Gipsy King

Yesterday walking out of the subway at Champs Elysees, I was accosted by a gipsy. Ah! He had found a golden ring on the pavement next to me. The ring trick goes something like that, “Look what I have just found, it must be yours!” When greedy dupe takes the ring, the gipsy asks for reward.

I had been doing this ring trick for years, and it’s my corner! So the moment I saw the bastard bend to faint picking it off the pavement, I aimed a kick in his face. It was a pretty good kick: I swear I could feel his nose between my toes even though I wore the steel-toed boots. And as he was trying to get up, I wanted to give him another, but I felt the blade reaching for my liver from behind….

In 1666 Louis XIV had attempted to solve the question of Roman people by a royal decree: all the male adults of that minority, if discovered on the territory of his kingdom, were to be sent to the galleys without due process of law. Then some twelve years later, apparently not satisfied with the results of his first decree, the king issued another one, adding that once the men were sent to the galleys, their women were to be shaved and their children sent to orphanages; furthermore, he offered us some insight into the non-compliance with his first decree, for if any nobleman were to give gipsies shelter, his property would be confiscated.

“The old man should get some credit for the good work! Although orphanages seem a little soft. As for shaving, I don’t get it. What are we shaving? Why? Is it because of lice?” …Organs are kind of dumb. But now that my liver is out, I must have these conversations, for I kind of depend on it; so, let me explain, “The punishment is as old as Bible. The adulteresses, prostitutes, criminals and those collaborating with the enemy “horizontally” are censured by shaving. As for the king’s wrath, it has nothing to do with the petty crimes or panhandling: the gipsy tabor was a standing army available for hire to all those not satisfied with the king’s policies.”


About versaillesgossip, before and after Francis Ponge

The author of the blogs Versailles Gossip and Before and After Francis Ponge, Vadim Bystritski lives and teaches in Brest France. The the three main themes of his literary endeavours are humor, the French Prose Poetry, the French XVII and XVIII Century Art and History. His writings and occasionally art has been published in a number of ezines (Eratio, Out of Nothing, Scars TV, etc). He also contributes to Pinterest where he comments on the artifiacts from the Louvre and other collections. Some of his shorter texts are in Spanish, Russian and French.
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