The Baguette That Got Away

I have a complicated relationship with baguettes.

When I was 16, I won this scholarship to study in Paris for a month. Naturally, my diet for the entirety of my stay largely consisted of whole baguettes eaten in one sitting and what can only be described as jugs of Orangina.

Get in me, you sweet crunchy pieces of heaven. (Photo credit: Julie Kertesz http://ow.ly/OfS6X)
Get in me, you sweet crunchy pieces of heaven. (Photo credit: Julie Kertesz http://ow.ly/OfS6X)

It was a magical time. I gained two pants sizes. I finally got boobs. Life was good.

When I came home, my almost-daily baguette consumption continued. Crunchy, soft, warm, and sweet. I couldn’t get enough. My interest in other kinds of bread had been left behind in Paris with my too-small pants and my training bra.

Now, let’s jump ahead a few years on the Real Girl Timeline to 2012. I was in Los Angeles for my first ever Bruce Springsteen concert. Another magical time. (Except that this was better than getting boobs, people. This was Bruce).

Seeing Bruce Springsteen Sing Was Better Than Getting Boobs -- the name of my future memoir. (Photo credit:  Takahiro Kyono http://ow.ly/OfSdn)
Seeing Bruce Springsteen In Concert Was Better Than Getting Boobs — the name of my future memoir. (Photo credit:
Takahiro Kyono
http://ow.ly/OfSdn)

My mom and my sister came with me “for the experience” (Translation: They were there to make sure that I didn’t rush the stage and tackle the love of my life/the literal senior citizen that is Bruce Springsteen), and the day before the concert we decided to go to Malibu.

We opened the windows of the car and let our fingers run through the sea air. We wore shorts and skirts and sandals, ready to expose our borderline beluga-coloured bodies to the sunlight. We saw literal dolphins leaping through the waves. I brought my requisite full-sized baguette to be eaten much in the fashion of a Great White Shark devouring a seal.

Me. (Photo credit: George Probst. http://ow.ly/OfSi2)
Me. (Photo credit: George Probst. http://ow.ly/OfSi2)

Basically, it was a fucking delight of a day.

Until.

I’m sitting on a blanket, my feet curled under me, one hand pressed into the ground, the other wrapped around half of a baguette. I smell like sunscreen and sweat. The heat of the sand seeps through the blanket and warms the palm of my hand, my feet, my knees.

A few feet away, a seagull (let’s call him Fred) struts along the sand, his head turning left and right. Fred doesn’t seem adequately afraid of me, considering the fact that he’s a slightly husky seabird. Perhaps the beluga-like sheen of my skin confuses him, making him think that I am a larger, deformed seagull. Perhaps he, too, has a complicated relationship with baguettes.

I've made a terrible mistake. (Photo credit: Ade46. http://ow.ly/OfSmo)
I’ve made a terrible mistake. (Photo credit: Ade46. http://ow.ly/OfSmo)

I take a few aggressive bites of my bread as I watch Fred toe the invisible line between us.

Down the beach near the water, I can hear my mom talking to my sister. “It’s like that Coldplay song. What’s that one called — PARA-PARA-PARADISE.” She’s singing, now. She is fucking stoked.

Then, “RG!” My mom bellows. “LOOK AT THE DOLPHINS!”

Reflexively, I turn my head. (I mean, who doesn’t want to see a freaking dolphin jump in the air? I’ve seen the 1996 classic Flipper, people. I know what’s up).

Young Elijah Wood + Crocodile Dundee + a sassy dolphin friend = A film for the ages. (Photo credit: http://ow.ly/OfSqL)
Young Elijah Wood + Crocodile Dundee + a sassy dolphin friend = A film for the ages. (Photo credit: http://ow.ly/OfSqL)

Of course, this is the moment that Fred has been waiting for: the large deformed seagull is distracted, the baguette is exposed.

I feel a sudden weight on my head. Wings in my vision. A predatory squawk in my ear.

The dolphins are forgotten. My entire being swells with the one undeniable truth: There is a seagull on my head.

“AHHHHHHHHHH,” I roll onto my side.

Fred, confused and alarmed by the sudden movement of the large deformed seagull that he has chosen to mount, flaps his wings into my face and squawks loudly. I feel his little black toenails (YES, TOENAILS) dig into my forehead.

The entirety of Malibu is staring at me. Watching this girl attempt to bat away a husky white seabird with a half-eaten baguette.

“WHAT THE FU–”

Somewhere in the confusion, Fred decides that maybe he doesn’t want to be bludgeoned by a baguette, and he leaps off of my head. I run. The baguette in my hand, the blanket forgotten. I sprint through the hot sand and dive into the car, slamming the door behind me.

