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More reflections from Paris— part 2— Mister Bojangles

Looking back at a recent visit to Paris, France I really enjoyed the people-watching.

Folks from all corners of the globe, rich/poor/and in-between, it was just plain interesting to see all the people.

On one of the great thoroughfares of the world, the Champs de Elysees, I recall watching a little, rugged Italian fellow, with a banana nose. He was whistling out loud and making noises you’d hear in a jungle, like exotic jungle birds. Then he’d whistle a familiar tune.

He was loud and got your attention.

It was a humanistic side-show, and a pretty good one at that.

Thousands, and I mean literally thousands of people passed him, and he tried very hard to get their attention. Along with the strange whistle he’d flap his arms like a bird and do a little dance– whatever it took.

It was like watching Jerry Jeff Walker’s Mister Bojangles.

While my wife and daughter were shopping in a nearby store I continued to watch the free entertainment.

I must have watched the goings on for a 1/2 hour or so.  When I got closer, I saw that he was a salesman. He was selling a small object that is placed on the tongue like a whistle, except you can’t see it.

I thought of how much fun I could have using that device or instrument or whatever the heck it actually is, in different social settings— even at the risk of irritating my friends and family.

Knowing me I’d over-do it for sure.

He told me each one cost 5 Euros, which is around 7 or 8 bucks.

The injury lawyer in me tried to negotiate a deal— 2 for 5 Euros, but the little guy would not budge, so I waited and watched, admiring his effort, patience and determination.

I thought he’d see things my way after a few 100 thousand more no-sales blew right past him.

He hadn’t sold one in all the time I watched, and I might have been the only one in the world interested in buying one until a group of guys from who-knows-where bought him out.

It was 4 pm— 10 am in the US– and he left. Must have been working on the clock, but the way he was going, I thought for sure he was in it for himself.

My chance to buy one of those crazy instruments from Mister Bojangles passed.

Next time I’ll pay the 5 Euro if i can resist my nature to work a bargain.

I’ll save the negotiating for the injury law business.

I’m sure I spent more time watching that fellow than I did examining and admiring da Vinci’s Mona Lisa in the Louvre.

Keep your strength.

Charlie Donahue

injury lawyer

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