Lately my traveling alter ego Mangeot of the Nordlands has chronicled expeditions through Norway, Quebec, and now France.
Try not to judge him too hard. He means well.
13 April — Tours
We arrive among Les Français (meaning “They who put sauces on anything”) at their chief aerodrome of Paris. It is a grand city of Statuary and much stone and plentiful macaroons. It is neither clean nor particularly well-lit.
There is Much Strife among the trainsmen. We journey forth regardless as far as they will convey us, into the Touraine. We stop at the drizzle-swept outpost of Tours, pronounced “TWO-er” and meaning in Old French “Why are you not smoking?”. The country folk greet us in a State of Ennui until we demonstrate means of payment. Then fine chefs serve us their Kir and Martini Rouge and treat us to feasts of savory pies made with chicken egg and salted pork. They show us all manner of chateau. Over local wine in which the townsfolk take Great Pride, they ask if I have read the writings of their noted author Balzac. “Some,” I say. “Oui,” they say, “you must be forgiven. You who are possibly from the Nordlands.” I nod. “Perhaps less so,” I say. “But still there is this,” they say. “Why are you not smoking?”
16 April — Bordeaux
We cross the Loire and sally forth into the hinterlands. Onward we venture, beyond the cloudy gloom and Lordly Manors, beyond the Signals of Wireless Service under what our quartermaster tells me is an International Roaming Plan. Our party presses into the Aquitaine, which I translate as “We wait until after the nap.”
In these Darkest Wilds we arrive among the Bordelaise. These are a river people who Continue reading “Mangeot of the Somewhat Nordlands: Among Les Français, 2018”
Good evening, sir. A big ring-a-ding-ding to you, too. And mademoiselle! Welcome to Toots Shor’s. Yes, quite a swinging clam-bake tonight. I hear it always is.
Table for two? I see. We’ve nothing just now. Perhaps for quite some time.
Yes, I’m sure you are ready to wet your whistles. Unfortunately, as you say, the clams are really baking, aren’t they? What name shall I put your party under?
Could you spell that for me? S-I-N-A-P-R-A. Mr. Sinapra, if I could just get you to step aside–
Oh, Sina-TRA, is it? I beg your pardon. As you can see, Mr. Sinatra, we’re rather busy at the moment. Friday night, all of Midtown swinging. So have a seat, and I’ll call you when—
Seated now? I’m terribly sorry, sir. It’s quite impossible. These good people ahead of you have been waiting– Continue reading “One Half of an Awkward Conversation: Table for Mr. Sinatra”
March 24, 2016
By Certified Mail
Mr. Robert Mangeot, Author of Shameless and Baseless Works of Fiction
Dear Mr. Mangeot:
The venerated and venerable law firm Vernon Stagg and Associates represents the selfsame Vernon Stagg, Esq., a noted figure of legal and civic stature in the greater metropolitan Nashville area. We mean none other than the capitol of the great state of Tennessee. Music City.
As you must surely know, having authored such a mistaken and misguided mischaracterization as “The Cumberland Package,” published in the May 2016 edition of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, you present to Nashville’s reading and voting public a grievously and grotesquely false depiction of Vernon Stagg. For the legal record and for all other records of important nature, now and in perpetuity, in his representation of Mr. Chit “Big Kick” Bowling, Vernon Stagg at no time and in no way engaged in any of the following: conspiracy to commit murder; Continue reading “Humor: In Which Vernon Stagg Self-Lawyers Up”
JOHN GERMAINE, a play-by-play announcer
HAMISH MacFLAGON, a color analyst and former world champion
PETER CHERSKY, a Russian championship contender
EMILIANA, a Brazilian championship contender
various officials and audience members
JOHN: This is it, the match we’ve waited for all year! Welcome, everybody, to beautiful Dubai and the WFTTT World Tic-Tac-Toe Championships. Glad you could join us. I’m John Germaine, and with me as always is legend of the three-by-three Hamish MacFlagon.
HAMISH: Noughts and crosses, Johnnie! Noughts and crosses do not get any better!
JOHN: Hoo boy! It does not. It’s all come down to this, Hamish. Two contrasting styles going for the trophy today, Russian ice versus Brazilian fire.
HAMISH: Aye, we got a belter of a match ahead. A real belter. They go about the hashtag in their own way, but both can put three squares together.
JOHN: Russian Pyeter Chersky was Continue reading “A Play in One Scene: Glory on the Hashtag”