Not sure if I buy this one

by Rocket Finance


I think the readers here at Rocket Finance have figured out that I am not a fan of big government. I am all for charity and compassion, but modern-day “nannying” goes to far. Some of you may have heard about the padded lamp post idea in Great Britain. Sometimes I wonder if Western Civilization can survive if faced by an axis-type threat. Or maybe I am making a mountain out of a mole-hill. . .

Anyway, it seems that Brits have been injuring themselves by walking into lampposts while texting on their mobile phones! Supposedly 68,000 residents of the UK injured themselves in this fashion last year and a solution has been proposed: pad the lampposts. The good thing for English taxpayers like Plonkee is that the government will not have to foot the bill, but rather the phone directory service, 118 118, plans to provide the padding in exchange for the advertising space.

Some thoughts:

  • Did you look at the picture? What an eyesore, but I guess it might be more of an eyesore to bump an eye on a lamppost. . .
  • Seriously, if 68,000 people were injured by walking into lampposts while texting, how many were hurt by ogling pretty girls?
  • Look at the picture again. What if the guy was walking from the other direction? The pads are going to have to go all the way around the pole.
  • What about the garbage can right behind him?
  • What exactly are they injuring – noses? fingers? heads? toes?
  • Why don’t they just put pads on everything? Cars, buildings, dogs, fences, curbs, etc. Then they wouldn’t need lampposts anymore. Pedestrians could just bump their way along without fear of injury.
  • Can I get one of these pads for the chest that my wife keeps at the foot of our bed?
  • Actually, it might be cheaper if everyone just wore padding all over their body all the time and we could each sell our own advertising. We would all look like NASCAR or Premiership soccer players.
  • Please don’t suggest this idea to any in the United States. American progressives love to copy Europeans and I really don’t want to see a giant pad around the base of the tree in my front yard.

So, what does this post have to do with personal finance? Not much really, but if anyone wants to slap some advertising on me or my kids and pay for it . . . I’m game.

  1. 6 Responses to “Not sure if I buy this one”

  2. By fathersez on Mar 11, 2008 | Reply

    Knowing how Government works, most probably a consulting firm was engaged to do a study on this issue.

    Possibly some trips were made by councillors to see how people knocked themselves against lamposts in say, Turkey, Cannes, Montreal etc.

    And since they were already there, a belly dance was also put into the agenda.

    I am serious.

  3. By plonkee on Mar 11, 2008 | Reply

    Bloomin’ 118 118. Their advertising is already absolutely everywhere. I imagine that this is just as publicity stunt by them.

    If anyone else from the UK is reading this, don’t use 118 118 for your directory enquiries, use 0800 100 100; 118 226 or 118 390 instead as they’re all cheaper.

  4. By rocketc on Mar 11, 2008 | Reply

    @fathersez: I think governments are pretty much the same everywhere. Our governor of New York state was just busted for being a part of a high-end call girl ring.

    @plonkee: This does smack of a publicity stunt. 68,000 people injured? That can’t be right.

  5. By Dana on Mar 20, 2008 | Reply

    Hey, at least you called us progressives. 😛

    But hey, there are some things about Europe worth emulating. Like, say, the fact they live in houses, or that their cities are arranged such that you don’t *have* to own a car to be a functional adult, or that some countries over there are very family-friendly.

    Every culture’s got something good to emulate, and every culture’s got its own collection of stinkers. You know, the U.S. has got both of those as well.

  6. By rocketc on Mar 20, 2008 | Reply

    I do like walking around Europe – but most of the reason that you don’t need a car in Europe is a result of their geography and topography. The US is just too spread out.

  7. By Jerry on Mar 21, 2008 | Reply

    I actually walked into a lamp-post once. Actually, I RAN into it, and knocked myself out cold. I wasn’t texting, though, I was trying to figure out the stopwatch function on my running watch (while running… brilliant, I know), and BOOM. Next thing I knew, there was some random guy standing over me as I lay on my back in the gravel, saying “Dude… you OK?” I was. It lead to a bad headache, some embarrassment, and a big mark on my forehead… but not even an insurance co-pay. No moral to this story, I guess, the post just reminded me of running in East Boston. Thanks for the (painful) trip down memory lane!

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