Monday, December 13, 2010

Frannie and the Geese

Looking back, this presented a funny tableau; but it was one of my ungood days at the time that it was happening.
It was one of those cold, grey mornings.  Since I had many things on my mind, I forgot to do one of the requirements for a comfortable long trip of motoring.  I soon regretted it, and looked for a toilette that might serve my purposes.  I found a public one near the highway,
I was lucky, or so I thought.  My wish was that it be merely reasonably clean; being heated and having flush toilets and paper would be considered bonuses.  I was blessed with all those features in this building.  Yes, I thought I was in W.C. heaven
But then things deteriorated.
It was already occupied by the spawn of the devil.  As soon as I entered, these furious large white creatures assaulted me with honks and hisses, knocking me down and causing me to lose my shoe and purse.  I received several pecks in my legs and derrière before I could retreat to safety to the water closet.
It was a group of geese that did it.  They were probably placed in there by a farmer to keep them out of the cold.  And they did not learn to share.  Being of the town and not the farm, I have always been timid around geese; they can be surly brutes and can injure you.
So, my situation was this: I was in the W.C., and these geese were honking and hissing at me from the other side of the stall door.  A happy thought: they will become accustomed to me, and leave me alone.
No such luck.  One old gander seemed bent on paying back old scores.  Now my race and that of the geese have been at odds.  It was they who honked when my ancestors tried a sneak attack on the Romans, and we countered with paté!  The drawings of the little Alsatian girl herding the geese have her correctly with a stick, so she can protect herself.  Nasty creatures.  Not found in polite society.
I tried to argue with reason:
"I will go away and nothing will be said of this."
"I'm a vegetarian.  I don't like to eat goose liver."
"I'm a good girl.  I go to church."
"I have contributed to the Orphan Goosling Fund."
"I never say the 'm' word.'"
"I voted for Jacques Chirac."  Okay, I lied.
Can you bribe geese?  I was willing, but had nothing to offer.  Besides, the W.C. room was so small that all were close at hand. 
My time in there neared a half-hour, and I was desperate.  My remaining shoe provided no intimidation to this evil gander, who was by now sticking his head under the stall door.  [Somehow, flailing him with my bra seemed rather lame and unproductive.]  Regretably, no one left a plunger or broom in the stall, so I was really defenseless.
Finally, I found that if you took the cover off the paper dispenser, the paper came on a very large, continuous roll (nonperforated) around a large, hollow, wooden tube.  So I took this roll off, it being as long as my arms, and tried to use it to fend off the goose.  It had most of the paper still on, and it was heavy.
It happened.  I was either lucky, or the gander was very unlucky: he put his head in the hollow core.  It thereupon got wedged in, so it was like he was wearing a big, heavy collar like the people in Rubens's paintings wore centuries ago.  The gander was furious, and would spit fire if he could.  Since he was distracted dragging his toilet paper collar around, he was distracted and I was able to slip past him and the agitated geese, retrieve my shoe and purse, and go to leave.
My temper was beyond me.  I turned around, and give the gander a sharp kick in the tail for the miseries that he gave me, and ran as fast as I could.
Later on, the others asked me how I came by the marks on my legs, perhaps thinking God know's what.  They found it hard to believe that they were due to geese!