Saturday, March 2, 2013

Wet Cement

Who can resist the lure of fresh wet cement?  Auntie sure can't!

On our way to do some shopping in downtown Menton yesterday, Uncle Jim and I were making our way through the narrow streets of the old town when about half way there, our passage was blocked by 3 burly workmen wearing dirty coveralls covered in what looked like white dust.  

One of the men was pushing a wheelbarrow, one had a hose in his hands, and the other was bent down mixing something in a big black tray.  As we got closer, we could see that they were in the middle of repaving the surface of the narrow street directly in front of us. 

We were about to turn back when one of the men said, "it's OK to pass, just be careful, there's wet cement."  Oops.  Auntie was wearing a new pair of black Italian shoes!

While we were carefully tip toeing around the wet cement, Auntie had an idea. 

I put a big smile on my face and asked, "may I step in it?"  Just so there was no misunderstanding, I lifted my foot and let it hover over a smooth patch in the corner.  

Much to Auntie's surprise, they said "yes!"

It was pure co incidence that earlier in the week, Auntie was watching an old episode of the TV show, I Love Lucy from 1955 in which Lucy decided she needed a souvenir from Hollywood to bring back to New York. Most people would have brought home a t-shirt or snow dome but not Lucy!  There she was, in the middle of the night with her friend Ethyl, at Graumann's Chinese Theatre, prying off the concrete slab with John Wayne's hands and feet imprinted on it.  

Immortalizing oneself in concrete has been going on there for a long time.  

It all started in 1927 when Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks stuck their hands and feet in wet concrete and since then, two hundred and eight actors, actresses and entertainers have been honoured and immortalized in the same way.  Michael Jackson was the latest when in January of 2012 his shoes and glitter glove were pressed into the wet cement in absentia by his children.

Well, here was Auntie's chance at fame but since I was wearing good shoes, I decided to stick my hand in the wet concrete instead.  The concrete was wet, very cold, and it was a lot of fun.  

When I got back up, we all paused to see my handiwork and shared a laugh. Uncle Jim handed me a tissue to wipe my hand and we all went on our merry way. 

This morning, curiosity drew Uncle Jim and I down the same route into town today.  We were dying to see if the workers left my hand print but alas, it seems that after we'd left, the workers had put the finishing touches on the path and smoothed over my hand print.  It was but a sweet memory.

It seems Auntie wasn't the only one attracted by the lure of wet cement that day.  Something with four paws and whiskers left it's mark instead!