Saturday, May 10, 2008

Catch phrase

This won't tell you much if you're not French, but this phrase (which means something like "hit the road, you jerk!") has now become so famous that they even make graffiti out of it. It was pronounced some time ago by President Nicolas Sarkozy, while visiting the Salon de l'Agriculture (International Agricultural Show), in reaction to someone who let him know in a pretty aggressive way that he refused to shake his hand. The scene was caught on tape, posted on Youtube and... was seen almost 3 million times! Here is the "subtitled" version. As for me, I took this advice very seriously and... left the country! I'm currently on vacation until May 19.


  1. You may have hit the road, but you ain't no jerk.

    Are these everywhere? You definitely have to sell this on Zazzle!

    Prizes for next year's picnic. Kidding.

  2. You jerk? This sentence was not for you Eric, come back!!
    Am I too curious if I ask you where you spend your holidays?

    I didn't know that people use it as a grafitti now. It's a strange idea isn't it?

    Bonnes vacances, but don't forget to do your homework! :)

  3. Ah, Guille has a smashing new photo!

    And we have an anonymous GF today!

    Bonnes vacances, dear Eric!

  4. Hey Anonymous GF!

    His homework, Eric? Do tell.

    I think this is a shocking revelation - that Sarkozy should get into the headlines for something other than politics. Sacre bleu.

  5. A great photo Eric, i like the texture in it. I too think it's a Zazzle moment. If made into a badge, though, where could you wear it? !

  6. Have a great vacation, Eric!!

    Interesting photo today. I'm really glad I haven't had the pleasure of meeting too many famous people if they treat you like that! I much prefer my very quiet life!

  7. Thx Suzy! USLynn took it.

    Lynn, 'sacre bleu' LOOOOL It's worth my 'Holy Mackerel'!
    No intrigue or mystery Lynn, I was just talking about the PDP homework: to post a picture!

  8. Cool graffiti Eric! Not that I advocate marking up public property, but I like taking photos of graffiti too, and there's always good stuff in Paris. I always thought this was a bit coarser than "jerk" though.

    Hope you're feeling better Lynn! I didn't have a chance to comment yesterday. Maybe the doctor will tell you need to go somewhere warm and tropical.

  9. lol Guille ah i see yes Eric it would be nice to show us your holiday snaps, you know the sort of thing... Eric on the beach, Eric on the boat trip, Eric waving into the camera, Eric wearing a silly hat, Eric with the hotel staff, Eric in front of a sign of his destination...

    Whaaaat? Ok this isn't for the likes of our talented Eric of course but we've all got some of those haven't we; corny holiday shots? It's a must.

  10. I was hoping it was translated. I thought it was something dirty like in porn but am thankful it is just hit the road, you jerk. I don't understand the need for graffiti.

  11. I wonder if Mrs. Sarkozy will drop him in it like Cherie has today. Excerpts of her new autobiography are printed in the Times, in which she says Blair is still advising Gordon Brown, in particular on how to win the next election. Oooh dear, it was always said that Mrs. Blair did not get on with Mr. Brown. What sort of gaffs could Mme S. commit, do you think?

  12. I'm sure that's a fairly "polite" translation provided by Eric. Presidents can be the most embarrassing things, can't they?

  13. Eric: If you're jerk, then I think I'll become one too! LOL

    Barbscoot: Thank you for the photos! They add yet another dimension to our vicarious experience of the evening.

    PHX: That's a very funny gift you gave Guille! I'm afraid to think what you might give me!

    Guille: Yes, your new profile shot is excellent - and, now that I have seen you "animated", as it were, far more aligned with your cheeky personality. (Oh no, I just called my queen "cheeky"! I'm in trouble, for sure. But am I off to the dungeon or the guillotine?)

    PS I hope I haven't developed too strong a reputation as a cynic or melancholic. There's a lot more to me, you know - unless I get sent to the (Guille)otine, in which case there will be much less of me! LOL

    Lynn: Hope you get better soon.

  14. Oh, yeah, that's right.

    "Casse-toi, pauvre con" can also be translated "get lost, you jerk" or "you @..hole."

  15. or just simply

    F.. ck off, you ...


    !$@#, you !$!@p0)(*!$#@!!

    (LOL, uselaine)

  16. That's what I thought Tomate! Just because the President said it, doesn't mean one should use it in polite company I guess.

  17. "Eric: If you're jerk, then I think I'll become one too!" Very funny, Lucio!

