We pushed our way into the bustling Galleries Lafayette in the center of Saturday-crowded Paris. Our noses and ears started to thaw as we squeezed between perfume counters, Chloé bags and silk scarves to the elevator line. After a quick look at the map of the grand magasin I filed in behind Copain up to the third floor. He raced ahead of me to the miniature man and woman sign indicating where to find the practically hidden toilettes and was already in and out as I arrived at the toilet line...strangely he was the only man coming out. I was standing in a line of women.
I shot him The Look - "I think you're in the ladies restroom," I whispered.
But no matter - happy to have been saved from the busting bladder he waltzed his way out to the men's dress shirt section as any defiant Frenchman would, leaving me to stand in line for the next free toilette.
Finally - my turn. I'm in, I'm out and now there is a line of mostly men waiting for the next available stall. This is clearly a unisex bathroom which I find exceptionally strange for a place like the upscale Galleries Lafayette. I wash my hands and move to my left where the hand dryer is located trying to get rid of every drop of water that will probably turn into ice upon impact with the cold outside. I turn around to leave but a man is staring into one of the stalls with a horrified look on his face. Suddenly all attention shifts to me -
"C'était VOUS qui avez fait ça?! - Were you the one who did this?!" glares the bathroom cleaning lady as she points to explosive diarrhea all over the toilet seat.
Shocked in the face of the explosion but with all the French defiance I can muster, I glare right back at her - NON!
"Vous êtes sure?! - Are you sure?!" and she points her mop in the direction of the nasty splatter.
I give her one final glare - and leaning forward, eyes like darts- mouth pursed - I say again, "NON, Madame." I turn on my heel and fume out of the bathroom, away from the scene of the crime where I was wrongly accused of a Number Two I didn't commit!
I would normally say that this was just a French issue - that obviously this woman was too French for her own good and didn't understand the difference between rude and ruder. But even Copain the Frenchman was shocked. So the real confusion is this: was she going to make the culprit clean it up? Close the doors of the bathroom, deprive us of food and water until someone fessed up? Who left this explosive shit?! No Bordeaux or Camembert until the offender steps forward!
Seriously - I'm at a loss. WTF