Sunday, 20 March 2011

Paris and I ~ 'Doing The Shite Thing'

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Doing The Shite Thing ~

Doing The Shite Thing, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

Quite a few years ago, way back in the 90s, which is way back for me in any case, Paris used to have a significantly shitty reputation.

The brunt of numerous jokes and no doubt steaming fodder for a million expat blog posts and slippery slidy poems, the city's streets were a minefield of the brown smelly stuff.

Do you remember those cool little green pooper-scooper vehicles which used to go up and down the Champs Elysées, gobbling up the crap like there was no tomorrow? I can't remember for the life of me what they were called in French, either officially or humorously, so if anyone can help me out...

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to defend Paris streets and to say that things ain't what they used to be as far as doggie-doos is concerned. They're still there, of course, and hundreds of thousands of pooches still do their thing, for sure. Now though, thanks to a massive awareness campaign about the fact that it might, just possibly, not be very nice to nonchalently let your canine crap in the middle of the street, right outside someone's home, and the incentive, both practically (little plastic bags available), legally (fines-a-gogo), and psychologically (people now look at you like sh*t if they see you ignoring the business) there's much less slip-sliding away going on.

Back when the mother of my daughter was in Paris, she used to kill herself laughing with my repeated skating-without-skates antics, and it's true I did have a bit of a reputation for hitting the heavy stuff regularly in those days.

Nowadays, thankfully, most people do the shite thing and clear up after themselves. Hence scenes like the one above which are commonplace, a crouching Parisian, little inverted plastic bag on hand, deftly grabs the grot with one hand, cradles cell phone in the other (careful not to forget which hand..!), whilst the offender looks on ambivalently.

I've never quite managed to dissociate an owner letting their dog crap in the street, and that particular human dropping their trousers (or hitching their skirts) and doing the deed themselves. I really can't see much difference, which is why I've always been pretty agressive , at least internally, towards those who didn't seem to give a sh... And more often than not it was extremely well-dressed and evidently 'sophisticated' rich b*tches who seemed to think it their republic-given right to soil their own sidewalks. Well, their neighbours'... There's be plenty of tut-tutting to be done if they found a big steaming crotte outside their front door, but the glorious irony of it never seemed to reach above the Hermes scarves: go figure, as one of my favourite American English expressions advises. Go figure indeed.

© 2011
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.


Thib said...

Hi, Sab. I already answered on PDP, but here is my answer again:
I don't know their official name, but everybody was calling them "motocrottes"!!!

Sab said...

Hi Thib, thanks for that, it's a great name! In my head I feel there was another, but maybe I'm just thinking wishfully - wasn't there something like the 'Poopmobile' (as in Batmobile) or something...?

Marilyn said...

I used to be so sorry for those guys in the motocrottes (poopmobiles). I always wondered what they had done to have deserved ending up doing that for a living.

Sab said...

Yes, I see what you mean Marilyn, but then I guess you could say that about anyone with a shitty job, and imagine how they deal with it. They are certainly providing a great service to pedestriankind in any case.

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