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A Huge Mayonnaise Spill Turned a French Highway into a Greasy Death Trap

Who needs a Slip ’N Slide when you have a whole highway coated in nature’s lube?
Photo via Flickr user stone_soup

It's oddly fitting that a foodstuff like mayonnaise, created using the process of emulsification, is one of the most divisive things you can safely put in your gob.

For those who are truly pro-mayo, the creamy, tangy, slightly salty substance is what elevates the lowly sandwich from barren desertscape to the dewy piece of pan-cultural, edible art it can be. Even some mystery jar of sun-bleached Hellman's found at a police auction is good enough for these folk. They let their hair down and slather it on thick, much to the chagrin of the other side of the gastronomic divide, who gag at the sight.


The anti-mayo contingent hates the white stuff big time, going so far as to compare it to bodily fluids, chaste or otherwise. The haters even have a Facebook page upon which they spew their nastiest thoughts about the sandwich spread. They crow that President Obama told The New York Times that he hates mayo. They mouth off that Rachael Ray, who has cooked everything in the Western world's recipe repertoire in her many years of TV, reviles the stuff. And, if they don't mind being politically incorrect, the anti-mayonnaise faction points to Undercover Brother, the 2002 cinema gem, where the black-white divide over mayo usage may just have reached the height of satirical witticism.

But if we are going down that stereotypical byway, we'd have to buy into the idea that the French all love mayonnaise. Some say they even invented the stuff, although others argue that it is a Spanish invention. In any event, mayonnaise in its pearly, unprocessed form can be found all over France and artfully globbed all over French food.

But now, in what may be an epic affair of karmic weirdness—or karmic justice, if you hate the ivory spread—traffic on the A11 motorway in France had to be stopped completely today because of a mayonnaise incident. A truck transporting 20 tons of mayonnaise caught fire. But that wasn't the worst of it; the firefighters managed to put out the fire within two hours.

Here's the bad part: the mayo had spread all across the surface of the road, making it ridiculously slippery and impossible to traverse. Who needs a Slip 'N Slide when you have a whole highway coated in nature's lube?

Apparently, experts visited the scene, which is near Chapelle-d'Aligne between Le Mans and Angers. In their opinion, cleaning the road won't do the trick: Iit will actually have to be re-paved completely because of the greasy goodness (or badness). (We definitely need to get an assload of gum over to France and try out the inverse of that old wives' tale about gum in your hair.)

So France is suffering an act of divine retribution for inflicting and/or promoting mayonnaise all over the world. But if you are a mayo lover, you'd better hightail it over to the A11 with some slices of bread and jambon. Just watch out for gravel.