The Paris metro ticket book will disappear, in favor of dematerialized tickets on passes and mobile phones. By March 2022, no more stations will sell a booklet. When this news is announced, we are seized with a sort of nostalgic automatism, a Pavlovian movement of regret, which takes the form of various exclamations.
Ah, but how will we mark the pages of our books? (With bookmarks, and anyway, who still reads books in the subway?)
Ah, but how will we go about teaching our children to make accordions into tickets? (The children will make paper casseroles until they acquire a smartphone, around 10 years old, and will be fine with it.)
Ah, but how will we do for the filters of the seals? (All you have to do is buy a vial of CBD at 35 euros for 10 ml.)
Ah, but how will one go about playing the pure Parisian, who makes one guess his age according to the color of his first metro ticket? (We can all the better talk about the good old days of the Orange Card and philosophize about the vile contactless society.)
Ah, but how will we live without the street vendors who offer fake notebooks hidden in the sleeve of their down jacket? (We will go to Barbès to buy “Marlboro-Marlboro-Marlboro”.)
Ah, but how will our non-digitized seniors do? (Still a few more years to worry about it and more will do it for us.)
Ah, but how will we trap the political leaders on the price of the ticket and their ignorance of the metro? (Even dematerialized, the ticket will always have a price, and in any case there will always be someone to rave about the “moments of grace” experienced on line 13.)
Ah, but how will we produce such unforgettable images as that of Chirac jumping over a turnstile? (Turnstiles are gradually being replaced by gates, but nothing to do with the ticket, that’s another story.)
A notebook already superseded
Here, a reminder is in order. The same people who wear T-shirts with the effigy of President Chichi in the metro today demonstrated against the pension reform in 1995, chanting “If you only knew, your reform where we put it”. In other words, an object must really have disappeared from our daily horizon for a long time for it to be remembered with fondness or regret. So from Pariscope, which announced in October 2016 the end of its print publication, under avalanches of saddened messages – when hardly anyone was buying it anymore. And so, therefore, the ticket book, already supplanted by Navigo passes and other formulas.
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