Leap Year in France

Café in the sun with leap year news

A lively tradition blesses La Presse fans in France tomorrow.  On that rare day – February 29 – newsstands throughout France will carry a lively broadsheet that is only published every four years – you guessed it – on leap day.

La Bougie du Sapeur – “Soldier’s Candle” – is welcomed by readers who understand that they won’t be looking at hackneyed articles.  After all, when you only publish every four years; your mind is fresh, and news is noteworthy, particularly if you have a great sense of humor.  Sapper, by the way, was a character in an old French comic book, one of the fated few born on the 29th of February.  In the continued vein of wry humor, the publication offers subscriptions at the rate of € 100 per century – obviously appealing to the optimist with a serendipitous streak!

The editor and publisher of La Bougie du Sapeur has no problem finding humor in the news; indicating you don’t have to work at being funny, because life is full of humor.  Honestly, all any of us needs to do to discover the truth of that is to look at daily headlines.  There’s always a buffoon out there doing something ridiculous!

So today in France, we can imagine hundreds (actually about 150,000) French men and women, seated at their petite café table with café au lait before them thumbing through La Bougie du Sapeur.  They’ll not be reading about the news with which they’ve long grown tired.  No, they’ll be reading the fresh humor that is only available to them every four years.  Rather like an aged wine or cognac, I would think.

We wish we were there to enjoy the moment, perhaps in a café on Ile Saint-Louis.
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