Monday, February 19, 2007

Signs of the Times

On a very positive note, I wanted to report that someone in France has introduced poop sacs for the canine population. As you can see from the photo, a tremendous amount of thought, artistry, creativity, and money went into this signage. But now, someone else must step forward and encourage the people to actually use these sacs. I believe that the French must be afraid that if any of the other dogs saw them picking up their dog's feces, it would result in a potentially psychologically damaging situation for Fifi, non?
If only "le guichet automatique" (the ATM machine at Credit Ag) had instructions so visually comprehensive as the signage for the pooper-scooper sacs, perhaps my cash card would not have mysteriously been swallowed on Saturday morning. When a secret code was requested, I entered the same 6-digit one I key in for my online French account. What else was I to assume but success when it advanced me to the next screen asking how much money I wanted to withdraw. Not only was I not entitled to my desired 250 euros, but the window flashed "DESOLE!" with great eagerness, not the presumed apology, and the card slot began a series of mechanical noises that didn't sound forgiving. I envisioned the lucky next person, at the conclusion of his/her transaction, being rewarded with my card and and additional 250 euros popping out. We may have already mentioned that one of the greatest mortal sins in France is to bounce a check. You will be blacklisted from not only your bank, but refused an account throughout the country. Maybe I had keyed in the wrong amount, say 250,000 euros, and now the gendarmes would be out for me because I had overstretched my account. I would have to wait until Monday to find out the "rest of the story" when the bank reopened.
With regard to the bumper sticker: I have no idea what the "206" means, but I think the donkey and the bull need no explanation. If you can't figure it out, you are probably one of those who wouldn't use a poop sac either.


Anonymous said...

Luke enjoyed your commentary on "disposals and dog poop"...I guess you just have to live on bags of doritos and microwave popcorn (like me!) and you won't need to dispose of "fresh food". HA! And we have to give the French credit for putting up the "pooper-scooper"'s a step in the right direction, isn't it? If you had a dog in France you could "teach by example"...after all, we Americans can do some some things really well...scooping dog s**t" for instance! Have a great week...and watch where you walk!

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the bank card situation. Luke was going out of town for a long weekend and she took the money and forgot the card...a fact not discovered until the next least the machine "sucked in" the card and no one stole it...but it was rough being without the card...I had to stretch my money much further than I expected! I'm going to have to get an English/French dictionary if I keep reading your blog...I can make a guess...but I'm not totally sure what "DESOLE" means!

Nancy said...

"Desole" is meant to mean SORRY (as I am using it all the time to apologize for my poor French), but when the ATM machine steals your card, it's more like "you idiot" or "you sucker". And, by the way, the finer print on the bottom of the pooper scooper photo warns people that they should not use the poop sacs for food! Indeed.

Michael-V said...

We finally caught up w/ your blog. Great!
Re tools: I think it's best to get them locally...220 volts and metric.
BTW building in metric is heaps easier than calling out measurements like "17 and 5/64 plus a little".
Cheers from NZ

leslie said...

Oh boy, are those blue shutters a pretty color. Did you get your card back from le guichet automatique. Quel horreur. I think the 206 is just something describing the care, like a Mercedez says SL300 on the back. Doesn't that sticker remind you of the bow wow VW stickers? There is a great book in English called French or Faux. It is written for diplomats and business people going for longer stays in France. It gives you great insight into the French, like smiling at them. They do not smile when they make eye contact when passing you on the street. Americans smile at everyone. If you and a French stranger were to share an amusing sight, a funny bumper sticker, you could look at each other and smile. The book explains stuff like that. Once you are aware of some of those things it is so interesting, just the little nuances that different cultures develop.