We’ve been trying to steer clear of putting a lot of construction material stuff in Benoit. After all he’s our only means of transportation and he’s a newer car. Dude and I prefer to keep him scratch and dent free for as long as possible. I know, in the south of France that’s usually not a long time. So far, though, we’ve done pretty well for ourselves.
There have been a couple of times that we did have to bite the bullet and go get a few things.
The first time was at Point P. There’s one not that far from the house and we needed to get some more metal studs since we had run out. We had no choice but to make use of the little guy. We actually drove out of the parking lot (with no one batting an eye) looking like this. Seriously had metal studs hanging a few feet out the back and with the hatch open and drove all the way home like this. The hilarious thing is that no one tried to say we couldn’t do it.
In the states this would be so illegal. If you have something hanging out of your car, you’re required to have it tied down in some way and have a red flag at the end to signal “be careful when riding my butt” to the other drivers.
Not here. The guy at Point P just loaded the metal studs in the car and walked away.
Next came the day when we had to buy a new hot water tank. This was just two days before we needed to move and we were desperate. So we went over to LeRoy Merlin and picked out what we wanted. All the while Dude is saying, “I don’t think this thing is going to fit in the car”. Then me saying, “Dude, come on, we’re French now, we’ll make it fit”.
I have to say, this is where the guys at LeRoy Merlin redeemed themselves. For some larger items you have to go to another area just outside the entrance to pay for them and then the guys in the back go and get the items for you and you load up your car right in front of the lift door. Well, it happened to be closing time. No, we didn’t do that on purpose cuz I hate when customers walk into places right when they are gonna close and make everyone there wait to go home. I would never do that! I use to work in a restaurant and it has been a pet peeve of mine ever since. Big no-no!
Any who, we were seriously at LeRoy’s for about 1 ½ hours looking for other things besides the hot water tank. Since we didn’t really know what to buy and we were asking all kinds of questions to Mr. Helpful who works inside the store (cuz inside they really are) we got caught in there at closing. Well, we ran real fast over to the outside area of the store. I paid for the tank while Dude went to get the car to park in front of their roll door. Then I waited for the guys to come out with the tank.
The guy showed up with the tank before Dude showed up with the car and he pointed to his watch. I said it was fine and to just leave it with me that Dude was coming. So he did, but he didn’t roll down the doors just yet.
Once Dude arrived we had to figure out how we were gonna get this thing in the car. It was a fairly good size (well by French standards and definitely considering we owned a French car). Dude pushed down the back seats and removed a back covering of the car. Then he and I both tried to lift it but it was a bit heavy and trying to get it into the car proved difficult.
Well, all of a sudden, out of nowhere comes this kid who works in this part of the store and he says, “Do you need some help?” Boy, did I have a deer in the headlights look. After all, it was about 10 minutes past closing and here was this worker wanting to help us put the tank in the car! Of course we took him up on his offer. Pourquoi pas?
So there we were in the LeRoy parking lot with only the crickets, cuz the store was closed, and trying to figure out how to get this thing to fit. Dude and LeRoy man finally got it into the car and to our utter disappointment found out that it wouldn’t fit! With the carton, the thing was just too big. If we were at Point P we would have just gone with it, but LeRoy is an hour away from the house and we couldn’t risk it.
So back out it came. Then Dude said, “Maybe it will work if we take it out of the box.” So the nice kid from LeRoy went and got a knife to cut open the box. Now mind you, the clock is still ticking away and this guy has not complained once about helping us!
When he returned he took off the carton for us and then we were able to get the tank in the car. Just barely, though. We put all kinds of stuff around it so it wouldn’t roll around on the trip home. Then the kid from LeRoy’s even clean up everything and took it inside with him. By that time his boss and come over to see why the heck the door was still up and he was outside. I told his boss that he was very nice and had worked hard to help us and thanked him a bazillion times. I do that for people when they are helpful cuz I want their bosses to hear good things about them. Not enough kudos go around in this world, I tell you.
Then we were off to guess where?? The market. Yup, we decided we could try and stuff more items in the car so that’s what we did. We loaded Benoit up to the hilt. I actually got more in the car than the picture shows, but it was getting dark and misty and I couldn’t seem to get anymore good shots. I was bummed! Then Dude said, “Why the heck do you always take pictures of stuff like this. It’s embarrassing”. I said, “No, it isn’t. Just look around. We blend in here cuz all the French do this!” Plus it kills me how much you can shove in a car when you really need to.
Well there I was all proud of how much Benoit could hold. Then, a few days later I saw this.
OK-I don’t know if I would go to this length, but ya gotta love the fact that this guy tried it. When he drove away his back tires were so low and his bumper pretty much scrapped when going over the speed bumps. I sure hope he made it home, cuz that is a heck of a lot of weight to put into that old, small car.
Boy, the French will do anything to get their stuff home! I guess Dude and I will, too.