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Spano Smokes Out The Locals

Susan Spano hits Paris

Susan Spano, our favorite overemployed clueless American in Paris, is at it again! I'd stopped commenting publicly on her posts to her faux blog, as it was kind of like throwing grenades at fish in a barrel. I do sometimes send corrections directly to the LA when she wrote that France was thinking of instituting a 35-hour work week, when they were, if I recall correctly, in the midst of talks to abolish it (or they might have just abolished it when she wrote that...sorrry, mind like a steel sieve). Somebody at the LAT corrected her error, never crediting me or anyone else who might have written in.

Anyway, Spano this week was perplexed as to why she couldn't find a charcoal grill anywhere in Paris. I have no idea whether the French use charcoal barbeques at all, but Spano is so intent on having an American experience in Paris, rather than a French one, that she has to buy one from Amazon in the US and have it shipped to the LA Times so she can cart it thousands of miles to Paris to repeat her life in LA. Hey, Susan, do us all a favor and stay home BBQ'ing in LA and leave the blogging on Paris to people who actually do a good job of it -- for example, Auntie M and La Coquette.

But, there's more to the story. Spano writes:

But I couldn't find anything right for my terrace that was charcoal burning. Lots of gas and electric, but who needs that?

Umm, somebody who doesn't want to asphyxiate her neighbors? What kind of rude moron buys a charcoal grill to use in close quarters, in a city?

Am I being unfair? I checked with a French friend in Los Angeles, born and raised in Paris:

Of course it would be terribly rude!!!! In-croyable!

I asked another friend living in Paris what she thought the law might be. She didn't know, but said:

Some situations should not need to have a law attached because of their logic, both on safety & rudeness.

Luckily, the Europeans haven't thought to return the favor in kind. In fact, those over here seem to brighten up the place.

For example, Emmanuelle Richard.


And the lovely Claudia, who must remain last name-less!

UPDATE: From yet another friend in France:

Chère Amie,

The person I talked to at the Mairie du 7e did not have in mind the whole "réglementation sanitaire" which covers this type of situation. She gave me a number at the Préfecture de Paris. By the time I called, the office was closed. The lady assured me that utilisation of BBQ on balcony in Paris is forbidden, of course, it is not always obeyed. I hope the Préfecture will be able to give me a website we can check. In a nutshell, each city has its own rules & regulations, depending on weather, type of building, gardens etc. But I can tell you in advance that no one is allowed to light up a BBQ on a balcony in Paris...

A bientôt!

Posted by aalkon at May 24, 2005 8:49 AM

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Girl number 1 is kinda smokin'

Posted by: Little ted at May 24, 2005 1:16 AM

In her determination to bring Los Angeles to the VIIeme, La Spano proposes to serve guacamole and margaritas as the all-american steaks are cooking on the imported charcoal grill. I think I hear the sound of the pannier à salade [1] arriving right now ;-)

[1] Salad basket; slang for the caged van the gendarmes take you away in when they arrest you for creating vile smoke in a residential quartier.

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at May 24, 2005 9:50 AM

Interesting how the US likes to slag the French for being rude. When I've traveled overseas, I am invariably embarrassed by the behavior of my fellow Americans. There is a reason the phrase "ugly American" was coined. I do my best to dispel those broad generalizations, but there are so many jerks out there making me look bad.

:grumble grumble:

Posted by: Goddyss at May 24, 2005 10:36 AM

Well, they have tortilla chips at Fauchon if she really needs them. At least Mary Macnamara's Cannes journal was a temporary respite from Spanoism. Why doesn't she go visit some French people in the country, I'm sure they could grill something up for her?

Posted by: Pat Saperstein at May 24, 2005 2:59 PM

I bet those cactus were only 1/3 as large before Emanuelle showed up.

Posted by: eric at May 25, 2005 7:18 PM

27th May:

Nice to see that Frania's latest rant, mocking La Spano's failure to integrate, is now "published".

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at May 27, 2005 7:33 AM

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