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Auberon Waugh in The New Statesman 9/22/75

Something from The New Statesman by Auberon Waugh (1975):

 

Not far from where I live in Southern France there runs a small

canal called La Rigole. It is a tributary of the great Canal du Midi linking the

Atlantic with the Mediterranean, and its pine fringed towpaths make an ideal

place to ride on a mobilette or French autocycle when one has nothing better

to do. Phuttering along it last week I noticed for the first time a public notice

on its banks:

 

INTERDICTION FORMELLE DE JETER DANS LA RIGOLE ET SUR SES

DEPENDANCES DES ANIMAUX MORTS (Volailles comprises) ET DES

ORDURES -  Decret du 6-2-32 ART. 56

 

It had never occurred to me before that it might be fun to throw dead animals

into the water but this notice, advertising a formal interdiction, could only be

interpreted as an open invitation to join in what was presumably a traditional

French sport.  It was beyond reasonable hope that I would find a dead

chicken or a duck but I remembered seeing a dead hedgehog on the road

some miles back. Unfortunately, it proved inseparable from the tarmac of

which it had already begun to form a part, and it was while I was trying to run

over a huge green lizard, the size of a small crocodile, that I fell off my

mobilette and suffered the sort of injuries which would cause any self-

respecting British worker to draw sick benefit for a year, if not for the rest of

his life.

 



 

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