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From!!agate!!!noc.MR.NET!!ebestrom Sun Apr 26 22:37:40 PDT 1992 Article 39874 of alt.folklore.urban: Path:!!agate!!!noc.MR.NET!!ebestrom >From: Newsgroups: alt.folklore.urban Subject: parsian bellboy myth Message-ID: <> Date: 22 Apr 92 04:52:54 GMT Article-I.D.: mac.1992Apr21.225255.2521 Organization: Macalester College Lines: 54 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 incident.) 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 interpretations? From!ucbvax!bloom-beacon!!rutgers!!asuvax!hrc!gtephx!williamsk Sat Nov 30 13:52:19 PST 1991 Article 28864 of alt.folklore.urban: Path:!ucbvax!bloom-beacon!!rutgers!!asuvax!hrc!gtephx!williamsk >From: williamsk@gtephx.UUCP (Kevin W. Williams) Newsgroups: alt.folklore.urban Subject: Re: Anal Intruders Summary: Colorado, too. Message-ID: <1991Nov27.154348.3596@gtephx.UUCP> Date: 27 Nov 91 15:43:48 GMT References: <> <> Organization: This variable implies that we ARE organised Lines: 21 In article <>, (snopes) writes: > > In article <>, > (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!!agate!!!!rpi!batcomputer!reed!henson!fozzie!n8742883 Tue Jun 9 15:30:27 PDT 1992 Status: RO Article 43465 of alt.folklore.urban: Newsgroups: alt.folklore.urban Path:!!agate!!!!rpi!batcomputer!reed!henson!fozzie!n8742883 >From: (Perry Pederson) Subject: I saw the toothbrushes up the derriere pictures!!! Message-ID: Summary: AFU proves to be true! Sender: (USENET-WWU) Organization: Western Washington University Date: 9 Jun 92 19:20:45 GMT Lines: 36 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


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