Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures


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Metropolitan diaries and cockroaches

Do you know about “Metropolitan Diary”? It’s a weekly column in the New York Times that prints letters from readers about funny New York moments. (Sometimes there are poems which are dreadful, but if you just skip them, the amusement ratio is high.)

Digging through the file I keep of things that make me laugh, I came across one from January 2010 that still cracks me up and is totally appropriate to reprint here.

Dear Diary:

I was recently reminded of an event years ago, when I was living in New York City.

We were visiting Toronto, and were at a very nice French restaurant downtown. As we were seated, the maître d’, with a flourish, took my wife’s napkin and placed it on her lap. When repeating the effort for me, the flourish released a large cockroach hiding in the napkin!

It crawled down my leg, hit the floor, and with (what I thought was) a smooth action, I violently dispatched the critter.

Without batting an eye, the maître d’ said, “Monsieur must be from New York City.”

We received a complimentary bottle of wine!

Richard Freeman

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One letter from the Diary is printed online every day and isn’t behind a paywall. Reading it may count against however many articles one can read for free a month. I’m not really sure how that works.

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