Thursday, 26 May 2011

L'Amour à la Chaîne pt.5

Whenever I’m on the Paris Métro the doors-closing horn always reminds me of that opening klaxon-salvo on Monster Bobby (see pt.4).

Deep in the belly of the Porte des Lilas Métro station, the ticket-puncher sits, going slowly crazy in the half-light.  Day after day after day, over and over, again and again and again: punching "Little holes, little holes, always little holes…"

He dreams of getting away. He's seen exotic places in the Reader's Digest, places he can only dream of reaching on his pitiful wage - if the Métro doesn't go there, neither will he.  He eyes a first-class suit with jealousy as he punches another first-class hole: summer holidays are coming, and I'll be stuck here with this ever growing mountain of little holes gathering at my feet.

And at night: he dreams of nothing but the little punched holes that he leaves in Hansel & Gretel-style trails all the way back to his flea-pit of a home.  He wakes in a cold sweat in the dead of night, the little holes falling like confetti from the ceiling, littering the squalid bed-clothes, and peppering the floor as he staggers to the bureau and feels for the cold, hard steel of his papa's army-issue rifle.

"Little holes, little holes, always little holes…"

He closes his eyes, takes a deep breath, and makes one last little hole


And then some poor sod has to dig another, bigger hole to put him in.

There is now a "garden" at Porte des Lilas, dedicated to Serge and his song. Not much bigger than a metro ticket and overlooking the Boulevard Périphérique, it's hardly an oasis of tranquility for your average stir-crazy ticket-puncher. Perhaps they've planted some ornamental cabbages...

If you do go to Paris, visit Serge's house, or go and leave a metro ticket on his grave at the Cimetière de Montparnasse.

Serge Gainsbourg – Le Poinçonneur des Lilas
[buy Serge Gainsbourg from iTunes |]

L'Amour à la Chaîne: what will be the next link in the chain? Leave your suggestions and reasons in the comments.
Jacques Dutronc - L'Amour à la Chaîne > Françoise Hardy - Je Changerais D'Avis > Les 5 Gentlemen – Cara-Lin > Add N To (X) – Monster Bobby > Serge Gainsbourg – Le Poinçonneur des Lilas > ?

No comments: