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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic



Klassic Keltic Kerfuffle Kandidly Kaptured

I was in France on holiday. My wife and I arrived late at the campsite ( about 23.30 ) This was due to forseen circumstances…we missed the boat. I’ve missed many a boat in my time, including Punk Rock and Frank Turner, but this was more disorganising. Anyway, we ended up only a little behind schedule. It wasn’t all bad news though, my wife head-butted the car door when we were putting the tent up.

I made up for laughing, hysteria-ridden, at my wife’s unfortunate accident by promising my wife a cup of tea in bed the following day. I made my wife the brew and although I added sugar she still would not stir.

During the holiday we stayed in a beautiful gite. We were joined there by my daughter and mother in law.

The woman who owned the gite was French and she spoke no English. With poor French I dealt with her.

However, on one occasion she started to talk to my wife. She seemed to be speaking quicker than ever and I found her very difficult to understand. I had to leave the room at one stage and the owner continued talking to my wife. My wife listened and tried intensely to understand the French being spoken. My wife understands little French and nodded nervously and feigned understanding as the owner spoke.

Suddenly there was quiet as the owner simply stopped talking. My wife panicked and squeaked nervously…

“ Si monsieur....I mean....oui madame....heez up thee stairz ,” pointing upward with her finger as she did so!

The French constantly change the hours of opening in their shops. You think you are organised. You’d gone the day before and the shop was closed. You studied the opening times in detail. You made notes to remind yourself….

9-12.30 in the morning and 3-7 in the evening, except Wednesdays when the opening times are 10-12 in the morning and 3-6 in the evening.

You get there on a Wednesday at 5.30. You’ve checked it, you know your right. You’ve read the details….Hang on, there’s a note, now what does it say? Roughly translated it said…From now on the opening times on Wednesday will be 3-5! It’s fucking closed again.

Post Offices are only open 2-4 in the afternoon in many towns and villages in France. We arrived in a village. We found a Post Office….and it was 3 in the afternoon.

This, of course, is the very best time to access a Post Office. It is an hour into the Post Office becoming `live`

and exactly one hour from the end of the Post Office becoming `live`.

The fucker was shut. Not open but closed. The sign on the door said `ferme `, it did not say ` ouvert .`

In France, the people are desperately trying to get Post Offices closed against a Government desperate to keep them open!

“ What do we want”

“ Post Offices shut”

“ When do we want it… 2-4 on Wednesdays.”

Anyway, to the meat of my story….

( In a Bernard Manning voice ) “ My mother in law…. my mother in law…she’s great… we love her.”

Nevertheless, she unwittingly became the central figure in ` Dairygate `. My mother in law likes to buy her own personal food items. I, on the other hand, have always done the shopping at home for all. This minor difference in detail led to a tale of tension, negativity, misery and human despair.

I went food shopping one day on holiday and bought two bottles of semi-skimmed milk and two bottles of full fat milk. That should keep the whole family happy for a few days, I thought. My wife and daughter drink only semi skimmed milk and my mother in law drinks only full fat milk. I also like a bit of ` full fat ` now and again ( wey hey )

Plenty of white liquid elixir to last....a few days at least. Everybody happy and catered for. .

…It all started so innocently, and then BANG there was lactose intolerance…….. that was ` Dairygate `

My mother in law went to the fridge and said,

“ Whose been drinking all my milk?”

Slightly fearful faces, from the rest of the family, looked at each other. I looked at her twice. No, she was not joking. This was a serious threshold we were crossing and only the strong would survive. I needed to be strong, I needed to be calm. Unfortunately I wasn’t in my brain.

I thought “ It was me……..yes… ME. I did it Guvner. Lock me away for years. I abused my position in society and deserved to be severely beaten. My crime? To partake in one of my favourite pastimes…. milk and cookies.”

It was me, I don’t give a damn who knows about it. I had drunk some of the milk that I had actually bought myself. The evidence for my crime in the case was my white lips and a repositioned full fat milk bottle in the fridge.

Indeed, as I have already mentioned, it was my fucking milk. There was still deux semi skimmed and une full fat left !...even after my heinous crime….to last the whole twenty minutes before we went to bed. There was loads of milk. I would not like to see people short of milk in the morning but, if I wanted to pour the milk sensually over my penis and get an ant to lick it off, there was bucket loads of the animal protein to be able to do so.

I did not actually say anything. I owned up and put my case in a sheepish manner. I bought some time. I could tell with the look on my daughters and wifes faces that they had already suffered deep scars through the `Dairygate` affair.

There were sour undercurrents to the whole milk bottle of argumentation process. The next day there were rows between us involving croissants and the baguette du pain. It had gone too far! I came up with a plan to keep all happy.

Demi-crème or entier may be a simple question for most people, but when the stakes were high, full fat or half fat became a central axis for silences between us that everybody was conscious of. The burning question in my mind was…

-Would getting more milk heal the gaping wound of mistrust had opened up before us?-

I dived into my car and set off for a shop that was open until 12.30 on this particular day..or was it? I didn’t give a shit about French traffic police. Foot down.

When I arrived at the shop it actually closed at 12.15. not 12.30 ( there was a note to prove it ) I looked at my watch. It was 12.13. I had to move swiftly. 12.13 and they were preparing to close.

On no you fucking don’t…….I burst into the shop. As I ran in I put two fingers up and like a detective at the scene of a crime, I said authoritively,

“ Deux minutes, s’il vous plait.”

I gazed with amazement and joy at their selection of milks. I grabbed two full fat and one semi-skimmed and exited as quick as I had entered.

