Excerpt of The Cannes Film Festival

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 © 2006 Sub Rosa Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

     Sheila was delighted to be back. She really enjoyed the film festival.
     Jon didn’t. It was always such a three-ring circus.
     Cannes was crawling with people who were standing in line to get into the theaters, window shopping, sightseeing in the middle of the street because the sidewalks were too crowded to walk down, or doing deals on street corners in the midst of the chaos.
     Nighttime was even better.
     The police had the entire street, La Croisette, blocked off so that no one could drive down it. If someone had to get to The Majestic, The Carlton, or the new or old Palais Theaters for a premiere . . . Good Luck.
     Sheila thoroughly enjoyed the colorful sights and sounds of half-dressed starlets running up and down the beach, being chased by rabid paparazzi . . . the motor drives on their cameras providing the soundtrack to the Film Festival.
     “Sheila, hey, Sheila!”
     She turned and broke into a wide grin when she zeroed in on her best friend, Joan Moskowitz.
     “So there you are. I’ve looked everywhere,” Sheila gasped as they air kissed expertly on both cheeks to avoid make-up smear amidst the hordes of festival goers.
     “Do you believe this?” Joan screeched, waving a hand at the surrounding insanity. “Just look at all the bodies. It’s amazing. I mean, why? Really why? Most of them aren’t wearing the official Festival accreditation badges. I mean, who can they be? They can’t even get into any of the screenings or exhibits without one.”
     Sheila laughed with joy. “Maybe they only came for the shopping.”
     “All of them?” Joan asked incredulously.
     “Well, we did. So why not?”
     “I also came to party,” Joan confessed matter-of-factly. “So let’s go get a drink.”
     They walked down La Croisette toward the Carlton Hotel.
     The Carlton had become, over the years, the unofficial film festival headquarters—it was often referred to as Zoo Central. The gigantic hotel was decorated between the protruding bay windows of the second floor with tall, rectangular neon-light billboards, splashing giant-sized promotional artwork for the various films across the entire front of the Carlton.
     More of these grand triosks covered the walls of the drive-through area leading to the lobby, and lined the whole length of the Croisette on both sides of the road. Brightly painted signs hung everywhere; including a large horseshoe shaped one that faced the beach, attached to the entry way of the Carlton that Sheila and Joan walked through to get into the hotel from the street.
     Giant billboards even greeted thirsty crowds along the outer wall of the Terrace Bar. At night huge flood lights illuminated the Mediterranean Baroque-style hotel to the point where it looked like daylight at 3:00 a.m.
     They fought their way through the lobby, stumbling around wall-to-wall promotional booths from independent film companies and small distributors. The inner columns that supported the ceiling of the hotel even had eight-foot high painted boxes around each one with ads for films on them, billboards dangled precariously over the registration desk, and from the walls of the entire lobby.
     “Just look at all this promotional shit,” Sheila exclaimed loudly. “Have you ever seen so much advertising for so many lousy movies in your life?”
     “Not since last year.”
     “Yeah,” Sheila whooped, “and the artwork’s much better than most of the movies will ever be!”
     Joan laughed and shook her head, her diamond earrings catching the light.
     “Disgusting waste of money, isn’t it? Think of all the clothes we could buy . . . .”
     Copies of magazines and newspapers were strewn everywhere.
     The trade papers, Hollywood Reporter and Variety, were seen on tables, in booths, and under everyone’s arms. Screen International printed a thick special issue, and copies of The Business of Film listing the film festival’s screenings—plus thousands of flyers for movies and companies—were being given away free.
     All the major studios had booked lavish suites where they showed their product, and made pick-up deals for films to fill in empty spaces in their distribution schedules. Everyone was so aggressively pushing themselves and their movies that they made starving used car salesmen look like Mary’s Little Lamb.
     The Carlton Hotel had been invaded by The Hollywood Army . . .  and Hollywood was winning, hands down.
     When Joan and Sheila finally reached the bar, Joan tipped one of the waiters a hundred francs, motivating him to grab the next available table for them. They felt sardined in, but it was so hard to get a drink in Cannes at all during the festival that neither of them bitched.

      Jon awoke at four-thirty in the afternoon, burned to a very painful crisp, which surprised him since he already had a deep California tan. But seven hours of lying motionless in the direct sun would burn anyone. Jon cursed and muttered as he got up very carefully, slipped his sandals on and whimpered because even the tops of his feet were burned.
     He limped slowly back to the room.
     Sheila isn’t here, which figures, Jon steamed, since whenever I do need her she isn’t around.
     He fumed a while longer, until he acknowledged that he was doubly pained because it was his own stupid fault.
     Jon quit verbally venting the absent Sheila and began rummaging through her makeup case, looking for some lotion. All he could find was the La Prairie moisturizing creams she used, so he grabbed the neck cream and started putting it on. He used that jar up about halfway down his chest, and then moved on to the night cream. When that was all gone, he opened the day cream. Within minutes his sunburn was covered with $247 worth of relief.
     Sheila walked in just as Jon was slathering the last bit of her creams on his body. Her eyes instinctively scoped out the bathroom sink taking in the three empty jars. After looking back at Jon—and holding herself in check for a few extra beats—she decided that he looked so ridiculous that anything other than a spirited laugh would have to be considered cruel and unusual punishment.
     “It isn’t funny!” Jon yelled at her.
     “Oh, yes, it is. Look in the mirror.”
     Jon followed the direction of Sheila’s pointed finger and, when he realized that his wife was right, he began to laugh as well. From the edge of his brown curly hairline the white cream covered him all the way down his shoulders, arms, chest and stomach. Then it curved around his genitals—leaving only his cock and balls exposed—then coated his legs to the tops of his feet. But despite the fact that Jon was laughing, he was suddenly very aware that he’d used up all of his wife’s expensive moisturizers.
     “I’m sorry about using up your stuff,” he apologized, “I really am. It’s just that I—”
     “It’s fine,” Sheila interrupted calmly. “Even I can see that the front of you is well done. I must confess that I prefer medium rare but . . . come in and lie down on the bed. You’ll feel better . . . and look at the bright side—tomorrow I’ll have a real legitimate excuse to hit all the cosmetic counters!”
     But when Jon reached the bed, he discovered there was no place for him on it—it was covered in Sheila’s packages and boxes. She deftly reached down and pushed the things off onto the floor in one sweeping gesture. Seeing Jon all covered up except for his genitals had suddenly made Sheila very horny.
     Jon lowered himself unsuspectingly on his back.
     When she saw that he was comfortable Sheila quickly began to pull her own clothes off.
     Jon got the message.
     He was nervous about his sunburn, but as she unhooked her bra, he slowly began to appreciate what was going to happen next. Sheila slipped her black lace panties down her slender, Jane Fonda exercise-tape muscled legs, and kicked the panties gaily across the floor.
     “Just be careful . . . .” Jon began, but she interrupted him, “Don’t worry. Part of why this is such a turn on is that I can’t touch you anywhere except . . . .”  Sheila made a motion pointing to her husband’s cock. She loved doing it—but she didn’t want to say it. 
     Carefully kneeling down on the bed next to Jon, Sheila bent her head over to . . . .


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