Monday, January 29, 2007

Bobbing for Babies

January has been pretty slow, thus far. Nonethless, the burdens placed upon me by you, my demanding readership (you take and you take, but you never give!) require that I keep this thing updated, near almost daily. Why aren't you writing more, say the voices in my head, relaying the messages you, my imaginary fans are thinking. Kind of scary that they can read your minds with such accuracy, no?

I just came from visiting Luc, the gentleman featured in the second photo from my first Globe piece for which the photo above was also taken though not used (that may be the most syntactically baroque sentence I've ever written. My apologies for the brain cramp). That wasn't yet another "me" plug - it was basically a reason to run the photo, which I like. I've done extensive focus-grouping on this blog, and they tell me they like photos. It's just a happy coincidence that I like to run photos that reflect glory back on me. Also, it's thematically related to "legends of Alsace," one of which I will longwindedly relate to you now. [EDIT: Photo has been changed. The headline of "Bobbing for Babies" combined with a graveyard photo was simply too morbid for me. Now we have Place Gutenberg's Merry-Go-Round, a much more child friendly image, wouldn't you say, were any of you saying anything?]

Right, on to Luc. Luc is a retired SNCF employee (National Iron Road Society ie the railway), with a capacious knowledge of and voracious appetite for local history. This would make him my soul brother, were it not for the minor impediment of the language barrier, which often enough leaves us looking longingly into each others eyes like a gangster and his moll across the plexiglas barrier in the visiting area of a prison, unable to communicate. It's tragic really. And before you ask - I'm totally the gangster.

Anyway, Luc was telling me yet another legend of the Cathedral, of which there are zillions, which I will relay to you, my beloved and indifferent correspondents, as you visit. I'll give this one away for free, conflicting as it does with several better myths I would rather give pride of place in my increasingly elaborate tour. It concerns the lake that I am assured lies under the church: apparently in years past, if one wanted to become pregnant, one went to a well within the cathedral and prayed for a baby. The old man who lived in a boat on the lake would hear your prayers, take his net and fish an infant out of the waters for you and then Bob's your uncle. Or your son, in this case. Or daughter, should you not be into the old school approach of "gender matching name" thing.

So, all you mothers and mothers to be reading this thing, as you remember and/or dread the horrors of pregnancy and labour, the take home lesson of that is that it pays to be Catholic. With the baby acquisition process that simple and painless, no wonder they had so many kids!

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