Road Rage: French Style

Bear with me: I’ll get to the road rage part in a little while. But first, you need a set-up.

A Meal That Simply Wasn’t Meant to Be: Saturday night rolls around and it’s time to get dinner going. We were going to have magret de canard – duck breast – cooked on the grill. I go out on the front patio and turn the gas grill on, then I come back inside, open the fridge, and take out the two magrets I had purchased three days earlier. And such a deal too: they were half-off at the store. I open the first package and – sniff – something doesn’t smell right. I look at the ‘sell by’ date and see that it was – surprise – two days ago.

Oka-a-a-a-a-y. So we’re not having duck. M goes downstairs, checks the freezer and comes back with a nice T-bone steak that I had picked up a week earlier from John Price Butcher, seemingly the only person in FR with access to decent steaks. Since the steak is frozen and needs to defrosted in the zapper, I go out and turn the grill down to low, just to keep it warm.

Several minutes later, the steak is ready for the grill. I go to turn the heat up and notice the flame doesn’t increase. Uh-oh. Sure enough, 15 seconds later – poof, poof – the flames go out. No more propane in the tank.

Soooo…in the oven and under the broiler it goes. Sigh. Nowhere near as good as barbecued steak.

And soooo…this afternoon I headed to the local Carrefour Market to get a fresh tank of propane. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy, I get the new tank and I’m on my way, which is when the road rage happens.

The scene: Leaving Pibrac and headed to good ol’ LegoLand, the road heads uphill and there are a couple of roundabouts about 200 meters/yards apart. Each roundabout is two lanes wide, so that people headed left out of the roundabout can go on the inside track and people taking the first exit get the outer track.

Just after the first roundabout, the connecting road is also two lanes wide, a guy in a big, red Ford Ranger pick-up pops in the left lane and prepares to enter the second roundabout.

But first: you read that correctly: a big, red Ford PICK-UP! The first pick-up I’ve seen in a week or more.

Back to the story: Pick-up guy enters the second roundabout in the left lane and then – sacre bleu! – he takes the first exit and (lemon) squeezes barely between two cars who also took the first exit. He forces his way ahead of the Citroen in front of me and Mr. Citroen extends his arm out the window and gives Mr. Ford le doigt d’honneur.

Then it gets interesting – read: dangerous.

Mr. Citroen decides the finger of honor is not sufficient. He stomps and accelerator and passes Mr. Ford. I have a good idea what’s coming so I slow down. A second or two goes by and I see the Ford’s brake lights come on.

Turns out I was only partially correct in my assumption. See, I thought Mr. Citroen was just going to slow down, tap the brakes, and try to make road life miserable for Mr. Ford by not letting him pass again.

But I didn’t realize how upset Mr. Citroen truly was. After a brake or two, he comes to a complete stop in the road. Then I hear the sound of the Ford running – slowly – into the back of the Citroen. Figuring this isn’t going to be a good scene, I scoot by on the right.

In the 2-3 seconds it took me to do that, Mr. Citroen was out of his car and at the driver-side door of the Ford. In my rear view mirror, I see Mr. Ford trying to open his door and Mr. Citroen keep pushing it back. Other cars are also doing a drive-by on the right.

I suppose I should check La Depeche tomorrow to see if this escalated into something more.


About skinsphins

The stories of a 'never out of the country until we moved to France' American.
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