On Bastille Day, 2003, I had one of the high points of both my career and my life. As a creative director on IBM at Ogilvy, I was invited to a creative conference at David Ogilvy's Chateau in Touffou, France.
It was Bastille Day, we had flown all night, then taken a train past Poitiers, then a taxi to the Chateau. The Chateau--parts of which dated to the 12th Century was guarded by a dry moat. There was a path across the moat and on either side of the entrance to the chateau there was a granite lion. A chain stretched from one lion to the other, blocking the cab. I jumped out to remove the chain, got up too quickly and had a tete-a-tete with one of the lions, smashing my forehead and nose. The lion was unharmed.
I was quickly rushed inside the Chateau where Mrs. Ogilvy (Herta) had me rest with my head on a pillow on her lap as she applied an ice pack to my wounds. Together we watched Lance Armstrong win the Tour de France.
Short of pouring molten lead on revolting peasants, I can't think of a better way to have spent Bastille Day.