Bonjour! I'm still in France and finally starting to fit in. I drink red wine for breakfast now, and I'm experimenting with passive-aggressive cries for attention--a pillar of the French psyche.

I'm in the Pyrenees, Basque country, covering the Tour de France for you people. What do I get in return? NOTHING! A little gratitude would be nice. Oh, what am I saying? I love you people. My love, it's a blossoming tulip for you people. Do you know I spent the last three nights eating cow-brain sausage and drinking wine from a goat's bladder with Basque terrorists in a tent on the side of the road waiting for the peloton to pass? For YOU I did this! I suffer for YOU!

The Basques recognized the name written on my underwear and it turns out that the name, although Japanese, is spelled the same way in Basque. The Japanese and the Basque have a "special relationship," similar to the relationship between the U.S. and Britain, so as a "Japasque," I am welcomed into many homes. The special relationship was destroyed however, when I vehemently criticized Iban Mayo for getting off his bike and WALKING up the hill during stage 13. Mayo rides for Euskaltel-Euskadi, the Basque cycling team, and almost beat Lance last year. This year he's become a big Basque loser.

On Monday, a rest day for the Tour, I woke up in the armpit of a French prostitute who, when she read the name on my underwear, told me all Basques are Eurotrash terrorists. I was offended and left her without paying. Then something wondrous and terrible happened. As I was arranging my beret in a shop window, in the reflection I saw Lance Armstrong. He and his teammates were just starting out on a training ride. I turned and froze.

Here was my chance to get a scoop for The Stranger. I would finally be taken seriously, get a job offer from the Seattle Times, maybe even national syndication. But wait! I was holding a bottle of wine, not a notebook--unshaven, reeking. As they passed, Lance turned to me and said, "Bonjour."

Fucking BONJOUR! He mistook me for a common Frenchman. As quickly as they had come, they disappeared into the fog. Like so many sad little Frenchmen, my chance for success was blown away by the passing of Lance Armstrong.