Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Weird, weirder, weirdest

In Belgium, July and August are the quietest months of the year. Many people, especially those who have school-going children take their annual vacation during these two months. For those of us who work during that period, it’s the best time of year to drive to and from work as there is very little traffic.

Early this morning it struck me that the almost empty roads had been taken over by crows. Audaciously they were hopping and strutting on and by the side of the road, looking for food. Ever since I’ve seen Hitchcock’s movie ‘The Birds’, I find crows to be very creepy creatures. But apparently not everybody shares this feeling. 

Some years ago when we were staying at our favourite hotel in Tours, the landlady told us a very strange story about some of her patrons. They had arrived with quite a large number of suitcases and trunks. Before coming down to dinner on the first evening of their stay the woman had called the reception to ask whether it was possible to have a babysitter for the evening. This had slightly surprised the girl at the reception desk, as she was not aware of the couple having a young child staying with them. She hadn’t asked any questions though, and had called the hotel’s babysitter.

Shortly after the babysitter had gone up to the room the couple came down. Several times during dinner either the man or the woman went upstairs to check whether everything was alright. The next morning the babysitter told the following unbelievable yet true story.

Apparently two of the large suitcases had contained the couple’s collection of cuddly toys all representing … crows. They had spent the best part of their first afternoon at the hotel unpacking the crows and placing them all over the rooms of their hotel suite. There were well over a hundred of them and they all had been packed in individual vacuum-sealed plastic bags.

The woman had instructed the babysitter to entertain the crows by singing to them and caressing them, making sure not to forget the ones in the bathroom so that they wouldn’t get jealous of the ones in the bedroom and the sitting room. At first nobody would believe the poor babysitter. The presence of the crows was however confirmed later that morning by the maid, who almost had a fit when she walked into the room to do the beds and the daily cleaning. Next the other members of the hotel staff had gone up one by one to have a look at the strange set-up.

In the evening the couple once again requested the services of the babysitter. Although the girl was available the landlady lied and said that she was looking after some other guests’ baby. As a result the couple took turns to come down and have their dinner. To everybody’s surprise they didn’t ask for the babysitter on the third evening and they had their meal together in the dining room. Had they come to there senses? No, they had … bought a baby phone, which lay on the table throughout the whole meal. On the other end of the baby phone you could hear the sound of a tape recorder playing lullabies. When the tape stopped, either the man or the woman went up to check on the crows and to insert a new tape into the machine.

Needless to say that the whole hotel staff felt relieved when the next morning the couple packed up their weird flock of crows and moved on to their next destination.

P.S. It's not so much the fact that the couple collected crows that surprises me - after all I collect beavers! It's more the fact that they took so many with them on their holiday and even paid a babysitter to look after them!



chm said...

It's the weirdest story I've ever heard. There are deranged people everywhere, but some are less deranged than others.

As you said, it's OK to collect stuffed animals or the like, but hire a baby sitter to SING and TALK to them! Wow!

I would understand talking to plants, as is recommended, because they're living things, but plastic birds!

Of course these people are harmless, and that's the only good point about them.

ladybird said...

Chm, My mother is very good at talking to plants ... and it works. Whenever I have a plant that is doing poorly, I take it over. And before you know, it's perky, shining and flowering again! I wish I had her 'green thumb' :)

Jean said...

It's the mad people that make life interesting !!

Are you sure you weren't being filmed for some "reality" TV show ?

ladybird said...

Jean, LOL, but I'm quite sure that it wasn't a TV reality show. We weren't staying at the hotel at the time it happened. The landlady only told us the story two years after that they had sold the hotel. And we know her well enough to know that she wouldn't lie about a thing like that. She may have exaggerated a little ... maybe there were only 50 toys or so instead of 100+ ... But after spending more than 40 years in the hotel business, she has seen a lot ...