An Exceptional Week

  Translation: drive under 30km hours or else

Translation: drive under 30km hours or else

This week was special for Dave and Marisa. One might even go as far as to say it was unprecedented in the history of their marriage. In fact, a less-cleverer person would declare that, technically, they’d be positive that what happened in the past seven days has never, ever occurred to Dave, Marisa and most (if not all) of their respective ancestry. 

Five speeding tickets. Five days. No complete sentence required.

Now, before anyone fears Marisa has taken to wine-bibbing and hot-wheeling simultaneously please allow for a very simple explanation: French speed limits suck.

Tangent... maybe it would be just a little fun to consider Marisa speeding through the French countryside in her Citroen minivan with a baguette under one arm, a bottle of Beaujolais red in the other, a Gauloise perfectly perched on her lips, all while being chased by every village cop in Lachassagne… all on horseback, all with handlebar moustaches, all with bayonets drawn.

French traffic laws suck (cont….)
If you look at the old towns of France, and recognize the historical depth to their civic planning, you quickly understand why the roads are small and cramped: it’s because everyone once drove around in Citroen 2CV’s. 

Even with that clear understanding, Dave, Marisa, or anyone else driving along the local village hiking paths (aka highways), still is left wondering why speed limits on said roads have to jump up and down like beret bearing whack-a-moles all within the stretch of a single kilometer. 50km… no, 70km… oops... Watch Out... now 90km, nope 50km… SLOW... 30km. 

It’s enough to drive a sane Mormon to consider pulling off at the nearest local winery for “just a petit peu.”

Now add to the complex whack-a-mole speed limits landscape strategically posted camera cops (imagine an evil WALL-E with an annoying flash camera shoved in his gut), and you’ve got a recipe for something a lot more potent than Roquefort: speeding tickets direct to your mailbox. 

Sure, it might be helpful if kilometers/hour didn’t seem a little like Monopoly money to Dave and Marisa. It might also be “constructive” to respect speed limits no matter their historical significance (something to do with horses and their pooping intervals), but in the land where theory and not principle rules supreme, the prevailing theory of Dave is that the entire French traffic code needs a major overhaul to be more accommodating to ignorant American drivers. 

And why stop with France! After all, the Little Frenchie Smurfs, the poster children for rich international exchange, would never stoop so low (or speed so slow in this case) to exclude other cultures and people. In fact, turns out they’re quite generous in their willingness to fund municipal programs throughout Western Europe as can be seen by the table below:

Table 1.1

Table 1.1

Summary of indicators that European traffic laws need major overhaul:


Dave: Number of speeding tickets: 2*****
Countries: Austria (1), Germany (1)

Marisa: Number of speeding tickets: 3
Countries: France (1), Switzerland (1), France (1)

Case closed... only because the word count is easier to respect than the speed limit around here :)

Dave SmurthwaiteComment