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The Baguette

Page 2

Chris Thomson

However, at the shop entrance, a change of luck. He is confronted with the shop windows covered with brown paper and a sign that reads ‘Closed for renovations.’ Argh, this can’t be right!  He then remembers there is another bakery 100 or so metres away. The plan is back on track!  A flash of the meter goes through his mind, which he ignores, and dashes to the other bakery. At the door he can see lots of crunchy-looking baguettes in the window and only one customer ahead of him! The shop assistant is on for a chat, but Mark’s on a mission, so no light chatter today, and in less than two minutes he is out and heading back to his car.

At the corner opposite his car, he looks quickly up and down the street to check for parking officers, they haven’t nabbed him – only now does he think this could have been an expensive baguette! Too late for being risk-averse, but he pledges to store that thought for future reference. He crosses to his car and as he is opening the driver door, his attention is caught by a car turning the corner, just as he did five minutes earlier, and pulling sharply into the kerb. The female driver is the sole occupant, and she has pulled in close behind him - he guesses she is going to wait for him to vacate the cherished parking spot.

Inside the car, a glance in the rearview shows the woman is still very close behind him. He puts his car in reverse, thinking his lights will indicate he wants to back up before he can leave. However, after an extended wait, she has not budged. Having checked the screen on his dash, Mark can see that the car behind is less than a metre away.  But he thinks “I’ve waited long enough. It’s baguette time’! He eases his car back; he can see the woman leaning forward as he gets closer.  He moves to less than half a metre away, but still she hasn’t moved. Frustrated, he makes a pointing gesture over his shoulder to indicate ‘Can you back up?’ – nothing!  He attempts the pointing gesture again with more vigour, still nothing – instead she starts to signal back, in what Mark interprets as ‘No, you go forward!’


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