THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
The Sith fall to the blogging Jedi
Health and Stupidity

A pit stop



Ah the joys of touring. The view is from my seat in the Maserati dealership in Cannes. Vittoria is in the rudest mechanical health but her inboard computers seem a tad confused. They report scary but non-existent faults, demand to be taken to dealers, shut down the cruise control randomly and have decided to make the brake lights permanent. This last fault means we can't wait until our return to fix the problem, so here I am.

All problems, however trivial, provide insights into human nature. Many kind people pointed out my problem as I drove along. French hand gestures are remarkably expressive and some came quite close to communicating "your brake lights are permanently illuminated, Monsieur." No owners of performance cars (a near-majority in these well-heeled parts) troubled however. The smaller and humbler the vehicle, the keener the driver seems to be to help. Some admittedly seem to have some schadenfreude about a car costing 10 times more than their own malfunctioning. Most however are just being nice. I do not believe in class differences when it comes to ethics, politeness or decency so I am quietly pondering why this should be. Any theories?

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