    I don't have anything to add, really, I'm just enjoying you all.

  18. President De Gaulle was caught in a similar situation. In response to someone who shouted "Death to the bastards!" ("Mort aux cons!"), he calmly answered: "A vast program indeed..." ("Vaste programme en effet..."). A good sense of humor, and a touch of class... :~)

    There is an interesting discussion on the exact of Sarkozy's quote here

  19. As soon as I saw the photo I remembered the Sarkozy episode, even without reading the post.

    Does this mean I'm french?

  20. Guille I like your photo too. I really think it's time for me to change mine here. I'll see what I can do.

    Lynn are you feeling better today?

    Phx, and From Cali and Alexandra, I answered you in yesterday's comment box.

  21. Petrea: I meant to write "If you're *a* jerk", but, well, you know how it is when you're frantically buzzing from one site to another...

    Igor: That's an extremely witty riposte on the part of de Gaulle, and all the finer for being off-the-cuff!

  22. Guille, you're curious to know where Eric is spending his vacation (you could have asked him during the picnic, rignht?!)

    According to Eric's boring life, he has packed and left for the Alps, or Turkey or New York. Or he is in Miami now and will probably go to the Bay Area in 3 weeks from now for his next vacation.


  23. Eric - Do we still get pictures while you're on vacation? I hope so! You have developed a very demanding fan club!

    If you can, please tell us about your vacation. Since I'm not going ANYWHERE on vacation this year (does my mother's house count?? ha!), perhaps I can enjoy yours vicariously.

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. Igor...I do love De Gaulle's class in reply (subtle, humorous, tactful)...far too lost on this generation's crop of politicians.

    Monica...I thought you were French. ;-)


  26. Monica: didn't you just have a new photo posted or did I imagine it?

    For the next picnic someone should interview Eric and the fans can supply the questions.

  27. Coltrane, really??!! Why did you think I was french?!

    Barb, I'm trying to see your pictures at Flickr but I can't, don't know why.
    Can you give the address again? I'm dying to see them.

    Lynn, there you go, since you've requested me a few times, I've changed my photo.

  28. Nice photo, but not the one I saw.
    Is the photo changing going to be a seasonal thing?

  29. Eric is a big traveler. But not in Boston this time.. ;~)

  30. Ooooh, fab photo and amusing story.

    BTW-I'm SO jealous cause I couldn't make it to this years picnic. Next time!!! Then I can see all you smexy people IRL!

  31. Oh ok Coltrane, I see you're probably were only kidding! ;-)

  32. m.k.: Eric will continue to post while on vacation... Yeah! :~)

    monica: it reminds me a famous board game: "Where in the World is Eric?" lol!

  33. Monica...I knew you'd get it and you did! I do think the French have adopted you though. :-)

    BTW Eric...the video of the picnic is amazing as are the PDPers on camera. Merci for you efforts on our behalf.

  34. I cannot think of a thing to add concerning this picture so I will continue the quiz featured at the picnic, esp. after the urging of the last set of bloggers on May 9th.

    Before I do that, I want to add that I pleaded with Michael to read his poem from Dec 24, 2007 that I HAND COPIED then typed. It perfectly encapsulated PDP and Eric's merry band of bloggers. I urge you all to read it again. Very very witty.

    Now,How about....

    "Gosh, how clever,it looks quite beautiful , Eric. Am I first again? Oh joy, I think I am going to be teacher's pet. Come over to see me Eric, I could do with a royal visit."

  35. Coltrane you're so kind to say that!

    Igor, it IS a game: where in the world is Eric??!

    Phx, I know I can't give the answer to this quizz because I already knew it. But I bet everybody here knows who this is...

  36. If they don't know, Monica, they are WORTHLESS, worthless!!

  37. A request...

    Does anyone have - or would anyone like to do - an translation of the lyrics to "Padam...Padam..."? If doing on yourself, don't be too troubled about it literalness: I can give a rub and polish.

