French drivers

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Italian and French drivers and such


Tater's been doin a lot of drivin here in France and in Italy (found out there's an "a" in there... sorry about spellin it Itly for so long, you Italians readin this here), and he's noticed a few things about the way your Italians and your French drive their cars.

First off, your French ain't very good drivers.

You remember Bobby Cooter? Roy's boy? Well, he had him a gal name of Dawn, back a few years. You might remember she was workin as a servin gal down to the roadhouse. Anyway, she got her a notion and went off to live in France. Learnt to talk it and everything. Married a French feller name of Gilbert, but over there they pronounce it Jill-Bear, so it don't sound sissy. Well, less than it do the way we say it, anyhow.

So when Marlene and Tater got over to France we looked em up, and by golly, if they weren't but a few miles down the road from where we was stayin, so we got together and strapped on the old feed bag a couple three times.

Ran into Bubba Goldberg too, over to the Jewish cemetery in Nice (why we was all there is another story Tater'll tell you sometime), so the first night we all got together at Tater and Marlene's, and Tater and Bubba, you remember Bubba used to be a professional cook? Well, we whupped up some real good eats, startin out with a big ol platter of cheese and olives and duck livers and such, then some noodles and mushrooms, and some lamb chops cooked in wine and capers (they's little salted flower buds, and them things is as close to bacon as a vegetable gonna get), and last off some of them fancy French desserts they cook up in these special bakeries they call patisseries, which sorta sounds like pastries so that's how Tater remembers where to get em. It was real good, and we had us some Italian wine we picked up in Genoa, and Gilbert brought over a couple of bottles of French wine.

So Gilbert he wants to show off Nice a little, and we went to a French pizza parlor a couple nights later, and it was real good too, but wouldn't you know it, pizza for five people and a bottle of wine cost more'n a hundred twenty dollars. Good thing Gilbert was payin, cause Tater wouldn't a stood for it. Pizza $10, wine $10. That's the way it ought to be. You want a salad, pay for it your own self. But your French food cost a lot, even if it's Italian. Don't know why, it just does. Good thing don't cost too much for a place to stay. Hotel cost you $90 up in Humbert gonna cost you $65 in a real pretty part of France.

Then Dawn, she's the gal that turned French, she went at it and had us over to their place, which is smack dab between Antibes and Nice, just a short walk to your French Riviera, which is a real fancy soundin beach, but ain't got no sand. Anyhow, it was real nice, and Dawn cooked us some kind of eats. Had us some baked rabbit, and taters, and a bunch of fancy stuff Tater don't know the name of and don't even know what's in there, mighta been some kind of fish and some of it was red too, if that's any help, but it was real good. And we ended up with a rhubarb pie, which they got over in France but with a different name. The way Dawn cooked it couldn't tell if it was French or American, it was just tasty and had them little brown crumbles on the top, just like Marlene puts on there when she makes her a cherry crumble. And we drank about four bottles of wine, real good wine, but Dawn don't drink and Bubba don't drink, and Gilbert didn't drink but half a bottle on account of he was gonna drive us back to our apartment, so Tater and Marlene had them a belly full.

So Gilbert's drivin us back to the apartment, and he's tellin us how France has the most car wrecks of all of Yurp, except for Spain and Portugal (which don't hardly coun as Yurp, far as Tater's concerned), on account of they drink and drive a lot, and they don't pay much attention even when they sober, so they crackin down and don't let you drink but two glasses of wine when you drivin or they take some points off your license, and they got some big ol fines for speedin, or not speedin, or parkin wrong and all that. Tryin to straighten them up some make em pay attention. But besides that, Tater noticed them French drivers is real excitable, and get upset if you don't signal before you turn even if you don't slow down none, or just about anything surprises them. That there is a recipe for a wreck, that and the drinkin.

Compare that to your Italians, who drive real fast all the time, and got these little tiny roads only wide enough for one car in the first place, and then they's a sign says the road gonna get narrower and you look down there and they's two cars comin at you and one of em's passin the other and all three of you gotta fit in where the road's all squashed down to half a lane. But you all doin 90 so ain't no time to change your mind nohow, so you do what you gotta do and somehow all of you get by just barely touchin. And you do that over and over again a couple of dozen times a day, you expect you gonna get pretty good at it. And they do. And you drive over there they expect you to keep up. You don't, and you'll see a half a dozen of em stack on up behind you like you was towin them on a belt, then as soon as the road straightens out they in front of you lickety split. That's the way it ought to be.

Now, why can't the French drive like that? Probably got their minds on cheese or gals or some such. Not that Tater blames them. They got some real pretty gals and some mighty fine cheese and wine. And they sure can bake. Give Marlene a run for her money, tell you what. So you gotta play on your strengths, and Tater suspects they do. So if they can't drive for beans, what the hell? Americans can't run like they do.

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