The Brooms May Change

photo: jolly green twig guys

Paris' jolly green sanitation team, with the plastic green-twig brooms, in action.

Email from Jim Auman, via the Internet: Tuesday, 18. May 1999:-

Bonjour Ric !

The picture at the top of last week's letter from Johanna Shirley, entitled "Does Paris Stink?" jarred a bit of memory loose - Proust had his Madeleines; I have a picture of a storm drain... Hmmm. It made me think of the sweepers armed with long brooms who swept the debris along the gutter into a storm drain and wondered if people still did that.

Reading the article, yes, they do, using brooms with "elegant green plastic twigs." But in my time they used brooms with elegant brown real twigs. The materials may change but the traditions - and no doubt since it is a job protected by the Syndicat - remain.

A bientôt,

Jim Auman

Jim Auman©1999

The Debris Remains the Same

Bonjour Jim -

Paris:- Wednesday, 19. May 1999:- When I first came, the brown real twig brooms were still in use. The city has had all its sanitation equipment and people rendered into viper green - 'Viper- France's official serpent' - there should be a flag for it - and I think they could not find real twigs in this color.

Plastic is probably cheaper than real twigs too. However, the plastic ones are closely modeled after the real ones, so the real ones must have had advanced technology even if they only looked like twigs.

I don't think unions had anything to do with it, as many of them are not 'into technology' for obvious reasons. The total effect of Paris' sanitation crews is a bit like the invasion of the Spiffy Green Army from Disinfectant SA.

A Special Message from Zhuhai, Guangdong, P.R.China

Bonjour Readers -

Paris:- Tuesday, 18. May 1999- I am pretty certain the following letter has nothing concerning brown real twig-brooms or green plastic twig-brooms in it, but I am not absolutely certain.

In fact, it seems to be referring to two commercial offers - neither of which I can quite make out, so I've edited them out, for brevity. However, Mr. Mikit Woo has included a Web URL and I've left it in for those of you who may wish to find out more.

This is not, by the way, the first commercial offer - also known as 'spam' - I've received from the People's Republic of China; but it is the first to be written entirely in what the Internet, my email program and computer think is Chinese.

Actually it may be my computer's fault. If I had known beforehand this message was going to arrive, I would have had Foreign Language Set 2 turned on, and the proper fonts installed. signature, regards, ric

About the Zhuhai Window NetMedia Co. Ltd.

Email from Mikit Woo, via the Internet: Monday, 17. May 1999:-

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Mikit Woo©1999
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