Sunday, 15 July 2012

Sab's Top Ten Saucy Paris Statues: No.1 ~ "Naked Pingpong"

POSTED IN:  ~ PlacesTop 10 ~ Statues

Sab's Top Ten Saucy Paris Statues
No.1: "Naked Pingpong" ~ Introduction 
by Sab Will,  wannabe offbeat Paris street guru

In a city of such epic and legendary grandeur, you wouldn't expect salaciousness or even downright silliness to be applicable to their street side symbolism and stateliness.

However. Times change. Meanings meander. And decidedly irreverent observers come along to pervert the common perception.

I considered several 's' words to accompany statues when creating the title of this series before finally deciding on 'saucy'.

Candidates included salacious, sexy and surprising but never smutty or stupid. I'd never call a Paris statue smutty or stupid however much my tongue was in my cheek. Some of my commentaries might be decidedly smutty or stupid though, for which I take full responsibility I'm afraid.

And there's a problem with 'saucy' too, because although the word's relatively gentle, it still implies carnal pleasures or thoughts, and not every member of this Top Ten is likely to fall into that category.

But never mind all that; let's get on with the fun and games, and let it never be said that the City of Light doesn't have a sense of humour, even if it doesn't know it yet.

Sab's Top Ten Saucy Paris Statues
No.1 ~ "Naked Pingpong"

Now here's a Paris secret if ever there was one.

Unbeknownst to the vast majority of dyed in the wool Parisians there lies a most peculiar institution right at the heart of their most venerable bastion of all that's upstanding and proper.

But in the best traditions of such things they couldn't resist giving us a hint for those with eyes to see.

For in the inner circles of the Palais de Justice itself on the first Thursday of every month the Naked Pingpong Tournament takes place.

Don't be mistaken; this is only for a very select few and invitations are highly sought after.

The rules are strict and unassailable: you shed your clothes in a special antichamber and proceed to the inner sanctum wherein you... play pingpong naked in much the same way business men play rounds of golf. Why pingpong? You mean you haven't tried it? You really should, it's such fun.

One of the fundamental conditions of becoming a member of the Naked Pingpong Club is that you don't talk about the Naked Pingpong Club. That's the second and third rule too. You act as though it didn't exist until that fateful Thursday where you slip in through the secret entrance and let your balls fly free.

Whilst this may seem rather strange, it's no stranger than many other secret societies where the more extreme the acts you participate in the stronger the bonds between adherents. You could even call naked pingpong a rather tame activity in relation to some. Rumour has it that Dominic Strauss-Khan tried to become a member but was firmly rebuffed as impropriety is fiercely frowned upon at the NPC.

How do I know about all this, you may be wondering. Well it's very simple, you see. A high-placed member contacted me anonymously asking me to write this article as a counterbalance to the growing rumours which are threatening to bring the club, along with all its illustrious members out into the open, with all the scandal and embarrassing messiness that would entail.

So the thinking is we describe the club in vague detail as I've done above, people will take it as a complete joke, laugh a bit and forget about it. Much better than having the truth leak out in dribs and drabs. Your only decision is to decide if this is the truth, a bluff or a double bluff. And that's where the fun lies. Don't forget the statue... what other explanation could there be?



* Sab Will runs Photo and Curios Tours in Paris, and also manages a variety of Paris and photography-themed sites and blogs. He writes an illustrated Paris Chronicle every day, runs a Meetup group for Paris lovers, interviews Paris personalities and reviews Paris books (on this blog), and even contributes to the city's street art (shh), so feel free to browse some of the links below and in the right-hand column to find out more about what he gets up to out there...

© 2012 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Suggestions, questions, requests and offers always welcome!

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