Posted in Humor, Peg-o-Leg's Ramblings

Love Takes A Dive

Photo courtesy of CNN
Photo courtesy of CNN


****WARNING!! This post contains no references to a certain former world-class athlete who now wants to be a girl.  I realize that failing to comment on this is illegal in many jurisdictions and may, in fact, break the interwebz, but that is a chance I am willing to take.****

For many romantics, this week marked the death of love. That’s because Parisian street workers (not that kind) started dismantling the Pont des Arts Bridge.

This bridge over the Seine has become famous in recent years as a site for lovers to show their eternal devotion to one another.   They write their names on a lock, hook it onto the bridge’s side walls and then toss the key into the river.  Now it seems that love itself is being forced to take a dive over the side of that bridge.

City authorities say the bridge has become unstable due to the added weight of the estimated 700,000 locks, a weight equal to that of 20 elephants. A section of the wall actually collapsed recently, forcing an emergency evacuation of the bridge. That has prompted the city to remove the side walls, locks and all.

The locks are the ordinary, metal kind used to chain bicycles and school lockers. This seems fitting since the romantic gesture was first suggested in a young adult novel published in Rome in 2006The practice has since been banned there.   Paris is considering a similar ban as the locks are now showing up on other bridges, and even on the Eiffel Tower.

One city father, who wished to remain anonymous, speculated that the vast majority of these symbols of undying love have already been rusting on the bridge for far longer than the love affairs that prompted the gesture had lasted.  He said the crisis could have been averted if those who affixed the Locks of Love had returned with the Bolt-cutters of Bitter Betrayal to remove their pledges once love’s fiery passions had cooled.

It is mainly tourists who are mourning the passing of the relatively new tradition. Most Parisians consider it little more than vandalism of their beautiful city. But there have been some benefits:

  • It has been a money-maker for entrepreneurs who set up stalls nearby to sell commemorative locks to lovebirds who forgot their Master Lock at home.
  • Fishing in the Seine has become much easier. With all the keys the fish have swallowed, anglers can now catch their limit using only a magnet on a string.

Protestors say without the lock-studded bridge, Paris will lose much of its romantic glamor.  As Paris has been known as the City of Love since long before that teenage romance novel was published, most Parisians respond to such fears with an “hmmph” and a Gallic shrug.

Impassioned romantics say they won’t let petty concerns like safety or the chance that their actions would result in the destruction of irreplaceable national monuments stop them.  They want to be free to express their emotions in any way they can think of to get a truly killer selfie with which to impress their friends on Facebook.

Some protestors have said if they can’t use the bridges of Paris to show what’s in their hearts, they will have to move on to Romance Plan B:  leaving love’s legacy on the Louvre.





R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!

50 thoughts on “Love Takes A Dive

  1. If these impassioned lovers want to truly make an everlasting statement about their devotion to one another, they should do something with more permanence than abandoning a cheap lock on some bridge. Might I suggest taking an embarrassingly affectionate selfie of yourselves in matching velour sweatsuits and posting it on the interweb. That shit will never die.

    Liked by 8 people

  2. Sadly, I haven’t been to Paris since the advent of the love lock. Before that, it was known as a city merely for tawdry affairs.

    The iron work on those bridges is really delicate and beautiful. And nothing says beauty like putting your locker lock on something that has graced the city for centuries.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Call me crazy, because I am, and then tell me I’m all wrong. Those love locks brought folks together, in a peaceful manner. They were expressing a positive vibe. We could use a heck of a lot more good things showcasing themselves.

        Considering the bridge was being harmed, why not relocate this ongoing and growing exhibit to a public square?

        I make too much sense. I’m going to bed.


        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d just fix this by advertising a lock-picking championship on that bridge.
    And what could be better for discouraging future locks than the idea of some strange Frenchman picking the lock of your love?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on upside of sideways and commented:

    This week on The Nudge Wink Report, Peg breaks hearts (and locks) with a story straight from the streets of Paris. (How’d she get approval from NWR management for this, is what I want to know.) Head on over to NWR now and show Peg some amour.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Girl, you’ve got a way with words. And a way with a can of spray paint.

    Plus, you got a trip to Paris out of management.

    Your fellow Field Reporters are très, très jealous and are likely to break out with practical jokes at any moment.

    Be on guard!


  6. Ah, Parisian love. Funny how those funky little traditions start out so innocently but evolve to bridge demolition. Interesting tidbit about France, as I watch the women’s French Open Final – spoiler alert – Serena won in 3 sets.


  7. I don’t recall exactly when it was that my gentle heart hardened with cynicism, but I have thought the metaphor of a lock representing love to be somewhat unfortunate. (“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” “Captured Angel (Aching to Make Your Break),” etc.)

    Now, however, the metaphor of the destructive weight of rust-encrusted love threatening the safety and well-being of innocent bystanders is distressingly amusing to me.

    As is your post, as always.


  8. Looks like a waste of good metal to me. Of course, the not-quite-right-mind had to wonder about the sanity of a newly married couple sitting where more than a few former lovers (or homeless guys) probably peed on the locks. 🙂


      1. I have actually been to Paris and the whole place (along the river anyway) smelled like urine. Most restrooms were pay toilets and I guess a fair number of Parisians, and probably a fair number of frugal tourists, opted for the “free pee” under the bridges. It was summer, and it was a little overpowering.

        Now, the Louvre – I would go back there. But I would not stand in line to see the Mona Lisa which is about the size of a large postcard. Spray painting might be a much better way to actually get some bang for your admission price buck.

        It might be the City of Love, but for me it will always be remembered as the City of Eau de WeeWee. (or is that Oui’ Oui’ ?


        1. Oui Oui, certainment! (not sure about the spelling – it has been a long time since high school French.)

          I’ve heard a lot of people say that Paris is incredibly dirty, and the people rather rude. I’m debating a European trip and keep wanting to go back to places I know I like because I’ve been there – aren’t I adventurous?


  9. I have two observations. First, when we crossed a “love-locked,” bridge in Salzburg, Austria, I noticed dozens of combination locks on the gate, which I took as a commentary on the current state of “love,” in the world. Second, I don’t think love is supposed to weigh as much as two elephants. That much baggage should be reserved for two elephants.


  10. I’ve only been to Paris once and it was with my former husband. The last thing on either of our minds was locking ourselves into any further commitment by this all too literal gesture. Anyway, our lock would probably have pushed the bridge wall in the Seine earlier than it did, such was the heaviness of our baggage. Now, if I ever make it there with Phil, I’m bringing a lock and putting somewhere in that city… 😉 Nice reporting, Peg!


    1. Love the mental imagery of your baggage dragging the bridge into the river. Maybe we could raise money by renting out the Bold Cutters of Bitter Betrayal so people can symbolically cut those toxic locks that bind?

      Liked by 1 person

  11. There’s definitely a business opportunity now in Paris – a lot of sentimental couples out in the world will be worrying that the locks being cut off will break their love, so someone needs to take advantage of this and offer some way of relocking the love for those couples, like capturing it from the air, or in the water below, and bottling it for them or some crap like that. People would pay a lot for that right?


    1. I was thinking that the City of Paris should have sold the gate sections to some enterprising soul for the price of safely removing and replacing them. Then they could set up a wedding photo op place in a park and charge people.


      1. We should monitor the situation, I bet someone will come up with some way to make money out of this. If you need me to pop over there to check it out, let me know, it’s just a train ride away for me on the Eurostar you know.


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