This is a not infrequent situation here if you’re walking along a narrow pavement or sidewalk, of which there are many because the road was designed to take a column of Roman soldiers. But now it is the Route Nationale 98, and the traffic – French traffic – is rushing by. As you climb the hill towards home, you see two women ahead of you, chatting. It doesn’t have to be women but it usually is - hope that isn't interpreted as something sinister. The one nearer to you is half-turned towards you, and her body language is saying to the other woman ‘I’m in a desperate hurry and I really must go – like now’. But the other is not listening to body language although hers is saying, ‘I want to stay and chat’. This means that the one nearer you will have to keep looking at the other while she wraps up the conversation.
As you get nearer, you read the situation as follows: ‘Any second now this woman will set off in my direction – fast, to prove she’s in a hurry, while still maintaining eye contact with the other woman, thus probably knocking the bottle of Gigondas for which I just paid 15 Euros(£12, $18) from my hand’. If she does I’ll feel stupid because I knew it would happen'. You can either
1.step off the pavement, knowing that you will be killed
2.stop and make a loud noise in the hope (a vain one) that they might notice you and squeeze up to let you pass, or
3.cling tightly to your bottle and hope she won’t, at the very moment of your arrival, do a Le Mans start, head facing the other way, in your direction.
She did. They always do. The loaf broke in two – but the Gigondas survived.
Didn’t Ray Milland, in Lost Weekend, say something about a god that protects drunks - I mean oenophiles?