copping a feel, dead girl, death mask, France, L'Inconnue de la Seine, Rescue Annie, River Seine, second base, Smaktakula's decades-old vendetta against the French, Smooth Criminal, suicide, the French, the French people's love of stinky things, the unknown woman of the Seine
Today, the story of L’Inconnue de la Seine, or ‘the unknown woman of the Seine,’ is virtually lost to the public at large. Even those encyclopedic human housemice familiar with the obscure tale of the lovely, long-ago suicide know little more about the mysterious young woman than do those legions of people who make better use of their free time. Yet the iconic face of L’Inconnue de la Seine is one of the most recognized visages throughout the world.
Sometime in the late 19th Century, so the story goes, the lifeless body of a young woman was found drifting in the filthy waters of the River Seine in Paris. Workers at the morgue thought the waterlogged suicide so lovely that they commissioned the creation of a plaster death mask to capture her remarkable features for eternity.
Not such a dubious choice as it turns out, the anonymous suicide’s image remained popular for many years, often as a delightful household ornament. But the mysterious deathless girl’s greatest contribution to modern culture is as the face of Rescue Annie, the CPR doll that has provided the first tentative sexual experiences for several generations of adolescent boys.