Rats & Sand


I’m in Paris for a party, and as it’s August the Paris-plages are back on the Seine, although this particular sandcastle was built to advertise Disneyland. But it’s nice to see traditional shops surviving – like this shop selling traps for ‘Les Animaux Nuisibles’, filled with dead rats. One brand of mouse poison in the window was called ‘Souricide’ – a nice joke.

14 comments on “Rats & Sand”

  1. Alan Morgan says:

    I love your sudden jaunts. “Awoke in Budapest after backgammon with the Turk. On my hand in green ink, ‘the young crows of London.'”

  2. J F Norris says:

    The insecticide for ants is cleverly named, too. Both a pun and a compound noun joke. But I can’t help but wonder: who in their right mind keeps the carcasses of dead rats from 1925? Or is that a joke as well? It’s early morning here and maybe my the right side of my brain has yet to kick into its usual high gear.

  3. Helen Martin says:

    I have seen pictures and references to vermin lines or some such, anyway a wire or fence where rats, foxes, crows, and other ‘undesirable’ animals are hung up as a warning to their mates. Never been sure how it was supposed to warn them, exactly, but those giant rats certainly made me think of the practice and wondered if mainland Europe indulges in the same sort of ‘warning’.

  4. Helen Martin says:

    Loved ‘souricide’ and that is a particularly nice sandcastle.

  5. David Milnes says:

    Helen, apparently (as I learned only yesterday) they are hung there by the gamekeeper to show that he is doing his job. I beheld a rather grisly display of moles similarly exhibited on a fence and duly enquired…

  6. P.G.Bell says:

    A very nice sandcastle indeed! In fact, Disney have gone in for sandcastles in a big way this year – they’ve recreated whole sections of the theme park at this year’s Blankenberge Sand Sculpture Festival in Belgium. Impressive stuff!

    The pest exterminator’s shop (Aurouze – a family run business) also has a Disney connection. It appeared in Pixar’s “Ratatouille”.

  7. Helen Martin says:

    @David, thank you. You have no idea how long I’ve wondered about that and I had no one to ask.

  8. Steve says:

    Back in 1970-ish when I was about 19, I was selling flowers and candles (I detest smiley faces to this day) on a streetcorner in Boston for food money. I had a choice – paperbacks or food. Being of an eminently practical turn of mind, I naturally chose paperbacks. Everything by H.P. Lovecraft. The rats in the window reminded me of “The Rats in the Walls”. Meanwhile I managed to scrape enough together to buy a few potatoes and a few onions. Filling, but not very nutritious. I liked the books better.

  9. Helen Martin says:

    Steve, of course you are a friend of Erasmus’ statement, “I buy books and when there is some left over I buy food” or words to that effect. I’ve never been in a position to actually test the effect of this policy.

  10. Helen Martin says:

    Insert the word ‘money’ in place of ‘some’ in the preceding.

  11. Steve says:

    Well Helen, it wasn’t a particularly comfortable position to be in; but it DID add to the sum total of my life experience in what I view – in retrospect – as a positive way.

  12. Helen Martin says:

    Proportion and balance, Steve. We have to keep the importance of things in a useful proportion and good balance.

  13. Steve says:

    Helen, I thought you were Canadian. That sounds positively British! And yes of course I’m aware of the “relationship” between the two countries. But still.

  14. Helen Martin says:

    With a mostly British (of all sorts)but some Schleswig-Holstein background. Stability. It’s important.

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