Monday, September 17, 2007

Tough Workout

Yesterday I thought I'd make my daily workout a little tougher than usual, so I dragged the TV in front of the weight machine and exercise bike and switched on Jean-Pierre Elkabbach on Le Grand Rendez-vous d'Europe 1 (sometimes called la télé de Sarko). His guest was Jean-Claude Mailly of Force Ouvrière, which back in the day used to be known as le syndicat des patrons. But times have changed. Mailly was talking a tough line. Bernard Thibault of the CGT has promised some "sport" if Sarkozy tries to push through retirement reforms without consultation. Of course Thibault is built like a rugbyman, whereas Mailly looks more like the accountant he once was, yet he too was making ominous noises, even if he refused to go quite as far as Elkabbach tried to goad him to go: he would not endorse Thibault's threat of "sport." Instead he kept coming back to the need for consultation and the unwisdom of a passage en force.

Weight-lifting is a good thing to be doing while listening to this langue de bois, which was rendered particularly wooden by the fact that Mailly had met with Sarkozy the day before, so we may assume that he had a pretty good idea what Sarko intends to say tomorrow and Wednesday. François Chérèque, who also met with Sarkozy, more or less confirms that Sarko's words were reassuring, but evidently the union leaders promised not to tip the president's hand, and Mailly was merely keeping his word. Elkabbach had probably also been let in on the secret, so it was only those of us foolish enough to watch this shadow-boxing who remained in the dark.

What to do in such a situation but pump iron? It's the only way to let off the steam that builds when one is taken for an imbecile. It was of course pointed out that the devoutly to be wished "consultation" with the unions about the special regimes has been going on for two years now and that eventually a decision will have to be made. But Mailly kept a straight face as he continued to insist on consultation, while Elkabbach could hardly veil his wish that Tuesday were already upon his so that he could unveil the next phase of the Sarkozyan reform, whose talking points he undoubtedly had already in his pocket. I could stand it for ten sets of 20 reps before finally shutting the thing off.


Anonymous said...

a, didn't know you were un des fadas sportifs. yikes.

it's an inspiring visual image, really.

Unknown said...

I'm not. Just another aging hippy trying to fend off the Grim Reaper.