All the stuff you never knew you needed to know about life in rural France.....and all the stuff the books and magazines won't tell you.

Friday, 6 January 2012

The dentists waiting room.

Pizza, Frozen foodImage via Wikipedia
The door to the waiting room opens and the occupants look up as the newcomer salutes them.

'Bonjour, Messieurs..Dames'

'Bonjour, Monsieur' comes the subdued reply from a chorus of swollen jaws.

'Ah, Roger! I'll take the corner seat near you. How are things?'

'Oh, not so bad Jean Marie, not so bad...I've got this filling that that butcher over at Partouze le Bains was supposed to have done and it's come out. Giving me gip.'

'You're lucky that Mme. Forage could see you...her list is full to overflowing.'

'Well, I'm on the list, it's just that she was on holiday when I had the toothache....'

'So what happens now she's retiring this year? There's no one else nearer than that butcher and it's no better if you try to find a dentist in Chiottes la Gare or Benitierville...same story, all their lists are full.'

'I hear some councillor had the bright idea of having vets fill in for the shortage of doctors in rural areas....they could fill in for dentists as well while they're at it! They might even do house calls! And come out at night rather than tell you to ring the emergency services!'

'It would never work...the local doctors and dentists would never stand for it....the vets might do a better job...after all, their patients bite if they're not happy.'

No...something helpful, they'll squash that before it starts.'

'Mme. Forage is running a bit late, isn't she? Not like her.'

'No...she's got an emergency. Albert from the superette. He's had a bit of an accident.'

'Not that old Solex of his....I've been telling him for ages he'll have an accident cornering the Place de l'Eglise like that over those cobbles they put down.'

No, nothing like happened in the tax office at Chiottes la Gare.'

'What was he doing there? The nearest he goes to them is posting his tax returns through their letterbox after dark on the last day for returning the forms.'

'It's about the new VAT rules. He got himself into a bit of a paddy about it all and went to see them.'

'Well, how does it affect him?'

'Because they've put VAT up on some of the stuff he sells in his superette and the whole thing's a minefield.
As far as I can understand it, they want to discourage people from eating fast up goes the VAT.'

'What, pizzas and things?'

'Yes...unless they're frozen. And soft drinks and suchlike. According to Albert, if you sell a fruit drink in one of those plastic cups with a's 7 %. If you sell the same thing in a's 5.5%.'

'Mad...totally mad.'

'That's what Albert says. He's having to alter his till to cope with it. They don't think these things through, either. Albert says that if he sells one of those snack lunch know, the sandwich with a serviette and plastic kinife...then it's fast food and it's 7 %. If he sells it on its own...then it's 5.5%.
Now my son in law works for old Duvenin...they've got big contracts for plastic packaging and I bet they do those lunch that'll be another contract down the tubes.'

'So he went in to kick up, then?'

'No, he went in to demonstrate that there was no real difference. That it was absurd. And to kick up.
He took one of his frozen pizzas -5.5% - and one of the chilled ones - 7%, then one of those soft drinks in a cup - 7% - and another in a box - 5.5%.
By the time he got there the frozen pizza was starting to defrost a bit and by the time he got in the office it was well on the way. Just the way it would be if you bought them in his superette and took them home.'

'Not if you had an igloo bag...'

'Albert doesn't sell igloo bags.
Anyway, he pulled all this out of his shopping bag and started to demonstrate that there was no difference.
He opened the plastic cup with his fingers and tore the box open with his teeth. Same amount of time.
'Where's the difference?' he asked.
It was when he got to the pizzas that he had the problems.
He tore a piece off the chilled one and then a piece off the defrosted one. Same amount of time.'

'So where was the problem?'

'That blasted new man. He said he wasn't convinced that the frozen pizza was in the same state as the chilled one and that if Albert expected him to write a report then Albert would have to show him that one was as ready to eat as the other.  By eating them.
Albert said he could try them himself if he liked but he said he had every confidence in Albert's veracity.

Albert managed the bit of frozen pizza, no problem at was when he started on the chilled one that his tooth broke off in the dough...'

'Probably weakened opening the box....'

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  1. That would never happen with a Pot Noodle.

  2. Steve, so that's why people buy them...

  3. Yep, that pretty much sums it up. Businesses have been given extra time to sort out the mess.

    We just put our prices up. Simple.

  4. Brilliant, Fly. When's the opening night of the new Élysée farce?

  5. Life was so much simpler before the days of fast food.

  6. I feel like a soldier revisiting the battlefield too soon...traumatic (and hilarious).

  7. Well that should sort out the French obesity problem then! Did you see that Pierre Dukan (he of the Dukan Diet) has suggested that children with a normal BMI should be given extra marks in their Bac. Apparently obesity is running at 50% in France now and still people buy 'Why French Women don't get Fat'!!

  8. Mark in Mayenne...and what happens when the lunatic brings in the social VAT?

    Perpetua...every night twice nightly...

    cheshire wife, I reckon I can make a sandwich in the time it takes to open those plastic boxes...and as for pre heating ovens and what not, the take away food is anything but fast.

    Amy, just so you know what you're missing....

    Wylye Girl, yes I did! And as for that book...don't they use their eyes? Rural France is populated by large ladies...wonderful for my morale!

  9. Fly, I swear that this country is going crazy.

    The latest thing is that we have to reprogramme our TomToms to stop the prewarnings of the police radar machines.

    Whatever next?

    You couldn't make it up!


  10. SP, and what about the breathalyser in the car?
    And the social VAT?
    And the go it alone Tobin tax?
    My worry has always been that they not only can but do make it they go along!

  11. making it up as they go along.... yup; they've been doing it for years *wry smile*

  12. Niall and Antoinette, it's the retrospective legislation which gets my goat the most...