Monday, September 7, 2009

Dogged


France.

A country with a long history of promoting Les Droits de L'Homme (human rights.) Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.

Yet even I was surprised to see human rights fly out the window when it comes to dogs. It seems dogs have more rights that children do. At least in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. Case in point:

The French Fries got a bucket of sidewalk chalk from the US over the summer. We put it to use last week on our street. My little Monet and Manet were having so much fun scribbling Eiffel Towers, cars, and les soleils (suns) when an older lady walked up and tried to put an end to it.

Madame: Excuse me, but you shouldn't let your kids draw on the sidewalk like that.

La Mom: Oh it's ok Madame. They're just crayons made for the sidewalk and will wash away the next time it rains.

Madame: Well it looks like graffiti.

La Mom: I'm sorry about that, but the crayons are made for children to use this way.

Madame: It's dirty and it brings down the standing of the street. We live in the 16th arrondissement after all.

La Mom: (insert Parisian shoulder shrug)

Madame: We're not dogs living in an HLM (public housing).

Did she say 'dogs'? Of course La Mom took the dog reference and ran with it!

La Mom: What would you prefer to do? Walk down the street and have to look at scribbles or dog poop? Scribbles don't stink and if you walk on the drawings, they won't ruin your shoes!

Madame: Dogs don't know any better, but you do and you shouldn't let your kids draw on the sidewalk.

La Mom: If you want to clean up the streets then start with dog owners. Dog merde is bringing down the standing of the 16th, not my kids!

17 comments:

Virginia said...

The minute you said, "sidewalk chalk" I knew where that was headed. How did Les Fries find a clean spot to create their masterpieces?? The 16th has a much MERDE as all the rest! And while I'm joining your rant,(I hope that's ok), may I add that the REAL graffiti is becoming a problème grave everywhere as well? Glad you held your ground. I love your blog! I've added you to the sidebar of my Paris photo blog now.
V

StyleSpy said...

So what kind of dog do you reckon she has? And how many times a day does she let it $#^% on the sidewalk without bothering to clean it up? 'Cause you know she does. Oh, I really hope you catch her and wee Fifi in the act someday...

Nicole said...

I have to say that when we do sidewalk chalk, we always bring along a bucket of water and a big brush for cleaning it up afterwards. I am sure that one of the reasons that you don't find sidewalk chalk here is because everyone thinks it looks like graffiti. I can't say that I completely disagree, but then in our neighborhood, I also haven't seen dog poop on the sidewalk in years. In any case, my daughter generally has just as much fun, possibly more fun, 'painting' with the water and erasing her pictures as she did making them PLUS all of our neighbors think she is the most adorable kid for cleaning up her mess so thoroughly. I think its win-win.

{Kiki} said...

Blast les snobs for not appreciating fine art. I would have said the same things to madame, and probably thrown in some profanity, but then again I don't live there. What did you end up doing after she walked away? Did you and the kids clean it up, or write something profound for the next passerby? Take care.
-Kiki

Christy said...

Good for you - and what a bitch to keep on going on and on about this! ugh!

Monkey Girl said...

Give me a fucking break.

The picture of the french fries drawing looks absolutely adorable.

So she's rather step in dog shit? Right. I don't think so. But I'm sure she has no problem leaving her dog's shit on the sidewalk.

There is a complainer in every crowd.

You were WAY nicer than I would have been. Dogs don't know any better? But their owners do, and her dog's shit still smells.

Katie Beth KELLEY said...

goodness gracious! i would've gone crazy!

Kristie said...

Yes! Go La Mom!

SuZ said...

Holy Crap.

Talk about stingy. I would've drawn on her shoes with the chalk... :)

Chantal said...

That's hilarious. I've never heard anyone complain about a little sidewalk art in Switzerland. Then again, it doesn't have to compete with dog poop...

Veronica said...

OMG What a stupid lady!
I would have told her: " I guess someone told you the same thing when you were a kid and because you listened, you end up as a bitter, grumpy old lady with no chilhood"

a H.I.T. said...

Oh no she didn't just call your children dogs. Well played La Mom, well played.

Michelle said...

People are so ridiculous! Luckily for me we have plenty of driveway space on our property for the kids to draw away whether the neighbors like it or not.

Julia@SometimesLucid said...

Good for you! That's AWESOME that you stood up for your kids!

Liz said...

Of course she has no problem with the dogs, she's a bitch.

Could not resist, pardonez moi.

L.R. M-J said...

I HAVE a dog (bien élevée bien sûr!) AND I live in the 16th (when not at la maison M-J outside Paris). For years now I have seen the ogles of shock, heard the exclaims & comments as I dutifully, each & every necessary time, ramassed (picked up) after my Parisian pooch. And in my head I prepared, over & over, the little comeback I had for when I caught a neighbour (& there are plenty of the bastards) red-handed (or not as the case may be) in not ramassing...alas, the speech has not yet come to fruition...but I still curse those hoity toity biahtches who so need that speech!! They ruin it for those of us that DO pick up...don't even get me started on the ladies in Passy Plaza who let their little male dogs wee on things in.the.store! I told my T-hubby once, if only I could for one day be an officer of the crotte police, I'd make a year's salary just in the 16th on the fines!! Good for you La Mom! :)

Under the Influence said...

Offer a piece of chalk next time and ask her for her autograph!

 

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