OK, MAYBE NOT complete strangers!
On Thursday while the family and I were spending the day in Cannes, we took an hour or so to hang out around the beach under the croisette just down from the Palais des Festivals. A few minutes after we arrived a group of boys started to play Rugby/American football a few meters from us and I soon noticed that one of the boys was a student of mine -- a 2nde student (10th grade) named Theo. I looked at Kerri and asked her if it would be funny if I just ran over and tackled him into the sand, unannounced. She, of course, thought it would be very funny and dared me to do it. Patrick and Julia, on the other hand, weren't so eager for this plan to come to fruition. 'Oh, no! Please don't do it,' they pleaded. 'What if it's not even your student? This will be so embarrassing.'
To be honest, the thought that I was mis-identifying the student hadn't crossed my mind so I took a view extra glances toward the boys just to make sure. When I was satisfied that it was indeed Theo I slowly got up and walked toward the boys, trying my best to look like a regular guy walking down the beach. I waited until Theo had the ball then prepared to pounce -- moving slowly from the water's edge toward the middle of the pack of boys. I sprinted the final 5 or 6 steps and launched myself at him, hitting my unsuspecting prey in the back and driving him into the sand. All around me I could hear shouts of c'est qui? c'est qui? -- who's that? who's that?
When it finally registered with Theo that it was his 38-year old history teacher who had sucker-tackled him from behind on a crowded public beach in the middle of Cannes during the Film Festival, all he could muster was a feeble 'Mr. Scriven?'
Oui, c'est moi. Ca va?
Turns out a few of the other boys were from my school as well -- including another one from my class -- and we had a good laugh. I even played a few more minutes with them before heading back to my blanket where Kerri and kids were waiting with odd looks on their faces.
It was a great day all around, but the tackle was probably my favorite part -- even better than getting my photo with bloodied, almost-topless women (see next story...)
[Note: I didn't want to brag during the story, but I also forced the kid to fumble!]