    Here the are in the original French:

    Cet air qui m'obsède jour et nuit
    Cet air n'est pas né d'aujourd'hui
    Il vient d'aussi loin que je viens
    Traîné par cent mille musiciens
    Un jour cet air me rendra folle
    Cent fois j'ai voulu dire pourquoi
    Mais il m'a coupé la parole
    Il parle toujours avant moi
    Et sa voix couvre ma voix

    Padam . . . padam . . . padam . . .
    Il arrive en courant derrière moi
    Padam . . . padam . . . padam . . .
    Il me fait le coup du "souviens-toi"
    Padam . . . padam . . . padam . . .
    C'est un air qui me montre du doigt
    Et je traîne après moi comme un drole d'erreur
    Cet air qui sait tout par cœur

    Il dit: Rappelle-toi tes amours
    Rappelle-toi puisque c'est ton tour
    'y a pas d'raison pour qu'tu n'pleures pas
    Avec tes souvenirs sur les bras . . .
    Et moi je revois ceux qui restent
    Mes vingt ans font battre tambour
    Je vois s'entrebattre des gestes
    Toute la comédie des amours
    Sur cet air qui va toujours

    Padam . . . padam . . . padam . . .
    Des "je t'aime" de quatorze-juillet
    Padam . . . padam . . . padam . . .
    Des "toujours" qu'on achète au rabais
    Padam . . . padam . . . padam . . .
    Des "veux-tu" en voilà par paquets
    Et tout ca pour tomber juste au coin d'la rue
    Sur l'air qui m'a reconnue

    Écoutez le chahut qu'il me fait

    Comme si tout mon passé défilait

    Faut garder du chagrin pour après
    J'en ai tout un solfège sur cet air qui bat . . .
    Qui bat comme un cœur de bois . . .

  38. Correction: "Does anyone have - or would anyone like to do - *a* translation of the lyrics to "Padam...Padam..."? If doing *one* yourself, don't be too troubled about *its* literalness: I can give it a rub and polish."

  39. And: "Here *they* are in the original French." Man, is English still my native language, or am I just drinking too much coffee?!

  40. Igor, Thanks for the link to the interesting discussion on the meaning behind what Sarkozy said. Sarkozy said it with such spontaneity that I am sure if someone were to ask him today what he meant exactly -- he probably would not or could not say. You know, politicians;-)

    And, thanks for the photo of Eric in blue, and the comment about the foot. Funny!

  41. I love how PDP is ALWAYS so timely. In my French class yesterday, we learned about using the word "con" as an insult. Only a French class in Paris would teach you the correct and appropriate response for crazy drivers, eh? The teacher forgot to use the Sarkozy example, though.

    Monica, here is yesterday's flickr link again -- worked for me this morning, so it should be okay:

    Guille, I had a great walk on the embankment Thursday night. The sky was such a beautiful clear and dark blue, with the sliver of a crescent moon. I planned to take a bus home from the stop behind the Louvre, but ended up walking along the river all the way to the Metro at Les Invalides just to enjoy the scene.

    Today's plan (carefully selected from the "PDP Guide of Things to See and Do in the City of Light") is a breakfast of macarons and croissants at Fauchon (22 Avril) followed by the Moleskin exhibit (Mai 4). I've already done 26 Mai.


    ps. Think I've found a place to rent scooters tomorrow ... I can't wait!!!

  42. Barb
    Can we have a picture of you in a scooter, pleeeeaaase!

  43. PHX I don't think anyone actually noticed that it was a question...
    It is so obviously "that person"!

  44. Monica and Lucio thanks a bit less pain today so i'm hopeful. We'll see.

    Monica i adore your new photo! Isn't it fun when we change them? You look really lovely, tanned and relaxed.

    I reckon we should produce a book entitled "Where's Eric?" oh and another, really appropriate one "Where's Michael?" since he's always jetting off somewhere and doesn't always reveal where. I think we'll start with the "Where's Eric?" in the Where's Wally style of course (or Waldo in the States). Imagine it, page after page of little caricatured Erics, complete with camera round his neck, filling the cities of Paris, London, Rio, Pasadena, Cheltenham, etc. One for each of his members of course. What a fab book! I'm serious, think if we could do it without upsetting the Wally industry. I think it would fly off the shelves.

  45. Lynn,
    why don't you ask Eric to create an "EDP", parallel to PDP?
    I'm sure you, ladies, would all love that ;-)
    Sorry, Eric, just joking ;o)

  46. Well i think he's secretly keen on the idea, thib, since he has linked on his site, the blog of a man who 'photos himself daily'. It must appeal to him on some level. Hmm. I reckon he wants to and just needs a little push. Oops i've linked that chap too. What does it say about me? Oh no, that's not possible, i simply linked him in honour of Eric. :)

  47. You make me laugh out loud, Lynn and Thib, thanks! :)

    Guille and Monica, your new photos are lovely! (I'm beginning to feel the pressure to change mine, ahem.)

