You Were: The Fan

November 8, 2010

 

You’ve loved sports in every life you’ve led. Jousting, camel racing, ulama. But in the 1930s, your passion was automobile racing. You grew up in Monte Carlo, and each spring you eagerly awaited the Monaco Grand Prix, the prestigious race that takes place every year on the narrow, twisting streets of Monaco.

Unlike most ladies of the era, you weren’t a casual spectator. Your father and brothers were all mechanics, and you knew cars inside and out. You could identify a Bugatti tire with just a touch of your fingers. You could tell an Alpha Romeo from a Mercedes-Benz just by listening to the purr of their engines. But your love for the sport couldn’t compare with your love for a certain dashing French driver. You’d followed his career from the moment he’d entered his first race, and you dreamed of the day you might cross his path in the Monte Carlo hotel where you worked as a maid.

But luck was not on your side. In May of 1936, your hotel was booked by Mercedes-Benz drivers and high-ranking members of the Nazi party. The nervous drivers kept to themselves while their Nazi handlers dreamed up schemes that would ensure a German victory. When you arrived each morning to fluff their pillows and make their beds, they were already hard at work. They didn’t pay any attention to the pretty young maid who cleaned very slowly. They must have assumed that you didn’t speak German. They had no way of knowing that your mother hailed from Berlin.

The Nazis had studied every driver in the race, and they’d determined that your Frenchman posed the biggest threat. Their solution to the problem was simple—and deadly. They would make a slight “adjustment” to French driver’s car that would go unnoticed—until he reached the first hairpin turn.

You couldn’t go to the authorities. If your bosses knew you’d been snooping on the guests, you would surely be fired. And you had a hunch that it might not be a good idea to mess with the Nazis. So you decided to stake out the garage where the French driver’s car was kept. Once the Nazis made their adjustment, you crept inside and made one of your own. That’s when your Frenchman arrived.

He lost the race the next day. A Mercedes driver won fair and square. The French driver may not have gone back to Paris with a victory under his belt, but he did return with a rather handy former maid.

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3 Responses to “You Were: The Fan”

  1. Andrea M. Says:

    oooh…love it! And funny thing…my brother actually started his own company on making cars faster to race them!

  2. Andrea M. Says:

    Well, I love fast cars but my love has moved to football


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