Friday, 4 August 2017

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 34

Mme. Landlord was on the phone.  ‘Mais, Non!’  She repeated in utter exasperation.  Mr. Pride had called her to demand access to his roof through her apartment’s window where I rent, so his workers could install a sky roof on his restaurant.  Mme. Empathy believed that the lack of a sky roof was the reason her restaurant was sparsely occupied.  You would think that good food with honest price is the keys to more customers, but not Mme. Empathy, our lady with substance.  So here he was, Mr. Pride, demanding that I complied his request.  He knew I was suffering insomnia and was weakened.   Mme. Landlord defended me, ‘You and Mme. Empathy keeps installing electric appliances that make loud noise all night long, which keep my tenant up every night.  I have told you this many times!’ 

Mr. Pride interrupted Mme. Landlord with a scoff.  ‘Your tenant chose to live above a restaurant.  Where does she get off complaining?’  Mme. Landlord corrected him, ‘I too live above a restaurant in the other building, but the restaurant owner there is causing no problems.  Why can’t you do the right thing and pay for the insulation?  You are a wealthy man with many business, Mr. Pride!’   But alas, he kept demanding that ‘this Asian woman should stop feeling sick and open her door to the tradesmen.’  He was relentless even after Mme. Landlord pleaded him to let her keep her doctor’s appointment for her cancer.  He kept demanding for nearly two hours until she finally dropped the telephone receiver from exhaustion.  

I am not so naive as to judge him for putting his profit above the health of the others.   But I was stupefied when he demanded respect.  Yes, ‘respect.’  Was there another meaning to this word that I did not know of?  Mme. Landlord said to him that ‘respect must be given mutually’ but of course, it fell on deaf ears.

Two days later, a secretary showed me into an office full of books.  Probably the most unpragmatic decision of mine had been made by Mr. Pride.  A lawyer named Mr. Pillar greeted me quietly.  To be continued.
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