  48. i want to change my picture too alex! but i can't find one picture of me without my kids.I'll actualy have to bust out a camera and do a photoshoot of myself which certainly feels a bit vainglorious. I wish that I had a simple picture of me,myself ,and I like a normal person.

  49. Lucio - i'll look over the lyrics in a bit. i just copied and pasted them into word:)

  50. Marie: No rush. And thanks for coming to the rescue!

  51. You are Right Rose, and THAT PERSON saw she was that PERSON. Here is another easy quote:
    ""When I think of your city, I think of Beu deu geu deu,pfft"

  52. Delightful little French lesson!

    Bonnes vacances!

    (Et merci.)

  53. Barb I'm so upset, I don't know why the link isn't working for me. I just did copy/paste but no success again. grrr...

    Alexandra you should do it, do it now, change your photo! Everybody else is doing it! You must update your photo!!! (pressure? what pressure?!)

    Phx this last one is sooo easy too... but I can't give the answer, can I?!

    Lynn, tks!

  54. When I was in Paris 3 weeks ago I saw this around and never thought to take a photo - I love how Eric always finds and brings us the most interesting things to discuss:)

  55. phx - i'll do the buggy hand and leg raise on that one!

  56. Is the answer Guille? Ohhh i'm not sure, i'm anxious... erm... i think it's Guille... ? Do i win? Do I?

    More questions, Phx please..!

  57. Jeff! Wasn't it?

    Monice: lol! We'll see ...

  58. Marie: I think the picture is lovely, but you're a little small in it ... ;) Nothing wrong with having one's kids in the photo though!

  59. Lynn, I'm so glad you are in less pain today. Keeping my fingers crossed.

    Marie, I bet your children could take a wonderful photo of their mom. Go for it!

    Monica, you look like summer in your photo. Great for the coming season.

    Alexandra, Your photo is lovely, dreamy in fact. Are you bored of it?

    Katie looks way prettier in real life than in her photo, and I told her this when she came to my place. I took a few photos of her and BuzzGirl and they look absolutely glamorous.

  60. Yes Lynn - Please give us a health update.. We are all thinking of you...

  61. Thanks Lois, me too!

    Love your description of Monica as 'Summer'. She is!

  62. I really think this picture is great in all it's roughness.
    I don't think the statement is great though. I think Sarkozy is a jerk himself, and this "slip" just shows the real him. Like when George Bush assulted a journalist. It really shows who they ARE.
    It's funnty though, that it's now grafitti all over Paris. I bet Sarkozy bite himself in the tongue every time he sees it.

    Have a nice, and deserved, holiday Eric ! ;D

  63. Lois you're too sweet! And since you took such great photos at the party, I've cropped part of one you took of me and changed my profile photo once again. Does it look more like me now?

    Marie I totally agree with Lynn that you should have your kids take photos of you! We've all seen you now in the video and other photos, so no sense hiding from us now in a teeny tiny photo of yourself!

    And um, Lois, that goes for you too! You're stunning as I now know, and everyone else deserved to see that too!

  64. BTW Anissa, it was great you showed up at the PDP picnic. You should come here and comment more often, we would love to hear your point of view on the Parisien subjects.

  65. AH!!! :D
    Even here, I've heard about it. Ok, it was on "le jeu des dictionnaires" a funny Belgian radio show that I listen to here (podcast). They were giving classier alternatives that Sarko could have used, like "Mais Monsieur, vous avez tord. Car cette main-là a touché Carla". J'ai aussi entendu que même Chirac a fait mieux: quand quelqu'un l'a traité de connard, il lui aurait tendu la main et dit "Chirac". Trop bon.

  66. I just read a few of the comments. I love that there is a whole conversation going on here!!

  67. eliane: Chirac was known for his sense of humor, I wouldn't be surprised he actually said that. Excellent.

    bettina: this graffiti not only reminds Sarkozy's unfortunate remark, but also tells him... to get out of there with hos own words!

  68. Marie thanks for being concerned. Pain not so bad, so i think it may be going away. I hope!

    Hey Katie you changed your profile again - so did i! We must have been choosing them at the same time he he. I'm thinking i might change it daily for a while LOL at least while i'm stuck at home, not getting around. Humour me.

  69. It's not a favourite photo of me i have to say but we're just having fun aren't we? come on Eric, give us something different!

