Sitting in a French cafe, enjoying myself in the April sun, I was enjoying watching the busy people of Paris do their early morning thing. After a while I realized the two men at the next table kept looking at me. Smiling, I read my paper and tried to ignore them. When they kept staring I raised my cup to them. ‘Bonjour!’ They continued to stare, then chat to each other.
Eventually one of them came over and asked, ’Are you Sammy Stein?’
“Er..Yes I am, ” I replied, secretly pleased I had been ‘ recognized’ ( I don’t write using my real name so he must have met me as Sammy at a gig or a conference).
“Thought so!” he replied, turned and headed back to his friend. As he turned away I realized I had met him – he had been in Berlin at a book fair and we had had quite a ‘debate’ on the classification of certain jazz artists!
A little nonplussed I carried on reading my paper with one ear open to their conversation. I overheard the one who had spoken to me saying to his friend as he pointed in my direction. ” You’re right, it is Sammy Franken Stein!”
He left shortly afterwards and I decided to ask the one left if there was any problem.
” No”, he replied.
” It’s just that I heard him call me Franken Stein”
“You misheard, Sammy”, the guy replied ‘He did not call you Franken Stein. He called you Sammy f***ing Stein!!”
Mortified, I left!!