Saturday, 29 March 2008

Well, let me tell you about Stacey

There are loos near our stands at Portobello with a notice stating, PRIVATE STALLHOLDERS ONLY. Simple and straightforward. I hate people who find it necessary to use public conveniences; it shows a lack of conviction. As I am not the attendant, any and all enquires go unheeded. Rude? No, just the lesser of two evils.
For example: when once confronted by an obnoxious New York dealer (whom I haven't seen in ages and I can only assume has rotted away by now)
"Do you have a key to the bathroom?"
No.
"What d' you care if I use the bathroom?"
I don't. Just as I don't care if you piss yourself. Makes absolutely no difference to me.

So today, this youngish American woman (who can only be politely described as living proof that there is someone for everyone) chose to ignore the sign and slipped into the ladies. Unknowingly, she had managed to lock herself in. I know, because I could hear her politely rapping on the door for help. I did nothing, except snicker. After about ten minutes her lumpen husband came to see what was taking so long.
"Stacey, you alright in there?"
"I can't open the door"
As I was engrossed in my Elle Decor and listening to my paused ipod, he cleverly decided to look elsewhere for help.

Upon exiting her confinement, Stacey thought she would like to take a picture. Stacey thought wrong.
Without looking up or removing my earphones (after all I could hear everything), I let them know
I don't allow photographs.

I learned two things today. One, Stacey's husband was not as stupid as he looked. And two, Stacey never watched the Twilight Zone growing up, otherwise she would have known that the innocuous looking door might actually be a portal to Hell.

22 comments:

Lisa Wilson (& Alfie!) at The Pickled Hutch said...

Hilarious!
Lisa & Alfie

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

Hello L&A - it really was.

Pigtown-Design said...

Awful Americans!

Homer's Odd Isn't He said...

As a well traveled AMERICAN, even I wouldn't have understood that sign much less would such a sign ever appear here in the Land of the Free. Your Post is so offensive and your actions so rude that I have removed your link from my blog and will send this post on to my designer friends in the blogosphere. I hope many see you for the shallow person you are. How Crass!! I Dare you to publish this.

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

Homer's odd isn't he -
Where to begin? I'm sorry, though a little surprised, that you find it offensive. Even more surprised that you do not understand the word PRIVATE. Oddly enough, it means the same here as it does in the Land of the Free.

One thing I have always been able to say of MY FELLOW Americans is that, on the whole, they have lovely manners. Obviously, I am the exception to that rule. Saddly, I see those lovely manners being replaced by a sense of entitlement in younger Americans. As Stacey and her husband were American, I fully expected them to understand and RESPECT the notice. After all English is their first language.

Just as I chose not to interact with them, it is your choice not to interact with me. Obviously we are not a good fit, so please DO tell all your designer friends as well. I doubt they would be a good fit either.

Two last things. One, there is more to being well travelled than just having pretty stamps in your passport. And two, this could have gone a TOTALLY differnt way. Just so you know.

Pigtown-Design said...

There was just a long piece on NPR about how horribly behaved the American exchange students in Florence are... they're drunk, loud and acting like they're on spring break in some cheap destination. It is clear that the Ugly American still exists...

Mr. Homer sounds like he's one of them.

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

Fairfax - well, you know what Bette Midller says....

Homer's Odd Isn't He said...

Your American!!! I'm simply dumbstruck. A to the snide well traveled remark,honey. I've put my two feet forward on round the world treks alone before any nanny wiped your snotty nose. Yep,my Park Ave ass would never have been allowed to act in such a manner and my children have been brought up the same way. Yes manner's dear. I've met more kindly,gracious and less fortunate human beings in Third World Countries than will ever have to deal with an uppity Ipod wearing magazine reader. What a silly person. Please stay across the pond with your equally anti-american commentators. Oh, there's a new show here on the tele called Real New York Housewives. You'd be perfect.Send them your CV. On Second thought those gals might be classier. Go ahead post this, I won't be back.

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

Homer's odd isn't he? - Good. I don't think there is enough room on this little window for your high horse, your insecurity, and your status anxiety.

I'm sure the "Third World" is better for having known the likes of you. Bet you made a real difference.

Happy trails Mr Babcock, happy trails.

Pigtown-Design said...