  70. Oh my Lynn, you're te woman with a thousand faces! Another photo!!!

  71. Thanks for letting us in on this bit of French pop culture! I love it! I remember hearing this story, but not the actual words that were said.

    Hope you're having an exceptional vacation!

  72. Yes Monica. I challenge you all to a daily photo change while i get better these couple of days to keep me amused! LOL

  73. Cool glasses Lynn!! I really like this photo! I'm not sure I'm up for your challenge though; I have so few recent photos of myself. I could find some amusing ones from my youth, but I'm not at home for a few days to scan them (visiting Mum of course, for Mother's Day!). Speaking of Mum, I just helped her set up a screen name and photo so she doesn't have to be Anonymous when commenting on my blog. She feels so hip now! My thoughts are with you from way across the pond Lynn while you get better.

  74. Lynn as much as I'd love to amuse you while you get better, I can't take the challenge, I just don't have enough time to upload photos daily.

  75. Katie that's what i've done today, cheated the years! Looking forward to meeting your Mum!

    Monica, i know of course, everyone's busy,normally as i would be; i've just got more time obviously at the moment laid up and am being silly. Why not. lol! I love your photo.

  76. Best laugh in ages, Eric ! Sometimes it's great to not be exposed to French politics AND to be of French mother tongue to understand things like this ! I laughed even before reading it was about Sarko. Might also help to not be a YouTube addict ...
    On a similar note there was quite big graffiti at the third level of the main underground carpark in Lausanne back in the late eigthies which read : "Mais ou est ma voiture, b***el !"

  77. Even the graffiti sounds classy in French! Have a great trip!

  78. Here's my attempt at a translation of "Padam... Padam..."
    Edith Piaf –

    Padam... Padam

    Cet air qui m'obsède jour et nuit That tune that haunts me day and night
    Cet air n'est pas né d'aujourd'hui That tune wasn’t born today
    Il vient d'aussi loin que je viens It comes from as far back as I do
    Traîné par cent mille musiciens Played by a hundred thousand musicians
    Un jour cet air me rendra folle One day that tune will drive me mad
    Cent fois j'ai voulu dire pourquoi A hundred times I’ve tried to say why
    Mais il m'a coupé la parole But it cuts me off
    Il parle toujours avant moi It’s always sounding inside me
    Et sa voix couvre ma voix And its voice drowns out mine

    Padam...padam...padam... Padam… padam… padam…
    Il arrive en courant derrière moi It comes running behind me
    Padam...padam...padam... Padam… padam… padam…
    Il me fait le coup du souviens-toi It traps me into remembering you
    Padam...padam...padam... Padam… padam… padam…
    C'est un air qui me montre du doigt It’s a tune that points at me
    Et je traîne après moi comme un And like a silly mistake I drag behind me
    drôle d'erreur
    Cet air qui sait tout par cœur This tune which knows everything by heart.

    Il dit: "Rappelle-toi tes amours It says “Remember your loves
    Rappelle-toi puisque c'est ton tour Remember that since it’s your turn
    'y a pas d'raison pour qu'tu n'pleures pas You needn’t cry
    Avec tes souvenirs sur les bras...” With your memories out in the open”
    Et moi je revois ceux qui restent And me, I take another look at what remains
    Mes vingt ans font battre tambour My fifteen years beating the drum
    Je vois s'entrebattre des gestes And among the drumbeats I see the gestures
    Toute la comédie des amours And all the comedy of love
    Sur cet air qui va toujours In that incessant tune which goes

    Padam...padam...padam... Padam… padam… padam
    Des "je t'aime" de quatorze-juillet “I love you” on Bastille Day
    Padam...padam...padam... Padam… padam… padam…
    Des "toujours" qu'on achète au rabais “Forever” bought cheap
    Padam...padam...padam... Padam… padam… padam…
    Des "veux-tu" en voilà par paquets “Will you?” coming in packets
    Et tout ça pour tomber juste au coin d'la rue And all that comes down at the street corner
    Sur l'air qui m'a reconnue In that tune which has spotted me
    Écoutez le chahut qu'il me fait Here the uproar it stirs in me…
    Comme si tout mon passé défilait As if all my past were on parade…
    Faut garder du chagrin pour après Need to look out for regret afterwards…
    J'en ai tout un solfège sur cet air qui bat... I have a complete musical theory about that
    tune which beats…
    Qui bat comme un cœur de bois... Which beats like a wooden heart…
    [ Padam... Padam... Padam… padam… padam…