On 18th June, the RER train was delayed. Nothing new to commuters who travel on this train line once named MERDE, except that this time it wasn’t caused by a suspicious package or signalling woes. It was “the unexpected birth of a baby on a train”.
(Rough French translations follow.)
Initially, the RATP called it a “passenger illness”. Later, they clarified that it was “the unexpected birth of a baby” and offered to provide free transport throughout the Paris metropolitan region until he reaches 25.
La ligne A est heureuse de vous annoncer que le 👶 qui vient de naître bénéficiera de la gratuité des transports sur l'ensemble du réseau #RATP jusqu'à ses 25 ans. #RERA #Cestungarçon pic.twitter.com/aW6mSEO2Bi— RER A (@RER_A) June 18, 2018
While this is very heartwarming and joyous news, as usual, the best of the Internet is in the comments. Some netizens seized on the opportunity to voice discontent with service standards:
De toute façon vous serez en greve les 25 prochaines années non ? Ah non c'est une panne de signalisation, Mais non un rail cassé , ah non toujours pas ce sont les inondations, Mais non la chaleur....faite deja Que Ca fonctionne correctement...— Turntablist (@Isotherme8) June 18, 2018
(“You would be on strike for the next 25 years anyway, right? No it’s a signalling fault, and of course this was a broken rail, and those were the floods, and the heat… Come on…”)
Others expressed their views more subtly. One Twitter user lamented that “Poor boy, he will be late for all his appointments…” while another was impressed: “you mean the RER was running? Two miracles in a day then.”
Le RER circulait? Deux miracles dans la journée donc.— Haddock de Loix (@zaheut) June 18, 2018
Some took the liberty to imagine alternative scenarios, suggesting things like “I wish I was born in a bank”/”Or in the supermarket cashier”/”He could have been born on Emirates instead of RER A”.
Le pauvre , il aurait pu naître dans emirate air ways au lieu du RER A 😂😂— OptimusPrime 🇫🇷 (@ibra21259) June 18, 2018
If you are interested in more transport-themed French humour, check out @Colis_Suspect (French for “suspicious package”) on Twitter. According to his profile, he is present everywhere and travels regularly on the Parisian metro 1-14 and RER A-E, disrupting transport and ruining lives [paraphrased].
Pour une fois, je n'ai rien à voir avec ce merdier pic.twitter.com/VShGyWmmkN— Colis Suspect (@Colis_Suspect) June 13, 2018
(“For once, it’s not me.”)