Safety First

“Caution: Warning sign ahead” reads a street sign.

“Beware trip hazards” reads a different sign in the middle of the footpath.

“Don’t drive distracted” reads yet another sign which shares a pole with a sign that reads “hazards on road.” The sign-writers in this town must be rich. There’s a sign for everything!

Moreover, the gutters are all painted yellow and there are rumble strips at the approach to every intersection.

There’s a forest of witches’ hats strewn about the park marking the position of drain covers and depressions in the ground level. The guy that mows the lawn must be very skilled as his job involves driving around a slalom course!

A large sign explains that the park cannot be accessed after sunset for reasons of patron safety. There’s a table listing sunset times for every day of the year printed at the bottom. On the back is a sign that asks park users to pick up after their dogs, listing reasons why this is imperative. The sign then goes into detail on the life cycle of roundworms for the benefit of those who haven’t yet been convinced. Although, it stands to reason that the people that don’t see the benefit in picking up after their dogs wouldn’t bother reading a biology textbook excerpt during their carefree dog-walk.

“Wear a hat. Sun safety first” emblazons the side of a passing blimp, and it’s whilst I’m looking up that I trip and cut myself on a sign reading “caution: sign has sharp edges.”

A small electric vehicle with a flashing orange light speeds towards me. It’s barely big enough for two, yet four well-dressed, official-looking men hop out and begin taking pictures. One of them turns to me and presents me with a piece of paper. “Sir, you have been served. We are pre-counter-suing you for your claim against the city authority.”

The four men hop back into the little electric vehicle before I have a chance to respond. I’m clutching my wound. It’s really quite deep. “Sir, your safety is our priority.” Before the minion even closes his mouth, the driver floors the throttle and the four men in the clown-car whiz off into the distance.

But, you know what? The fact that they care about my safety really gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Or maybe that’s light-headedness caused by blood loss. I think I’ll just lie on the grass next to this sign that says “keep off the grass.”

T

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