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A number of Paris’ firehouses sponsor annual dances on the 13th and 14th of July as a way to raise money through cover charges and the sale of food and drinks (meaning Heineken in cans and sandwiches of grilled merguez in baguettes).

What follows is a humorous (though PG-13) look at these Bals de Pompiers / Fire Fighters’ Balls…

In honor of Bastille Day, last Tuesday and Wednesday Paris saw more Fire Fighter’s Balls than you could shake a hose at.

Personally, I love these affairs and every year I look forward to Fire Fighters holding their huge Balls. Lest you think I’m the only one who gets his kicks in Balls, here is a list of others who frolic there with me:

A Fireman With Some Ball Handler Trophies

Ball Handlers

These young ladies are sirens with ages as petite as their waist sizes or as scant as their clothing. They’re Fireman groupies, defined by how deftly they negotiate the Balls toward a specific ends.

Ball Flowers

These groupie wannabes shy away from the Balls and are too timid to jump in with all the gusto of Ball Handlers. They’re the ones dancing alone and badly around the fringes of the action, waiting desperately for someone else to make the first move.

Ball Boys

Gay men who come to the Balls to inspect the hot Firemen. Recognizable by their pocketed hands, sly grins, and comfortable yet chic footwear.

Ball Swingers

Couples who sniff out Balls as an opportunity to take advantage of all the money they dropped on dancing lessons. Identifiable by the crushed toes they leave in their wakes while they cut a rug (or cobblestone courtyard, more precisely).

Ball Busters

Péquenots / Bumpkins who start drinking even before the Balls get rolling. They’re the ones raising hell, picking fights and doing whatever else it takes to break the Balls up.

I don’t know how familiar you are with Balls, but I’m here to tell you that Balls come in all shapes and sizes. Have a look if you don’t believe me!

Matching Game: Connect the type of the Fire Fighters’ Ball to the appropriate description.

"Concerts With Live Heavy Metal Bands"

Blue Balls

Feel free to leave your answers in the “Comments” section, if you’re not afraid to admit you’ve read this far!

Click here to see all the photographs of the Fire Fighters’ Balls Pictorial.