Atlantic to become a vital part of the Parisian police
force. While this peculiar development makes the footage of protesters clashing with police at home and abroad at least moderately more palatable, it’s hard enough to maintain respect for those poor officers of the peace who pull bike duty, despite their magnificently toned quadriceps. Add in rollerblades and the result is a cop who can’t move as fast as a bike, lacks a stable platform from which to perform beatings and fire a pistol, and isn’t allowed inside most retail outlets.

Plus, these cops speak French. As all the world knows,
French is an excellent language for bedding nubile naïve college-age women backpacking across Europe, but isn’t nearly as effective at inspiring compliance or respect. This, of course, raises the picture to a ridiculous new level.

To be fair though, given the health benefits of rollerblading, it’s a picture of a Frenchman with spectacular calves.