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Buying all this extra stuff would create an awful lot more garbage - all the packaging! - and employment would spiral up and possibly get out of control, so many people would be working and buying stuff which would cause a shortage of workers and goods, thereby causing inflation...

Nah! Much better to have 13 percent unemployed and 40 percent making no stuff at all. Anything is better than inflation!

If You Thought There Were Too Many Cars In Paris

Then you were not the driver of one of the 800 cars hauled away every day throughout the city. To get the car back you have to pay the towing company 630 francs and the minimum 230 franc fine.

There are exactly 1,860 polite parking-ticket ladies who go around and stick tons of parking-tickets under windshield wiper blades and these Bicycle Sunday in Paris are helped out by six companies with 50 tow-trucks capable of picking a car up out of the tightest spot, and hauling it away.

Sunday was 'Day of the Bike' in Paris.

However, an employee of one of the towing companies has told Le Parisien that drivers have a daily 'quota' to fill, and apparently this is so high that the operators have to work in a hurry, to the detriment of the paint on the car being 'lifted.' Also they don't always bother to pick up the end of the car that has the wheels locked by the hand-brake, so you can get your car back with half the brakes totally shot.

Out West Where It's Wild

Last Sunday, car thieves went on a rampage in Yvelines and boosted several cars with big motors and even a few trucks. The cops had been waiting for this, because the car thefts seemed to be connected to some serious break-ins elsewhere and the cars were being used for transport.

Around noon on Sunday, as everybody was having their big weekly lunch, cars started disappearing in half-dozen lots. Cops over a wide area swung into action, to herd the thieves into a dead-end; and they had a helicopter to help spot them from the air - and according to the report it was right out of Hollywood, with the helicopter whizzing along two metres above a racing BMW.

Several cars were recovered and some arrests were made, and some innocent civilians were seriously scared by both sides in the wild road and air chases, which lasted several hours.

Apparently the only people who can afford the insurance rates on big BMWs are Loto winners, so you could get the impression that a lot of people are doing okay by the Loto. Either that, or they are people operating Minitel services.

Save the Owls!

Unlike the British, the French are not known as notorious animal lovers. However, tonight owl lovers will be spending the evening hours outside, to express solidarity with the nocturnal birds. It seems as if you have to be close to them to tell one sort of an owl from another.

In the dark, I don't see how this can be done, unless owls make a lot of noise - or maybe if owl watchers don't make any noise at all, they will get to hear the cries of their favorite birds.

Anytime I've been in the bush or forest at night, it has always been noisy; especially when I got whacked in the face by an unseen branch or fell into a hole. Still, I like owls.

France Cleans Up

Tomorrow, thousands of ordinary citizens are going to spread throughout France, wearing gloves and carrying garbage bags, to pick up a year's worth of accumulated flotsam and jetsam, strewn all over the countryside by millions of French residents.

Clean-up day is an annual affair and it is sort of thankless - because year after year it is the same people who volunteer to do it, and they generally clean up the same places as they cleaned the year before.

Part of the problem is the explosion of plastic packaging that envelopes everything we buy. But I still can not understand why people will go to the trouble to carry plastic bags of garbage to the remotest places in forests and other deserted areas, to throw it away, when there is always some kind of handy container nearby.

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