Tremors are still rumbling through the corridors of power in the Elysee Palace, Paris, after news today that a customer in local supermarket Monoprix was served quickly, efficiently and courteously.
Despite a rapid reaction from managers, who are reported to have returned early from their four-hour lunch break in order to fire the responsible check-out girl, political sources were warning of a looming constitutional crisis.
No official comment has been made, but it is believed that the troubled administration of President Chateau Latour de Roquefort will be keen to send out a strong signal to the general public.
His party swept to power last year on a platform of "Il n'y a que la France", following public protests about the dominance of US toilet cleaning fluids in the French market.
In a already troubled transatlantic relationship, this incursion of American values into Paris, the hitherto virgin heartland of French cultural values, might be seen as one insult too far.
"I was just trying to be helpful" sobbed the assistant, Marie-Claude Crotte de Nez, 19, to hisses in a crowded press conference, only cofirming to most observers how deep the problem has already become.
"What we need is another Napoleon" said one passer-by, recalling the last time France had succesfully asserted itself in an international dispute.
Only time will tell, however, whether this battle will be an Austerlitz or a Waterloo for de Roquefort and his generals.