I ran over to my family with my tokens of goodwill and friendship. Their puppy dog eyes and welled up tears was a sight to behold. We group-hugged. I did a jig and everybody laughed. Everything was going to be alright. All past differences now seemed small in comparison with the unity provided by the white liquid expressed from cows at great cost to the aforementioned animals.

` Dairygate ` had been defeated. We all got on great from then on. The unity we had gained unfortunately did not remain in the latter part of the holiday.

When travelling on French roads beware of becoming complacent. Concentrate at all times. The motorways are great for signposting but as soon as you come off them and travel on the country roads, it becomes more difficult.

We were travelling to Lourdes Airport and we came off the motorway and followed the ` Aeroport ` sign. A few more ` Aeroport ` signs…..and then….nothing!

Suddenly, my map reading skills are pushed to the limit….where are the signs? My wife is getting a little edgy at this stage. She knows that I am nervous. When my head keeps bobbing up and down to look first at a map and then at the signposts, she knows that I might possibly be making a mistake.

The panic, the fear, the stress. There were no more signs for three miles. By that time we were hurtling down a motorway travelling in the wrong direction. We saw all the familiar names on the signs of all the places we passed twenty minutes ago. We took the next turning off the motorway and couldn’t get back on it.

We ended up in a French village which didn’t even have a Pharmacie. I stood at the crossroads and looked at the weather beaten sign there. The village was not on my map. Neither were any of the names shown on the signpost. A forlorn figure staring wildly at the sign, hoping, just hoping, for a familiar name. We were lost.

Throughout this whole map reading debacle, my wife questioned my ability as a map reader. She also questioned my very existence as a man and a person in her increasingly fraught life. My self esteem was being torn to a shred. The conversation ran as follows…….

In a raised voice my wife said

“ You don’t know where we are do you? You must know where we are!”

I said “ I’ll be honest, I haven’t got a fucking clue where we are. You will be happy to know that as soon as I do obtain that information I will impart that information directly to your highnesses’ sensory preceptors.

“ Don’t try and be clever with me you cockhead. You’ve always been a difficult person. Everybody thinks you are a difficult person and an arrogant bastard. You’ll end up on your fucking own cleaning up your own fucking sick!”

I volleyed back “ Please keep calm and not get stressed… fucking bastard!”

My wife bellowed

“ Can you not read a fucking map? How thick is that? You thick bastard, you cant even read a fucking map?”

She leant over to me in the passenger seat and screamed “ We are here!” at the same time as ramming her finger into the map at the relevant spot. She rammed it so hard that I could feel the indentation in my willy. The numbness took my left testicle out of circulation for a few minutes.

We swopped places. I drove and she map read. I went too far with one of my comments. I sensed something approaching on my left hand side near my head. It was her fist.

As the fist was millimetres from knocking me senseless and killing us both in the resulting car accident, my wife had second thoughts. Instead she grabbed my ear lobe and started pulling my head towards the floor. Luckily, her fingers slipped off my ear lobe and my ear remained situated in its preferred position.

We didn’t speak for an hour after that. Then I saw a bird of prey on a post.

I said “ urr..umm…buzzard on post..umm .”

“ Don’t start again!” she said.


Submitted: October 12, 2012

© Copyright 2021 garrycroft. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Insane Membrane

hiiii , this was amusing ,recounting personal funny times can be hard to do and what seems hilarious at the time doesn't always translate as well on paper
your Normal Service story was far better for we all have been through that situation

Still n all made me smirk and think Bernard Manning

Fri, October 12th, 2012 5:57pm


I'm not exactly sure how I respond to your comments on this site, so you may already have my reply but..... Thanks for your critical appraisal. I count it a success because it amused you and made you smirk. There seems little uploading of comic short stories on this site..anyway, thanks again..bye

Fri, October 12th, 2012 11:57am


Thanks for your critical appraisal, Insane, and I'm glad you read it. I still count it as a success because I made you smirk.

There does not seem many comic short stories put forward on this site....See you

Fri, October 12th, 2012 6:22pm

ben hardstaff

An enjoyable, amusing read. You've inspired me to post a story i wrote about a trip to Tunisia about 13 years ago. It's bloody long but funny and all in rhyme (16 sides of a4 ha ha. i'll let you know when it's on.

Fri, January 4th, 2013 9:11pm


I am happy with this and friends and family enjoyed it. However it is not one of my favourites. In fact I could probably get 5 poems from it. It was my second post. I had another story but I lost a bit of faith in short stories when I realised the potency of poetry....and there's no turning back from this roller coaster ride...haha.

Ben, you are my best fan( and I have got a few on Booksie who help with comments and encouragement) Thanks once again for commenting.

Sat, January 5th, 2013 11:08am

Patri Poe

I actually laughed out loud while reading this. While in Ireland, I found out their establishments don't always keep "business hours" either. Luckily, the pubs do! The fight between you and your wife, which I'm sure was not humorous at the time, was hilarious. Thanks for an enjoyable read, Garry!

Sat, February 2nd, 2013 11:37pm


Patri, all I can say is I admire your considerable stamina...haha.

Please, if you have time, check out the other contributors from comedy poetry...the different styles will give you a buzz, I think.

Once again I thank you for your constructive and kind words.

Sun, February 3rd, 2013 1:36am

tyler northfield

Gave me a good laugh :) thanks for posting!

Fri, February 22nd, 2013 6:19pm


That's what it's all about for me, so I'm happy. Thanks for commenting.

Fri, February 22nd, 2013 12:21pm


I enjoyed reading this so much.
I felt inclined to give a typical Gallic shrug when the shop wasn't open.
Never go on holiday with extended family and friends.
I say that from bitter experience.NEVER again!

Sat, March 30th, 2013 12:16pm


thanks Desilu

Sat, March 30th, 2013 1:25pm

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