Monday, August 24, 2009

On hatching a diabolical plan

On hatching a diabolical plan

I sat in the car the other day, my journey held up by a bizarre accident in which a Brandon Hire truck shed its load of portable khazis across the Chickerell Relief Road, and a thought struck me.

And it was this: Nobody knows what's going on here.

Listening to the inane chat on my local radio station it struck me further: They only know what's going on if listeners ring in to say they're stuck in traffic.

What if...?

Yeah, I know. It'd never work.

But! Local radio stations do things on the cheap. If they haven't got a costing-cash-money deal with the AA to provide them with traffic news, they rely on listeners to ring in when they get stuck in a jam. Get two or three from the same incident, then it's official, and it goes out on air.

How many people with mobile phones, then, would it take to gridlock an entire town?

"Hello, Wessex FM!"

"Yeah, I'm stuck in a traffic jam in Weymouth. Down by the footie ground."

"What's up?"

"This lorry's gone too fast round the junction – shed it's load of portaloos."


"Yeah. Full ones. At least they were full. Kharzis an' brown stuff all over the place. Some poor cyclist got the lot. Looks like I'm here for the duration."

"Err... thanks for that..."


"Hello, Wessex FM!"

"Yeah, I'm stuck down by the footie ground. Richard the Thirds everywhere – you won't believe what's happened..."


And the the middle-of-the-road chart hit fades out: "We're getting reports of an incident down on the Chickerell Relief Road..."

Then, of course, reports will come in of a beach donkey running amok at the other end of town, with police forced to shut down the entire seafront as they extract it from the poor, traumatised pensioner down on a day trip from Swindon.

Chaos, and the vault at the local penny arcade is entirely at our mercy.

This is, of course, internet crowd-sourcing at its finest. I shall fade into the background, deny all responsibility and await your field reports.

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