Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Paris and I ~ 'Football Fans & Other Flcuks'

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Football Fans & Other Flcuks ~

There's a new job in Paris these days. Not new to the history of mankind or anything like that; I'm sure they've been doing it in Tokyo for decades. But relatively new to France. And that's the job of wearing a Bright Red Jacket (BRJ) and telling people to Get The Hell Back (GTHB) from the edge of the platform when a train comes in. Which is fortunate, because I find that after 45 and a half years on this planet I'm still never quite sure when to actually step off; is it before or after the train's arrived again? Personally I find having an 18 and a half-year-old loudly remind me is very helpful indeed.

But seriously, I'm a bit ambivalent about this. For a start, most people do get back from the edge of the platform when a train comes in. If you've seen the size of an RER up close as it thunders towards you and then looked down at your shoulder and considered rationally which would come off the worst in a tackle you generally shuffle humbly back a few steps.

I know it might be exaggerating for effect, but it can sometimes seem that these people are only there when you don't need them; calmly strolling down a half-empty platform not even near the edge just to have some dork in daipers shout at you to Move Back, like you're wearing an 'I'm Stoopid And About To Jump In Front Of The Next Train' T-shirt, well, it can be a bit irritating.

They do have an official job title actually. It's written on the back of their jackets and it is this: Régulateur de Flux.

The French like regulating and controlling things, and now, whenever a flux is getting a bit out of hand, these guys (and gals) are there to sort it out. I can think of quite a few flcuks who could do with regulating, like moronic football fans (as in: "Football fans who are moronic..", and not: "Football fans, who are moronic,...", obviously) and Saturday night stinkers and gangs from the suburbs, but that's not what we're talking about here.

This unruly flux is probably something to do with the traffic - the train traffic, that is - and in particular not letting it get messed up with the proverbial person under a train. If you've ever been at Les Halles on line A of a morning I concede that they play a very useful role indeed. What a nightmare that can be.

They haven't fully adopted Japanese tactics yet though, of physically shoving and cramming people into the carriages already bursting at the seams. I can't quite see that approach working over here, what with our personal space issues and handbag dogs and slimy pervs and whatnot. Line 2 up in the 18th in a heaving rush hour anyone? No, I didn't think so. You can forget line 13 in the north-west too; it's a one-way ticket to the dark side...

Given the choice between this, and the other career option I've been considering lately, Conducteur de Crottemobile (the guys who drive those funky little green buggies up and down the Champs Elysées scoopin' up the poopin'), I'm not sure which I would choose. I think in the end I'd have to go for the more glamorous job title; Régulateur de Flux is OK, but Scatman des Champs sure does have a certain je ne sais quoi to it...

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

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...