Image by philippe leroyer via FlickrBut there's a lot of competition for peoples' attention.
The analog television is going down at midnight...supposedly to be resuscitated as digital television a few hours later, but noting those ominous caveats about viewers depending on secondary emitters those few hours could stretch into days.
So for the next week everyone will be fiddling with their remote controls trying to recode the television and the DVD player, except for those over 70 or rated as being over eighty per cent handicapped who have the right to free assistance.....and will thus spend the next month fiddling with the remote control and the DVD player after the free assister has done his rounds.
Still, the lack of television will spare us from the verbal infelicities of our masters.....Rachida Dati confusing inflation with fellation and the Minister of the Interior - the one with a criminal record for racist remarks - threatening to bring in genital profiling!
I'd like to see how the gendarmerie go about that one....
Then there's the problem of petrol stations closing down....the shortages are spreading into the countryside and I bet that when the supermarkets run out that crook down by the bridge will put up his prices....not that it worries me, I have a central heating tank, but a lot of people still run petrol cars or worry about illegality - very timorous, the French.
It seems the government have tried to open up the refineries...well,round Paris anyway...by using their emergency powers and ordering people in to work - except the said people say they can't get there because strikers are forming a human chain in front of the refineries concerned and they can't get through.
Very timorous, the French.
I don't think the schoolkids busy burning cars and blocking the Champs Elysees pose too much competition to me, though.....the school holidays start shortly and they won't be bunking off from that!
So why I am thinking of going on strike?
Tax. That's why.
One of Sarkozy's bright ideas for freeing up French business practice was to do away with the Taxe Professionelle. Wonderful!
Except that local government drew a fair bit of its revenue from the Taxe Professionelle.
Another of Sarkozy's bright ideas was to reduce the number of civil servants on the central government payroll.....by transferring them to local government....and its payroll.
Now, if you've eaten sufficient fish, you will immediately recognise that the combination of these measures gives rise to problems.
If you haven't, then open a tin of sardines, which is what Monsieur Attali should have done before writing a report on how to boost French competitiveness which proposed privatising pensions and putting up VAT!
Don't know where he keeps what passes in his case for a brain....it must be away for genital profiling.
So, local government now have to work out how to make up the shortfall in their resources.
Make economies, perhaps?
Over their dead bodies! (I wish.)
The local versions of Monsieur Attali have seen fit to build new offices to accommodate all the new staff they have taken on and to buy land in order to build a new gendarmerie station at the very moment that what is laughingly called the gendarmerie service is being reorganised into different sectors and will be leaving the bailiwick altogether.
No, the shortfall will have to be made up from the property taxes...taxe fonciere and taxe d'habitation.
So unless I can sell the house, I'm facing two whopping bills next year, which is enough on its own to infuriate me, but what has made me incandescent is the following little detail......
The area is relatively poor, so the mini Attalis have decided to ease the burden of the property taxes by establishing exonerations and exemptions......wonderful!
Blasted families with three kids!
You know...the ones for whom the supermarkets package pork chops in packs of five....the ones who don't pay any tax!
I've had a better idea than going on strike....
I'm going down to the illegal gyppo encampment that the bold gendarmes have managed to ignore since time out of mind and I'm going to borrow a chainsaw.
Then I'm going to the supermarket to take station alongside the meat counter.....
And anyone who so much as looks at a five pack of pork chops is going to be genitally reprofiled.