Thursday, 23 September 2010

Baby on Board?

You know who must be laughing his ass off? The guy who first worked out no one is more vulnerable than someone who is frightened and protective, and that people in general are quite happy to thoughtlessly throw money in the face of a potential danger.

The ‘man’ I am talking about, if indeed it was one particular genius, is the man who is realised he could make money out of a very bemusing yellow dot that appears occasionally on my horizon. I am of course talking about those pointless little signs in the back windscreens of cars that say ‘Baby on board’.

What? No, why? No, no, what? I just want to know, what sort of difference could a sign that effectively says – ‘if you must pile into the back of a vehicle today, you’d better chose another with slightly older folk crewing it, as I here happen to be driving the most valuable little life on planet earth, he/she is going to be a doctor don’t you know, and a Nobel prize winner’, really make?

I don’t know a single soul who has ever wanted to crash a car, I have never in my life looked at the passengers belted into the metal carcass speeding along in front of me and though, ‘ah look they don’t seem like they are that valuable, and nope…there is no sign to say there is an infant, I can afford to not even look out the front window along this stretch of road then’. Come on.

I thought, genuinely, that the whole point in driving was to get from A to B while avoiding causing death or serious harm, not only to oneself, but to those other road users around you. So why on earth would you waste the few quid that it costs to put one of those things in your car?

Faith and fear I suppose, and it’s this that has been fascinating me since I caught sight of one the other day out training. I mean, most people must practically comprehend that a small yellow sign will make bugger all difference to the way other road users behave around them, if someone crashes it is not out of will, so no amount of warning is really going to make any difference.

It is just cashing in on the human condition I suppose, a good capitalist response to our need to have to put faith in something, anything, to allay our fears, it is the evolution of the saint Christopher in the front, the evil eye on the lapel, the crucifix around the neck, whatever it may be, this is nothing new.

I am just left wondering, as I drive or ride about these traffic strewn roads, that in our time of religious and spiritual decline; if our symbols will all be this stupidly obvious, and if they’ll all look so ghastly?

1 comment:

  1. While I agree in general with what you're saying there is some off chance that the shock of the color yellow and the fact that the sign screams for attention might snap someone out of auto-pilot and keep them slightly more aware of you while driving...?
    I have children but have never felt need for such a sign.
    I will say that after reading your blog I'm giving serious thought to making up some bright yellow signs that say "don't hit me" or "move along, nothing to see here," I bet they'd sell.