Thursday, February 18, 2010

Watch your step.

As any casual observer will have noted: there is a ton of dog crap on the streets of Paris. To borrow a device from one of my favorite authors, Chuck Palahniuk: dégôutant isn't quite the right word, but it's the only one that comes to mind (oh but wait! revolting and disgusting are close seconds). Our street is particularly prone to poop; it's less busy car-wise, so makes for a nice street to take your pooch. Take your pooch-to-poop, that is.

Ever since reading Stephen Clarke's amusing A Year in the Merde, I've been pretty smug about never having stepped in any. I've even taught Camille to avoid it, generally by instilling the same hysteria and throwing a near conniption, shouting, "WATCH OUT FOR THE CA-CAAAAA!!" whenever she is within a 5 feet radius of it (which as I've stated, is often). I'm trying to train Roman, too, but at 19 months old, he is less hyper vigilante.

But my day of reckoning came about a week ago while walking to a friend's place in Neuilly when spppplattt!... I stepped in the merde. It's days like that when I miss the upstanding, dog-owning, pay-it-forward citizens of NYC who dutifully clean up after their dog's... um... duty. Pooper-scooper type fines exist for offenders here in Paris, but are seldom enforced.

While I concede that there are a herd of green-suited street cleaners in Paris, they are severely out-numbered by the piles of pooh. Generally, the grand boulevards shimmer, while the smaller, quainter streets- the ones you most like to meander through- are riddle with it. I implore you: never, ever walk between two parked cars. Just don't do it.

I'm told that a mayoral candidate ran on the campaign of cleaning up the streets of Paris. Not a bad idea, especially as some blame Paris losing the 2012 Olympics to London because of it's soiled streets. They might want to resurrect that campaign, I've got the perfect video for them.

Epilogue: I told myself I wouldn't do this, it's too gross... too scatological, but as if to underscore my point, this is what I saw on my walk home the day after I wrote the original post:

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