Legends from our own lunchtimes

Monday, June 03, 2019

Wanted Man.
Wednesday 29th May -Douai

To be perfectly frank, there is a certain time that should elapse between flying half way around the world and hopping behind the wheel of a car and twelve hours is probably not it. We have managed to do that a dozen or more times without incident of any kind other than suffering from inordinate fatigue as a result of the total concentration required.

The French government, no doubt aware that we were getting pretty good at this game, decided last year to take it up a level.  It dropped the blanket speed limit outside of towns by ten kilometres per hour, which in itself is easy enough to understand, except that it also decreed in its own inimitable fashion, that if they hadn’t gotten around to changing the “90” signs, the speed limit would still be 80 unless the signs said otherwise(!).

Therefore, on that fateful day on a piece of road clearly marked “90” but which really meant “80”, with a radar trap a hundred metres before an overtaking lane (which maybe should have been a clue) also signed “90” but which meant “90” and with the cruise control locked on “86” we were photographed while carrying out an act in contravention of the law.   

The government told the hire car company, which kindly provided it with our address.  An infringement notice was duly posted to Australia, which was then redirected to the keeper of our mail, who scanned it and sent it via e-message to us.  Quite logically tobacconists are agents for the speeding fines people, so it shouldn’t have been difficult to finalise our due.  The tobacconist (who had a neat little bar at the back of his shop) wanted to see the original, apparently to ensure we hadn’t forged the ticket.  After a little argument about the logic of that accompanied by the sound of the late payment fee ticking over, he agreed to scan the barcode and accept our credit card with moments  to spare before the “wanted” posters went up.

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