Monday, April 18, 2011

MAGPIE TALE: Fear of Gypsies


Another entry in the Magpie Tails

My father was never one to dispense advice or voice prejudice, but he frequently warned me about gypsies. He had few fears but chief among them were rattle snacks, tainted buttermilk and gypsies.

Mother, who could find reason to have empathy for even the most contentious individual, would point out that gypsies were the only Aryan victims of the Holocaust. A people without an official country and little political motivation.

Father also had a phobia about eating eggs, especially eggs that were not cooked well through to the yolk. A runny yolk was one of his greatest fears. "Eggs are one of the favorite ruses of the gypsies."

That statement was never expounded on, and it always mystified me. Years late while on holiday walking through a fashionable neighborhood of Milan, an egg mysterious fell from above and splattered all over my expensive leather jacket. While I looked above at the myriad of closed windows trying to find its source, a pleasant bypasser came to my aid and began to pat away the mess on my jacket with a large handkerchief he produced from his vest pocket. "Ah, how horrible. How could anyone do that to you? Oh, look there is some here on the back of your trousers. He produced another handkerchief and continued his helpful patting. Just as I was about to thank him, he excused himself saying he had to rush to his work since he was late. Freed of the egg yolk stain I decided to reach for my wallet where I had stored a small pocket map only to find...both were gone.

Distraught at my hotel where I related the story, the sympathetic night concierge sighed and said, "Ah, the work of gypsies. They work in pairs. They even steal the eggs from unsuspecting vendors. Sadly, Milan is full of them now. I'm surprised, you don't have the look of the typical victim."

My father was long gone by the time of this incident, and I never got the chance to ask him if he had a similar incident in his travels before he married my mother. I will never know, that Rosetta Stone to his psyche buried with him years ago.

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13 Comments:

At 3:18 PM, Blogger Helen said...

I've heard the gypsies even scale walls ... in the middle of the night. No open windows! Nicely done!

 
At 3:21 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Helen - We have that problem in the Bay area, but I think it's old fashioned thieves not gypsies.

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger Mary said...

Gypsies, tramps and theives!

 
At 4:14 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Mary - Gypsies, tramps and JUNK thieves. :)

 
At 4:37 PM, Blogger Reflections said...

Sounds like old fashioned thieves to me... don't we have them everywhere.

 
At 5:10 PM, OpenID versebender said...

Oh no, not the old egg-for-wallet caper. Really liked the tales of your dad's phobias...a fun read. vb

 
At 9:57 PM, Blogger Tumblewords: said...

A delightful read!

 
At 12:16 AM, Blogger Isabel Doyle said...

nicely told and tied to the prompt - I think gypsies have a bit of a bad time, all the same

 
At 4:56 AM, Blogger Shari Sunday said...

Eggs, gypsies and rattle snacks :) Isn't it great that you got an answer to the mystery even after your father was gone? Even if that is not the scenario he worried about, it is at least a very entertaining coincidence.

 
At 6:20 PM, Blogger (Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

My Irish grandmother used to tell us stories about the gypsies. Yes we have that in the states for sure and they are usually not gypsies. Great story.
QMM

 
At 6:16 AM, Blogger Dave King said...

I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised... well told, that's my excuse.

 
At 3:13 PM, Blogger Steve Isaak said...

LOL, exemplary tale.

 
At 10:32 AM, Blogger Trellissimo said...

I shall be extremely wary of falling eggs in future.

 

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