Pooper Blooper

"Aviva Layton has told of accompanying her future husband [the Canadian poet Irving Layton] on a pilgrimage to Shakespeare and Company during a stay in Paris in 1959. The famous bookstore, where so many writers of the 1920s held court, had long since passed from Sylvia Beach's hands to those of George Whitman, another American expatriate. Whitman invited the Canadian couple for coffee in the building's loft, accessible by ladder from the art gallery located immediately above the ground-floor bookshop. Layton was suffering from gastric distress he attributed to rich French food and stepped out onto the corrugated tin roof to relieve himself. The roof gave way. With his trousers still at half mast, Layton went crashing into the gallery where, in his companion's recollection, 'a vernissage [private showing] or something was going on.' They later repaired the roof, carrying building materials across the city when no taxi would accept them, but the proprietor was not forgiving. 'What an animal!' he kept repeating..."

[In November 2003, a Chinese man announced that he had walked non-stop for 18 months because walking was the only cure for his stomach ache.]

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