Friday, April 10, 2009

Here's a question: will she ever get out?

Our friends Danielle and David have returned to Strasbourg for the Easter weekend, and have honoured us by staying in our apartment – a pleasure not lessened in the least by the enormous variety of English cheeses they brought by way of rent.

Last night, they went out for dinner with other friends. Amynah and I decided to turn in before they returned. Amynah popped into our bathroom, as I was getting changed for bed. Suddenly, I heard a cry of distress, and a rattling from the hall. Somehow, Amynah had managed to lock herself in.

I was midway between my daytime and nighttime attire (which is to say that I was wearing no pants). However, my wife was trapped, and so I rushed out into the hall, grabbed a screwdriver, and started to do battle with the lock.

It was at this most dignified of moments, Amynah locked in the toilet, me kneeling in my gaunchies in the hall, that Danielle and David walked in the door.

This was embarrassing enough. Worse was the utter nonchalance with which they greeted the scene – an unflappable coolness that said that they had never believed our evenings were spent any other way.

Time for a bathroom break?

Speaking of bathrooms, the normal residents of our apartment have a street sign hanging in there, from a road near us, called “Rue de la Question.” Earlier yesterday, a friend of Danielle and David’s popped by and, on seeing it, explained where the name came from. I had thought that the street was named perhaps for the school there (a house of inquiry) or perhaps after the fact that it curled around like a question mark.

Not at all: apparently, the Inquisition (and yes, I did not expect this) used to have it’s local offices there. When one had an interview with the head Inquisitor (as depicted in the image above) it was called being put to the Question. Thus the street name, and our bathroom’s decoration.

And now I have a new euphemism to describe those moments when I need to visit the loo (assuming I ever succeed in getting Amynah out of there).


Belsohni said...

What's it like to live in a place with that kind of scary history? Every time you pass the bridge of supplication do you think about the people who begged for their lives there or are you able to think "la, la, la what beautiful weather we're having"?

Oh, and I trust Amynah got out. How did that go?

JC Martin and the Fathers of Convention said...

Maybe the sign speaks more to the owner's terrible bowel problems than to the historicity of the city.
PS. How do you, well, not you, how do "you" lock yourself in a bathroom, Inquisition-possessed or not? And, since it wasn't you locked in said historically ominous bathroom, what were the repurcussions for blogging about it.

Mark Reynolds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Reynolds said...

Belsohni: I must be a morbid person, because I do tend to think a lot about the various horrible things that happened around here. I like to think it's a positive thing - we've come so far! - but in reality, I suspect like them because they make the best stories.

JC: While I believe the lock was haunted, Amynah's convinced that it just needed oil. I squirted it with some WD40, a known ghost-repellant, and that seemed to help. I managed to open it in the end by poking into it's innards with a screwdriver, after securing a promise from her to not kick my butt for writing about it.

Daniel said...

Strasbourg locks are insidious, treacherous things and their workings are very mysterious. Many a hapless traveller has fallen prey to their capriciousness. Or so I've been told.

Mark Reynolds said...

You know Daniel, I'd specifically refrained from mentioning that story - but I'd be happy to tell it, now that you've brought it up!