Chapter #9 Outline
"VISITORS AND ROYALTY"
In this chapter, I describe my mom’s first visit, sharing my sofa bed, and serenading me with an ear-shattering, nasal duet from now my mother, and my dog! With my mother in denial of this unladylike affliction, the discrete use of earplugs is my one salvation. I talk about her first week as her worst nightmare, beginning with an aggressive, wild man on the metro, relentlessly grabbing my tushy, and learning that Mom’s instinctive (but ineffective) reaction to fear is to hunker down behind me, boring a hole between my shoulder blades! The next day, a quiet man looking for “love” politely asking, “Bonjour” approaches us on the Champs Elysees. Not yet recovered from the metro experience, my mother loudly screams, causing blood to curdle, as the poor guy slithers off into the crowd. Surprised by her scream, and laughing uncontrollably, we finally agree this is one Frenchman who will never again mistake an American lady for a French pute!
As a welcome relief, Mom, Sport, and I spend a long weekend visiting Claude and Paule Beaud at their magnificent chateau in Arbourse, France. I also describe our afternoon visit to the neighboring chateau of their close friends, Jacques and Juju -- the Comte and Comtess de Saulieu. I describe in detail the appearance, and warmth of this royal couple, and joining them inside for cider and cookies. While Sport (the schmoozer) is snuggling up on Juju’s lap, happily sharing her cookies, Jacques and Claude are busy drowning themselves in Calvados Cider, and giggling like silly schoolboys. In order to make our exit before Claude passes out, I tell a fib, saying that Sport has an urgent need to go potty. This works every time since no normal person (royal or not), is anxious for a dog to poop on their floor. So, needless to say, our departure is gratefully welcome by all.
Finally, I describe my son’s two visits during that same year. The first is a two-day stopover between shows, accompanied by a young, woman ice skater. I explain my anxiety, while exposing Sport as an intact, fully functional boy with a disconcerting, ankle fetish! In fact, I was once, embarrassment at a crosswalk, when Sport grabbed an unsuspecting womans ankle, snagging her stocking with his jagged thumbnail. This gives me reason for concern, imagining what might happen to this unsuspecting young woman sharing Sport’s bed. Thank heaven she leaves our flat with her ankles unmolested, only by trapping Sport on his pillow above my head; well away from his would be victim! Erik’s second visit, alone this time and on his way back to the States, he stops over to spend Christmas with me. I tell about walking home on the narrow, slanted sidewalk, with my son balancing a heavy, water-soaked, live Christmas tree on his shoulder. All the way home, I am praying that it will not drop it on a passing Parisian. I describe that cold, winter evening, the warm brassiere/café, and steaming hot soupe d’oignon topped with gobs of melted, gruyere cheese. I finish this chapter by warning that leisurely strolling home at rush hour, in the middle of a herd of sprinting, French pedestrians, is unquestionably a life-threatening experience!