Last weekend, St Jean de Sixt held its first ever trampoline competition. At first, it was boring due to a long delay before the action started, and then it became a real insight into French culture.
There were three main contenders to the competition — local guys who performed tricks in fancy dress. None of them won. No, the guy who won, Mathias, was not a local. He won because he had brought a whole lot of kids visiting the local summer camp to cheer. Unfortunately, the voting system was public noise, and the 30 summer camp teenagers made a lot more noise than around 60 locals.
The DJ was so annoyed about the indifferent locals that he implored the ones in a quiet area to make some — any — noise. They stared back at him. That DJ won’t be getting any more gigs in town.
As Mathias worked his way to the final, the locals stayed stony silent while the teenagers cheered for their hero. The locals did cheer for local competitors, but their claps were softer than Mathias’ fan club’s claps. Their apathy was sadly not surprising. In a village of this size, few locals even bothered turning up to watch.
There were a few teething problems. Behind the new St Jean de Sixt marmot mascot (with a stylish top hat), in the photo below is one of the trampolines. They were tiny! They were so small that one competitor somersaulted out of the net and onto the hard asphalt. He hurt his ankle, but was otherwise okay. Another guy winded himself when he ricocheted onto the springs on his back. Did the organisers forget that they were running an acrobatic competition? Larger trampolines would have been safer and allowed competitors to do bigger, braver tricks.
When Mathias collected his prize, the only locals who clapped were the other competitors. The entertainment continued after the competition. ‘Scummy Band’, the local band who had performed well a few weeks ago at the Aravis & Co festival (complete with fireworks and sound and lighting staff), had sound problems due to a lack of amplifiers. There was clearly a different budget for this event. The well-meaning organiser caused the singer’s microphone to ring with feedback. Eventually, she was given a different microphone. Her voice came out of a speaker on the other side of the forecourt. It’s odd to watch someone singing in front of you while her voice is amplified behind you.
The band overcame the hiccups and played into the night. Sadly, Mathias and his fan club didn’t get to dance: they left before the first drum beat. All that was left to do was shrug and sing along to the songs.