"Women Who [Don't] Love France"
A feminist acquaintance has forwarded me a "Call For Submissions" email that originated from Avalon Publishers
, which is seeking essays and stories from "Women Who Love France." Subject matter, they say, can include things like one's youthful infatuation with the language and the culture, the culinary offerings, manners and customs, travel experiences, experiences living, uh, in-country, etc. (Note: I couldn't find anything about it on the website.)
Well, I have some other topic suggestions:
Le Métro Puant: Write about how you managed not to pass out from the reek of several hundred unwashed Frenchmen the first time you rode the subway in Paris. Tales about being groped during the ride optional.
Au Revoir, Le Rasoir!: Enthuse about your new-found liberty of letting your armpit and leg hair grow so long that small animals started nesting in it.
Où le fuck est McDonald's?: Getting tired of eating pretentious, overrated food [*cough* escargot *cough*] cooked in filthy kitchens every night...and dreaming of a big, juicy, well-done Quarter-Pounder drowned in (quel horreur!!) ketchup?
Nique Ta Mère Les Juifs: The enlightening experience of being a Jew in France, especially if you have Semitic features or a recognizably Jewish last name. Bonus points for any photos of a Star of David carved into your wrist by Parisian street hoods.
Nous Détestons Tous les Américains: Discuss the gracious cosmopolitan manners of French shopkeepers, including pretending not to notice you, sneering at your attempts at a French accent, and trying to swindle you.
L'égout Appellé la Rue: Paint a word-picture of the typical Parisian street, afloat with urine,
hocked loogies, cigarette butts, dog shit, and other detritus.
L'importance de la Famille: Tell us about that lovely vacance you took with the Valettes on la belle Côte d'Azur this summer while, in her Paris apartment, M. Valette's Mémé died a slow, agonizing death in the heat, then proceeded to bloat to the point of explosion, to the great delight of the resident flies, rats, and other vermin (other than the two-legged kind).
Before I end, I must comment on this suggestion that Avalon actually made: "Maybe you worked there once and learned something about the French work ethic."
Vive la Grève!: Learning how to hold down a job for years while getting absolutely nothing done; and getting bent out of shape, then going on strike when anyone actually DARES to ask you to actually do what you were hired to do.