What you see above, taken during the "Paris Shutterbugs" last Sunday jaunt on our way from Passage Brady, to Passage Jouffroy, is not in fact emissaries of the Paris town hall paying hommage to our friends the trees, far from it judging by what they do to the poor things.
No, it is in fact the ancient ritual dating back to time immemorial, fondly called "The Purging of the Poo"...
These grills around the city's numerous foliaged friends in fact serve three functions.
Firstly, they allow the green and brown ones to have a bit of earth around them which isn't actually smothered by the hard grey stuff, which must do them some good, I suppose.
Secondly, they offer inattentive rollerbladers, stilletto-staggerers and simple pietons alike the opportunity to shudder, sink or simply skid respectively to a most humiliating rendez-vous with the unforgiving reality known as the pavement (or 'sidewalk' for our North American friends who appreciate the subtle aide-mémoire permitting them to remember to walk on the side of the road, and not right down the middle of it where those fast noisy things go). Clever, innit?
And thirdly, of course, it's the ideal Poopy Pooch Palace! Doggies in all shapes and states of sexual proclivity are furtively led to these handy slip-through canine conveniences where the offending ejections are quickly swallowed up and the mutt and his master go on their way, tails held high and anuses retracted, without a care in the world.
Unfortunately, it falls to our stoic chaps in green here to scrape up the remains from time to time so that the long suffering provider of shade and solace in this cruel city can suck up a vaguely unpolluted intake of earth for once.
As we can see in this pic, however, there are times when our furry friends just don't make it in time... it happens to the best of us.
© Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free 2006
Section Updated: Walking The Streets