This is the kind of surveillance camera that I’ve installed near the entry to Gamone:
You might imagine that this device has been designed to look like a garden lamp. In fact, the glass dome is simply a semi-spherical protection that houses the elements of the camera. Besides, most people are now accustomed to the presence of this kind of surveillance camera in shopping centers.
A few days ago, I visited a big BricoMarché hardware shop that opened recently near Romans. I noticed that a small section of their electricity department presented various surveillance devices. I asked a red-shirted employee to indicate their “best” camera. (I put “best” in inverted commas, because this adjective is deliberately fuzzy, if not meaningless.) The fellow pointed immediately to a row of cardboard boxes containing the following product:
He was eager to inform me why I should have confidence in this particular product: “As you can see, that’s the model of camera that’s installed throughout our store.” I receded in disbelief. Did this fellow really believe what he was saying? Was the store really equipped with dummy surveillance cameras? I tried to clarify the situation: “That’s a dummy lamp.” The employee didn’t seem to understand what I had just said, so I started to explain myself. “Look here, there aren’t even any cables emerging from that fake camera unit.” The fellow picked up a box, clearly labeled "dummy camera", and started to read a description of the enclosed product. This was probably the first time he’d ever encountered the phenomenon of dummy surveillance cameras.
Behind this story, there’s a moral. If you've set up a shop that sells saucepans, you should at least teach your salesmen how to boil an egg.
However, nothing could possibly beat the practical expertise to be found in an old-fashioned village hardware store such as that of Michel Blanc in nearby Saint-Jean-en-Royans. Today, sadly, such stores have become almost as rare as hens’ teeth. Admittedly, it would be pointless to venture into such a delightful old place (with its characteristic aromas) with the intention of purchasing a surveillance camera, because they’re not exactly on that wavelength. But, the day when the last old hardware shop will have closed its doors in France, a precious fragment of the soul of the nation will have disappeared.