Warning: This post is the grossest thing you’ve read this week. Or ever.
A few months ago, Babs asked me to confirm whether – as common belief states it – French people peed on the streets. Together with the fact that we never shower, go to the bathroom in bidets, smell like garlic, let our dogs poop on the streets, we apparently pee on the streets as well. I have personally never shaken the lizard on the street, but judging from the unwelcoming smell of certain métro stations, some must have happily confirmed the cliché.
I know how you don’t feel like hearing about new cultural clichés, especially not those about poop (especially that a lot of my readers are Americans and I know how you people are sensitive to the subject, I wouldn’t want to hurt your feelings as I love you all so dearly) and how some of you would rather see pictures from my trip to Spain. Some other readers might think, give us the juicy news, anything, sex, scat. Because about his trip to Spain, I don’t give a shit.
Well, it is the latter (shit) I have chosen to write about today.
Well, let’s call her Ginette, I don’t really know her name but her wrinkles, her generation and her hilly vowels make her look like a Ginette.
Ginette is a bag-lady who lives between the Selecta machine and the fire hose in the Chaussée d’Antin Lafayette Métro station. Chaussée d’Antin is a busy station located in the business area of Opéra and a tourist hub due to the nearby Galeries Lafayette. I’ve already written about some of the tourists I’ve come across there and you’ve also seen a short film and seen what this station looks like.
However, you’ve never seen Ginette, like all these tourists see her daily. Ginette owns the space between The Selecta machine and the fire hose, it’s her bedroom. She almost looks like she has a cosy time when she sleeps in her purple sleeping bag. She eats on the bench next to the hose, she drinks off the hose, she plays cards with herself in front of the candy machine and… uses the platform as her bathroom.
Every night she sits on the platform that goes eastwards, the very platform I use when I get home from work. I don’t even pay attention to her. She is usually quiet and her taking a leak on the platform doesn’t surprise me any longer. It just makes move a bit further down the platform. I usually know that Ginette is about to use her bathroom by looking at the tourists on the opposite platform gasping for air with their eyes wide open. Are they dreaming or is that woman on the other side really about to piss on the platform?
So she slowly lowers her sweat pants, carefully lets her – once white – panties appear. It’s hard to believe it, but yes, she does it, right there on the platform, no inhibitions whatsoever, among Japanese tourists who hope that a TV crew from Candid Camera will soon appear.
The other day though, something quite unexpected happened. Ginette had obviously been treated to a whole bag of dried prunes and would not only do number 1 but also number 2 on the platform. As I desperately looked for the TV crew from Candid Camera and gasped for air, I decided to leave the station and go and catch my métro at the next station, as this sight was too much for me to handle. Many passengers must have thought the same as we all headed back for the escalator.
Enter Mr. Handsome
One thing is sure, one should never read a magazine while walking on a métro platform. As I was about to surround the scene of the crime to exit the station, a nicely groomed gentleman with neatly trimmed hair was walking in front of me. His head in a magazine, a bouquet of flowers in his left hand. Mr. Handsome was obviously on his way to a well prepared date. His light brown trousers and his nicely ironed shirt did confirm the plan. He was a bit too far for me to reach his shoulder and urge him to watch out for the shit that lied ahead of him. That’s when everything turned into a slow motion scene directly taken from a 70’s comedy. Faces turned around. Eyes opened wide. Mouths gasped for air as our poor magazine reader slowly but surely slipped into the remains of prune purée left on the ground, his bottom hitting the floor, his right hand being baptized at once and his bouquet flying up high. Petals slowly spreading their lively color on Ginette’s production, adding a touch of poetry on the remains of Hiroshima, like fresh basil leaves sprinkled on recently vomitted tapenade.
Hence the new expression: Up shit creek with a petal.
Have a wonderful weekend.
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