The roads around my house have started looking like the set from a WWII epic set on a war-torn moon. Local government, as a rule, sucks at repairing car-eating potholes in a timely and effective manner — unless, that is, you surround said pothole with a brightly coloured penis.
In not-so-sunny Manchester, slap-bang in the middle of the UK’s industrial heartland, things got bad enough to inspire a local road artist. Going by the moniker Wanksy, he’s been surrounding potholes with spray-painted phalluses in an attempt to make the local council take note.
And apparently it works! According to Wanksy’s Facebook page, his potholes are handled within days — and, indeed, there’s photographic before-and-after proof in some cases.
Local upstanding politicians, as you can imagine, are not amused:
“Has this person, for just one second, considered how families with young children must feel when they are confronted with these obscene symbols as they walk to school? Not only is this vandalism, but it’s also counter-productive,” the spokesman said. “Every penny that we have to spend cleaning off this graffiti is a penny less that we have to spend on actually repairing the potholes.”
Laying all penis-related humour aside, the angry councilman probably has a point. Although Wansky is drawing attention to potholes with some success, defacing the road isn’t exactly a long-term solution. Councils don’t, I imagine, leave potholes sitting in the road for their own personal amusement — low budgets, a bad triage system and disorganisation are all to blame.