Homer needs to brush up on his writing skills.

And Homer, I am American, too. When I lived in the UK, I was horrified about the way fellow Americans behaved. I just cringed when I saw the way they dressed for dinner at nice places, recoiled in horror when I heard them yelling back and forth on the Tube, freaking out because the ATM gave them pound notes instead of dollars, and more other stories than you can imagine.

It seems to me that House is just pointing out another example.

Be the change..... said...

While in spain recently, I saw a lot of this type of awful americans that I hadn't experienced in my travels before. Are they traveling more, getting out? With the dollar being so low I'm surprised they're choosing now to travel. I generally tell people I'm Canadian out of shear embaressment until the awful moment when I have to take out my passport!
I think women have some...uh...different requirements for restrooms though that should be rewarded with some additional leinency. I'm lucky enough to be totally unacquainted with that of course!

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

BtC - the Americans I see now, I do not recognise. It is as if they are from a different country. The Southerners though, are the same, charming from the word go.

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

Fairfax - you know what London is like, they could have been from anywhere in the world. I used American merely as part of the description to convey that they were part of the English speaking world. It was not used in the pejorative.

Very thin skine for one SO well travelled.

the quarter rat said...

Living and working in the French Quarter is an excercise in dealing with the rudeness and stupidity of the average American tourist. But they can be a source of amusement (as one suspects they are for you). An occasional treat is the look of disappointment when informed that they ARE in the French Quarter; this happened once in front of my old apartment on Pirates Alley 1/2 block from Jackson Square.

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

QuarterRat - see, you got it. It was funny. Wicked of me? Perhaps. If I am indeed going to Hell (as all my friends believe), I'd prefer it was First Class rather than Economy;-}

Pigtown-Design said...

Heaven for the view, hell for the company! I know where I'd rather be... on the chaise sitting next to you.

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

Fairfax - what a party that would be!

Layer Cake said...

As a well-traveled American I must agree that the majority of American tourists are really embarrassing. Especially the young college kind.

I never claimed to be Canadian (even more embarrassing) while traveling but always thought that perhaps my manners and respect for different cultures and their rules would suffice in maybe mending some feelings on other American tourists.

Most of the time people never knew I was American until I spoke because I managed to find it within myself to behave like a civilized being and not like a drunken sorority girl railing against the world (loudly) that I didn't recognize any of the food and how dare they not serve what I want across the globe.

It's sad that a few bad apples always ruin it for those of us who travel with respect. Even in America I would never use a bathroom marked private because that is just rude.

HOBAC, this line: "...listening to my paused ipod..." was so funny I nearly fell off my chair. Sometimes, after dealing with the public all day and their rudeness and non-caring about rules (no matter what nationality), it is sometimes safer to ignore them than deal with them.

I also don't understand how an English speaking person could not understand the meaning of that sign. I guess well-traveled doesn't necessarily mean well-read or, uh, smart. Anyone can buy a ticket these days I guess!

Leah said...

This is not a purely American phenomenon, of course. You should've seen some of the incredibly rude French tourists I used to have to wait on when I worked retail in San Francisco's North Beach area ...

As an American living in London years ago, I too was embarrassed by the behavior of some of my more loutish countrymen and -women. But I also saw lots of loutish behavior there from people of all nationalities -- including, occasionally, the British themselves.

Leah

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

Leah - I too am well aware of that.
This was not abot the badly behaved American. It was about two people (who happened to be American) who chose to ignore a sign and found themselves in an absurd situation. Which, in my own twisted way, I found funny.

I think everyone knows if I have something to say, I do so in a direct way.

One disingenuous patronising reader with a status anxiety issue, misinterpreted what he read and blew the whole thing out of proportion.

Cote de Texas said...

The funniest thing is how little Homer even knows you - he reads your blog, then disses it, all because of one post that he doesn't even 'get.' = He's shocked your (sic) Amerian? - me thinks he would be even more shocked to know your (sic) male. I get the distinct feeling he thinks your(sic) female. Check out Decorno - I think he went over there and talked about this.

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

Cd'T - I just saw that. Airin' my dirty linen over there. Tut, tut. That's no way to treat a lady. Leave them locked in the loo, by all means, but don't go airin' her dirty linen for the Decorno Anons to see. That just ain't right. ]