Behind the glass, I watch my sister and my mom run up the beach, laughing. They’ve seen the whole thing.

My sister and my mom approach the door. I only open it a crack. Who knows what Fred is capable of.

“What happened?” They wheeze through laughter.

“It attacked me!” I squeak. My hair is wild. I am still holding the baguette.

“Well, you’re not going to eat that now, are you?” My sister asks, nodding toward the bread in my hand. Sand clings to the crust.

“No, HE slobbered on it!” I jut an accusatory finger toward Fred who is ambling along the sand near my abandoned blanket. He looks unfazed, like he mounts attacks on unsuspecting baguette owners everyday.

“Well, give it here, then.”

I slip the baguette through the crack in the door, frowning. “What are you going to do with it?”

“I’m going to give it to him!” She laughs.

“WHAT? Don’t reward him!”

But, she’s already running toward Fred, flinging hunks of baguette at him. Triumphant, he swallows them down. More seagulls come. They flock to her. My sister is essentially the Bird Woman in Mary Poppins.

My loving sister. (Photo credit: http://ow.ly/OfSFK)
My loving sister. (Photo credit: http://ow.ly/OfSFK)

We’re all laughing. In the water, I can see the dolphins leaping through the waves.

X

RG

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250 thoughts on “The Baguette That Got Away

  1. I love your writing and your humor, and obviously you have a great many followers. Would you mind telling me how you went about getting such a large audience? My blog is fictional and silly, and I am working on getting it more readers. Thanks, Beh

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! As for my audience, I literally had 29 (very beloved) followers two weeks ago, and most of my views came from my mom. When I was Freshly Pressed, that changed overnight. So, it feels to me like getting a larger audience was a total fluke, but I’m grateful that everyone’s stuck around so far. Good luck with your blog. I’ll check it out 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

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  3. Haha this is brilliant! I’ve been attacked my a seagull before and it is terrifying!! He swooped down and took a chocolate croissant from my hand….a chocolate croissant!!!
    If you have a spare few minutes read my blog, it’s brand new!

    Like

  4. THIS. IS. BOSS. *fist bump* You and your relationship with baguettes is true love… If I get administered to be an officiator I WILL officiate your wedding. My god this is funny… I’d love to read more of your stuff 🙂 in the words of Ellen Degeneres – ‘You never know what funny can do.’ You my friend, epitomises that. I’m fairly new to the blogosphere (pop over for a look) and I’m glad I’ve found a gem. keep up the good work! x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Poor thing!!!! I understand how you feel… Baguettes are tasteful as fuck! I don’t know why but the French their bakery game is top level! Every time I go to France I eat baguette baguette croissant baguette and to top it all off… Panini with Nutella. I already love your blog. If you pliiiiisss would like to read my blog and give me your thoughts? ^^

    Like

  6. This was so funny – thank you for sharing it! We were eating our lunch on Brighton beach with a class of seven year olds – the one seagull that wasn’t busy pooing on the kids’ heads grabbed a sandwich off one tiny little girl. While the rest of the kids were freaking out and asking go home – she was chasing the seagull trying to get it back! We all bear the mental scars of attacks by the air rats!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Haha this was brilliant! I was once on the beach and a sea gull not only stalked me for my food but also pooped on my head. My Grammie proceeded to shove my head under the waves for a repetitive dunking/torture hair-washing to remove the “present” in my hair. Lets just say I don’t like sea gulls…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey RG, I wish to see the movie reel of “The Husky SeaBird” please re-enact one more time and turn on the cameras; ACTION!! 🌊🍞🎥🔜
    – We will need more than a Baguette… Fred is missing also His half of it… I’m still laughing…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Congratulations! I think the best advice that I can give is that you must write about things that matter to you and you must write honestly. I always start my blog posts by demanding truth from myself. Feeling shitty? Say you’re feeling shitty. Can’t think of anything to write about? Say so. And then go from there.
        From what I can see, you’re off to a pretty good start.
        Congratulations on your engagement and best wishes as you seek out greater mindfulness!
        x RG

        Liked by 1 person

  9. i feel your love for baguettes ❤ i work at a bakery in the weekends and almost always have multiple loaves of bread to bring home at the end of the day. and whenever there is a left-over baguette, you will see me munching on it as i walk down the street. i love your post ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m so with you on French baguettes,as far as I’m concerned I would regard them as food for the Gods(& me), specially when smothered in Kerrygold butter. As for the flying rodent, you sound as though you’ve got your priorities all right. Really well written post.

    Like

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