From dog.ee.lbl.gov!overload.lbl.gov!agate!spool.mu.edu!umn.edu!noc.MR.NET!mac.cc.macalstr.edu!ebestrom Sun Apr 26 22:37:40 PDT 1992
Article 39874 of alt.folklore.urban:
Subject: parsian bellboy myth
Date: 22 Apr 92 04:52:54 GMT
Organization: Macalester College
Here's an awful one: THE PARISIAN BELLBOY
It goes like this: this nice American family of four goes to Paris, France on vacation.
They check into a hotel and go sightseeing and all the other touristy things.
A few days into their (until then) pleasant, normal vacation, they go for lunch
at a cafe. They return to find that their hotel room has been broken into.
Fortunately, it seems to have been a rather surgical strike and very few of
their possessions are stolen or even out of place. Two displacements however,
strike the family as odd: their four toothbrushes are strewn around the sink,
and their camera is set out in the open on one of the beds. The hotel
management is apologetic and blames the bellboy. The bellboy, who
had seemed so nice, if unnervingly suave, to the family upon their arrival, had
just quit his job on the morning of the break-in. The Americans get the
missing portion of their American Express Travelers' Cheques refunded, check
into a new hotel, wind up the tail end of their trip, and head back to
America. (or alternately, nothing in the room is disturbed or stolen. They
have only returned from an evening on the town to find the camera and
toothbrushes on the bed. They shrug and
continue the remaining small portion of their vacation and fly home)
In America, they develop the pictures in the camera. Half are of the family in
front of the Eiffel Tower, but the other half of the pictures in the roll
feature various views of the bellboy, smiling deliriously, with the four family
toothbrushes stuck up his bootie.
(People who hear this story cringe as they visualize the implications
of the unsuspecting family brushing their teeth with the toothbrushes after the
I was told this story by a friend, who said it had happened to a friend
of a friend his who had been vacationing in Paris with his parents. I
immediately smelled "Urban Myth." I was talking about this story with some
completely unrelated folks at a party and two of them said "No Way! A friend of
mine told me the same shit!" Taking a stab at analyzing this pup, I'd say it's
a "nice" American (or midwestern or WASP) "family values" thing juxtaposed with
the "immoral" foreigner. The myth feeds off the stereotype of the typical
Frenchman as "sophisticated" which can slide down a xenophobia-greased slope into
thinking of them as "effeminate," and "immoral." The myth is also homophobic
with its implications of the bellboy smiling as he imagines the toothbrushes
which had found such intimacy with him being inserted once more into the
mouths of God-fearing red-blooded Americans. The homophobia is camoflagued
underneath the aegis of xenophobia/francophobia. I collected this story right
here in the heart of the upper Midwest, St. Paul, Minnesota. Minnesota, fabled
home of Garrison Keillor's "Lake Wobegon" and the uniquely Minnesotan behavior
of "Minnesota nice" is experiencing a slow shift from an overwhelmingly white,
Lutheran demographic to a mixed ethnic makeup more in keeping with coastal
parts of the country. This is more pronounced and rapid in the Twin Cities
metro area. The Parisian Bellboy myth is riding on a wave of Patrick
Buccannan/Jesse Helmslike reaction. It also rides on the eternal popularity of
scatological humor and gross-out jokes in general. Paris is also a good
setting for the myth because it has a built in reputation for "sauciness" and
"exoticism" and because it is so geographically remote from the Midwest as to
elude "let's-go-check-this-bullshit-out-ourselves" verification ideas.
That's it for my book. Any other encounters with this myth or other
From dog.ee.lbl.gov!ucbvax!bloom-beacon!micro-heart-of-gold.mit.edu!rutgers!cs.utexas.edu!asuvax!hrc!gtephx!williamsk Sat Nov 30 13:52:19 PST 1991
Article 28864 of alt.folklore.urban:
>From: williamsk@gtephx.UUCP (Kevin W. Williams)
Subject: Re: Anal Intruders
Summary: Colorado, too.
Date: 27 Nov 91 15:43:48 GMT
References: <1991Nov25.email@example.com> <1991Nov25.215802.29156@PA.dec.com>
Organization: This variable implies that we ARE organised
In article <1991Nov25.215802.29156@PA.dec.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org (snopes) writes:
> In article <1991Nov25.email@example.com>,
> firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Harry) writes...
>> [ new version of toothbrush enema story, involving a Chicago hotel]
> Omigosh! They've made it all the way from Jamaica to Chicago! Next thing
> you know, they'll be in *your* home town. Watch the skies!
> - snopes
Over the summer, "Gallery" magazine published a version of this in their "strange, but
true news stories section." In that version, it was a yuppie couple on a campout
in the Rocky Mountains, and a grizzled old miner appearing on the developed film.
Kevin Wayne Williams
UUCP : ...!ames!ncar!noao!asuvax!gtephx!williamsk
Remember : Brute force has an elegance all its own.
From dog.ee.lbl.gov!overload.lbl.gov!agate!usenet.ins.cwru.edu!magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu!zaphod.mps.ohio-state.edu!rpi!batcomputer!reed!henson!fozzie!n8742883 Tue Jun 9 15:30:27 PDT 1992
Article 43465 of alt.folklore.urban:
>From: email@example.com (Perry Pederson)
Subject: I saw the toothbrushes up the derriere pictures!!!
Summary: AFU proves to be true!
Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org (USENET-WWU)
Organization: Western Washington University
Date: 9 Jun 92 19:20:45 GMT
I spent the weekend at my fiance's house, and over dinner her
family and I started talking about bizzare/grotesque things in order
to gross out my fiance's sister and therefore ruin her appitite.
My fiance's mother told the classical story of the lady whose
family went for a vacation to Mexico (Mazatlan, Mexico to be precise),
had their room burgled but had nothing taken, and later when they
developed the film there was a picture of men with the family's
toothbrushes stuck up their rear ends. My mother-in-law-to-be said
that the victim was a nurse working in the same hospital ward that she
worked in. Not wanting to make this a FOAMILTB (Friend of a
Mother-in-law-to-be) about a story that I have heard many times in
this newsgroup, I arranged things so that my fiance and I could stop
by the hospital during the lady's shift en route to a movie.
The timing went well, and I met the lady, who has a good sense
of humor and keeps the photo in her purse. Indeed, there was a pretty
good shot of three Mexican men, one with a very broad smile at the
camera and pointing to his friends' derriers. The two other men
indeed had one toothbrush each shoved rather far up their rears. The
man facing the camera looked about in his mid-twenties. The lady (who
would like to remain anonymous) said that after the robbery, the
husband had used one of the "contaminated" toothbrushes for only a
second, for it had a smell/taste that he felt "uncomfortable" with but
blamed it on the Mexican water system at the time. Only when they got
back to the states and had their film developed did they find out the
fate of their toothbrushes.
So, the "legend" about the toothbrushes are, indeed, real! I
feel quite lucky to have been able to view the photo and be able to
report back to a.f.u about it!
Perry "Wanna see my snuff pictures of Craig Sheirgold with a
toothbrush up his hiney in an elevator?" Pederson