Now that spring is on its way, I’ve taken up cycling to work again. I thought that it was great timing after the Metro Casanovas of the past few weeks.
But as it turns out, I seem to attract failed Casanovas even while on my bike.
This surprised me because I generally don’t expect advances from strange men while cycling… for the following reasons:
- Since I’m moving pretty quickly through traffic, I devote my attention to the road around me in order to avoid… well… DYING. I’m not checking out cute guys in the street.
- I’m not exactly dressed to go on the pull. I’m in cycling pants, I’m laden with multiple cable locks and a backpack filled with work documents and clothes, and I’m usually sweating. A lot.
So why would these Driving Casanovas bother me? Pure desperation? For shits and giggles?
Driving Casanova #1
While I was waiting at a stoplight, a pizza delivery guy pulled up next to me on his scooter. He asked me where Metro Etienne Marcel was.
So I gave him a scathing look and just pointed.
Him: “Thanks, you’re so helpful! What’s your address?” He winked.
Me: “NO. Bugger off.”
Him: “Can I at least have your number? You’re so beautiful.” (HAH. Lies.)
Me: “Never. A real man never asks for directions.”
Then the light changed, and I shot off.
He followed me for three blocks, all the while trying to convince me to give him my number. I finally lost him when I took a shortcut behind the Louvre.
Driving Casanova #2, #3, and #4
Remember all those cheesy movies in which the guy serenades his lady-love outside her window? Remember how in the 80s, this image evolved into a guy holding up his mini-boombox to his gal’s balcony as it blasted out sappy love ballads?
Picture a sweaty, exhausted female cyclist on her way home from a long day at work.
Now picture a trio of dodgy Driving Casanovas in a large white unmarked van.
On this particular day, Driving Casanova #2 leaned out the passenger side window and shouted:
“Vous êtes sublime, mademoiselle. Je te kiffe grave.” (“You’re freaking hot. I really like you.”)
Then he signals to Driving Casanova #3, who then cues up…
…Bryan Adams. “Everything I do.”
I almost fell off my bike laughing. Which would have been awkward, since I was still clipped in to the pedals.
These three Driving Casanovas followed me through stop-and-go traffic in the bus/bike lane from Châtelet all the way to Gare de l’Est (about 2 km). They sang along and executed elaborate hand/arm gestures to a playlist that included:
- Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love To You”
- Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me”
- Britney’s “I’m a Slave 4 U”
- Beyoncé’s “Naughty Girl”
- Bare Naked Ladies’ “Be My Yoko Ono” (Yeah. I know.)
Driving Casanova #5
Remember when you were little, and the boys showed their love by beating you in P.E. sports and then mocking you afterward?
Well, apparently some guys don’t outgrow this behavior.
I met Driving Casanova #5 at a stoplight at Port Royal. He was dressed in a dapper tweed jacket and riding one of the public Vélib bikes, the big clunky Dutch-style bikes with the baskets out in front and only three speeds.
I saw him look me up and down as we’re waiting for the light to turn.
“Great,” I thought. “I wonder what this guy’s strategy will be…”
Apparently this poor fool needed to prove his manliness by pedaling for dear life on his crappy public bike — just to “beat” me.
Really? I’m on road racing bike that’s light enough for me to hoist over my shoulder with one arm. This fool was trippin’.
I was coasting, barely pedaling, just to soak in the hilarity of this idiot’s posturing — his arms, legs and tweed jacket flapping about, his chest heaving… The complete opposite of manly. And when he “beat” me to the next stoplight, he turned to me and grinned.
Him: “I just wanted to make sure that you were a woman after all.”
Him: “So do you want to have coffee with me sometime?”
Me: Still speechless. I managed to shake my head emphatically.
I began pedaling up to speed, and when I looked back three blocks later, I saw this tiny tweed figure pull over and bend over to vomit in the gutter.
Ah springtime in Paris…
Next, next, and next, please!