I met my friend whose dog was hit by a pavement cyclist for a coffee this morning. She was breathless and after the 'bises' launched into an account of her most recent pavement confrontation. She said: "You'll never believe it." Apparently, shortly after asking a man if he intended to pick up the cigarette packet he had chucked on the ground, she came upon a dog owner whose animal was, at that very moment, fouling the pavement.
Friend: "Excuse me, you are intending to clean that up, aren't you?"
Friend: "But that's disgusting."
Man: "Yes, isn't it."
She said: "Can you believe it?" We fell about laughing at the awfulness of it which shows we have not become humourless hormonal old hags. Well not entirely. We spent the next hour ranting - again - about the invasion of Paris's pavements by motorcyclists, cyclists, dog poo and people who drop litter, (with a short diversion for the tale of a rude waiter who refused to accept 20 centimes in 1 and 2 centime coins) until we rendered ourselves speechless. Can you believe it?
We discussed options for combating the daily death threats. My friend is still all for going to see the local mayor and perhaps the local police chief. We considered letting down tyres - alternatively putting nails into or glass under them when parked - sticking an umbrella in their spokes (thank you Jaywalker), kicking them then running away. We agreed that shrieking, manic or reasoned remonstrating and swearing while simultaneously narrowing our eyes have no effect whatsoever and do not even make us feel better. "I try to confine the anger to my head and not let it go to my stomach," says my friend. "Do you think we're getting a bit obsessed about this and making ourselves ill?" I ask.
We 'bise' goodbye. I walk off and dodge a motorcyclist weaving along the pavement while looking back over his shoulder. Can you bloody believe it?