Sometimes, the less glamorous jobs are the ones that provide the most interesting experiences. As a Popcorn Girl in Paris, I’ve met Pierce Brosnan, had a fun time at a rock festival in the middle of nowhere France, and have now experienced participating in a capitalist venture at a Communist festival.
So, I got the work schedule informing me that I’d be working at Fête de l’Humanité during the weekend. My ignorant self thought that it was just another festival centered around music and something to do with humanity… like fighting for human rights or something. However, there’s nothing that could have prepared me for the experience that was about to happen.
Fête de l’Humanité is a hardcore Communist festival just north of Paris. Within a few minutes of entering, my co-worker and I were bombarded with people preaching the good word of Communism and trying to get us to sign petitions. Every stand was set up by a Communist faction based on its village or even particular arrondisement of Paris. There was mystery punch sold for 1 euro.. .food for 2 euros… and clothes and buttons of hammers and sickles and Che Guevara.
Here we are. Americans. Selling popcorn artisinal selon la tradition Texane. With sparkly red cowboy hats.
Many people took the free samples and a good number stopped to discuss politics with us. It was assumed that we were, of course, Communist too! Popcorn sales were low, so I tried everything from directly lying about my ideas about economics to using the awesomely wonderful phrase my co-worker coined- “Le goût de Texas, pas la politique.” (The taste of Texas, not the politics”)
Needless to say, most were not interested in buying a product that represented all that is evil to them— a product in the tradition of a state that is Republican, highly capitalistic, and promotes gun rights.
But, the Communists do know how to have fun. And, I did get to watch New Order play for a few minutes. = )