The traditional tranquilité of our commune was shattered yesterday when two members of the local constabulary were called to an altercation at La Petite Superette et Salon de Thé.
This is believed to be the first time that the gendarmes have had to be diverted from their usual job – manning speed traps on the Route Départemental – since the notorious incident eight years ago involving Farmer Vachamant, two bottles of home-made Pineau, a small step-ladder and the prize cow.
Speaking exclusively to Le Quotidien, Officer Maurice Piedplat said that the Gendarmerie received a telephone call at 10:45 yesterday morning from Mme Elise Tricot, the Superette’s proprietor, who reported that two English ladies were causing a disturbance in her shop.
“I attended the incident, accompanied by my colleague, Auguste Cerveau, on account of he went to the Lycée and speaks a bit of English. We were not prepared for what we found”.
A still clearly distraught Mme Tricot told us: “It was a normal day and I was just cutting a couple of tranches of jambon blanc for old M. Tremblotant when I heard raised voices over by the magazine rack. I looked over and I saw two of my English regulars – that woman from Bongenre who always wears the waxed jacket and the green bottes, and the older lady from Cul-de-Nullepart; the one who talks very loudly and slowly and tuts a lot.
It looked like they were having a tug-of-war with a copy of that English magazine – what’s it called, the Radio Temps? They were getting quite carried away, I can tell you. I went over and asked them to stop but they just ignored me, so I went and phoned the gendarmes. And then I nipped in the back and had a small absinthe, just to settle my nerves, you understand”.
Eye-witness Mrs Betty Pewles takes up the story: “I was just squeezing the tomatoes and minding my own business while Elise was busy serving the old bloke when all hell broke loose. There was that posh woman – Araminta Fitzpoorly, is it? – and old Maggie Frobisher going at it hammer and tongs over the Radio Times. It must have been the last copy in the shop and they both went for it at the same time. Neither of them would let go.
‘Don’t you know who I am?’ says Lady Muck.’We all know who you are, you stuck-up cow’, says Maggie, ‘but I saw it first, so leave orf’. Well, by this time the magazine was in a right state, as you can imagine. The Saga and Dignitas brochures were scattered all over the floor, and the cover had ripped right across David Walliams’s smile. He’s got lovely teeth too. Shame”.
According to Officer Cerveau, “We were at the scene within ten minutes, but there was quite a crowd. Even the people from the Tabac across the road had come in to watch; they seemed to be quite enjoying it. I suspect Serge Sournois was taking bets, but he stopped and tried to look innocent when we came in. Anyway, these ladies were tugging away at this magazine – although it was completely in shreds by then – and shouting at each other. ‘You speak English’, says Maurice, ‘go and sort it out’.
So I approached the two ladies. ‘Look’, I said, ‘I’m warning you. I don’t care who gets this, but the fact is that someone’s got to pay for it. Or do I have to charge you both with criminal damage?’
That shut them up for a second, but then Madame Fitzpoorly, cool as you like, says to the other lady ‘Well, in that case, my good woman, since you claim to have seen it first, you can have it. Never let it be said that one doesn’t try to accommodate the lower orders’. And out she went, with her nose in the air. Incroyable“.
Later in the day, the Gendarmerie issued the following statement:
“Following a request from the proprietor, two officers attended an incident of affray and criminal damage at a commercial premises in Faire-Le-Dodo (87) this morning. Informal warnings were issued to two females, aged 48 and 64. No arrests were made on this occasion, but we wish to emphasise that behaviour of this kind will not be tolerated in future. Oh, and we nabbed four Portuguese lorry drivers, so today’s paid for itself.”
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