Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Paris Scoop

Ever optimistic, the Mairie de Paris is launching a new "Paris Propre" ad campaign this week, designed to cajole Parisians into keeping their city clean. Using humor instead of draconian threats, the message is designed to be "neither moralizing nor repressive." Its official goal is to recognize and showcase improvement and positive behaviors. Hmmm.

Mayor Delanoe's pooper-scooper edict in 2002 apparently has done less than hoped to improve the situation. The 183 euro fine has been largely ignored. Snickered at, perhaps? Pooh-poohed? The "J'aime mon quartier, Je Ramasse" signs have become faded or defaced.

I don't know if it's just my quirky powers of observation, but it often seems that Parisian pooches must do some arabesques or pirouettes while they are ... doing numero deux. They seem to plop their masterpieces on some pretty weird spots, like pedestals and flower pots. As if it's their special chef-d'oeuvre, dying to be on exhibition. Well, I guess if you're a dog, that is about your only artistic work. Quand meme... And their proud owners are just too enamored to get rid of their darlings' masterful creations.
But so many! According to the Mairie, some 150,000 Parisian Fidos deposit about 16 tons of crottes de chiens on the sidewalks annually.
That's a lotta lotta poop.
We'll see if the talking left shoe really convinces people to clean up after their canine cheris. It's a nice try, but I'm not holding my breath on this one -- except when I walk down the sidewalk.

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