Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.


Roadside Curiosities, Taxation Without Representation, Travel

An official-looking envelope from the République Française arrived in the post the other day.  The return address even emphasized that famous part about  - Liberté, égalité, fraternité


And the postmark indicated it was Prioritaire!  Fetching it from the box Jill thought maybe it was a French government survey.  Someone wanted to measure our satisfaction following our most excellent two week vacation. 

Nevertheless, as the headline implies this was something far more mundane, yet serious.

It was a traffic ticket.  

To be specific - a speeding violation - in or about Hérouville-Saint-Clair on the road to Caen.  Radar camera I suspect.

So much for Liberté, égalité, fraternité.

While it was issued to Jill (who made the initial online rental car reservation) I am willingly going to fall upon my sword.  Added as an additional driver when we picked-up the car - I was the transgressor. 

I was the violator behind the wheel of the peppy compact pocket rocket Opel Astra (with the 6-speed diesel) that broke the sound barrier at 77 km/h in a 70 km/h zone. 

 7 km over the limit.  Comment téméraire!

The last speeding ticket I received was years ago.  Coincidentally, it was issued by a French-speaking trooper in rural Quebec.  When challenged about it he said something to this effect: 

Eef you do not pay zee teeket do not return to Quebec!  

It would appear that I am slightly challenged by metric speed limits.  Of course, there was also the alleged speeding ticket issued by a motorcycle patrolman hidden behind the sign at the Zoo on Bluemound.  But my pal Lawyer proved it was nothing more than a faulty right-turn signal. 

In any event this HUGE transgression committed in the Norman countryside was turning-out to be a far bigger form of international contravention because if we didn't  pay the fine - Jill (not me) would be added (along with an equally huge assortment of really nasty and dangerous types) to the international no-fly list.

Yes.  My lovely wife Jill.  The terrorist from Tosa.  As far as no-fly lists of creepy, shifty women go you should be afraid. 

Be very, very afraid.

Of course there was a provision to contest the citation.

But I think for the 45 Euro required to settle the matter it's probably not worth the trouble of retaining my pal Lawyer -  and a translator -  to travel to France and represent me.  Besides, as part of the deal there would be no points.  I guess that France nicks their tourists just like we do.

About these nonsensical hold-ups.

Il s'agit d'un tas de merde!

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