Monday, 26 May 2014

Il n'y a Plus Sacre... Fin du Lapin RATP?

We have been living in Paris for almost a year, and have more or less settled into a comfortable routine.  Each day, for example, I ride to and from my office on a sequence of trains.  First the RATP (Metro) and then the RER, a suburban line leading out of the city into the suburbs surrounding Paris.  The journey is 40 minutes or so each way, give or take an incident avec un voyageur or panne de signalisation.

As I had written some time ago here, the trains in and around Paris have placards posted on doors and elsewhere within the rames to warn youngsters to keep their hands away from the doors.  The phrase
Ne mets pas tes mains sur les portes. Tu risques de te faire pincer très fort
accompanied by a cartoon rabbit has over time become a bit of a cultural icon.  Serge, le Lapin RATP as he is known, has adorned the trains here since I have been coming to Paris 20 years ago, and apparently first appeared in about 1977.  His message has remained unchanged, as his his appearance - a pink bunny in a set of yellow pyjamas.

Well, all things in time, as they say, and today, I read that after three decades, Serge will undergo a face-lift.

As of today, the RATP announced a new look for Serge:

His face will apparently remain much the same, as will his unfortunate left anthropomorhic paw.  His clothes will undergo a significant update, however, with the yellow jump suit replaced with a yellow tee and jeans.  He will now sport shoes - a pair of Chuck Taylors, as it appears.

The makeover is the first new look for the Lapin RATP since 1986.

To celebrate, the agency behind the cartoon have inaugurated a contesto n Twitter and Facebook, asking people to submit various alternative versions of Serge, as well as new twists on his warning to riders, young and old.

Can a re-boot of "mind the gap" be far behind?
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