Zensible Rules

October 15, 2007

I followed a schoolgirl through the automatic ticket barriers at the station this morning. She fed her ticket into the machine only to be presented with the inscrutable illuminated message “Seek assistance child”. She probably didn’t appreciate its deep significance as she was hurrying for a bus and it meant she had to go and beg the gate attendant to let her out, but it was not wasted on me.

I wonder if perhaps they could load the barriers with other fortune cookie-style messages? Does anyone remember the old Unix fortune program that could be invoked to give a pithy saying at login each day? I remember:

“Better hope you get what you want before you stop wanting it.”

“Never eat yellow snow”.

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.”

“Never lay leapfrog with a unicorn.”

And so ad infinitum. Surely it would be rather fun to have one of those pop up in front of each commuter for them to consider on the walk to the office?

Also reminds me of a work colleague of mine from times past who collected the advice from food and drug packets, thinking that several of them were good maxims to live by:

“Keep out of the reach of children.”

“Keep out of direct sunlight.”

“Do not mix with detergents.”

“Shake well.”

As yes, there is much to ponder here, grasshopper.

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