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The Maine Campus (États-Unis)

Celebrate Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day is crawling its bloodstained, chocolate-covered little hands out of the sewer to haunt single folks worldwide once again. If ever there were a Santa Claus of self-loathing, Feb. 14 would be his day.

I have always sided with the single, whether I'm in a relationship or not. Assigning a special day to romance is like assigning a date and time to spontaneity. It also seems wrong, on principle, to demand that passion and romance fall on a Wednesday.

Valentine's Day is a nice opportunity to explore the industry that this impulse has spawned. Not quite content with saying, "I love you" in an earnest and authentic manner, someone decided that couples should pay someone else to say it for them. Preferably, the result is as tacky as humanly possible. A French Web site,, promises to say, "I love you" to your loved one, just in case saying it yourself isn't enough.

For just 1,990 Euros, the Web site offers a service that could only be the result of bitter French sarcasm towards American culture. Picked up from your hotel in an 83 Chevy Camaro, you and your partner take a tour of the French countryside. Soon, you are approached by the car from the original Starsky & Hutch. Assuming you are capable of recognizing a vehicle used in a 30-year-old film, you'll be awash in cultural obscurity when the two of you are somehow expected to realize that it is being driven by Matt Damon's stunt double from "The Bourne Identity." Long story short, at some point the car pops up on two wheels, exposing a giant sign that says something about getting married or whatever.

Eryk Salvaggio

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