Friday, August 31, 2007

[edward pilgrim] took on the council and lost

Most of you are aware of the start of Arthur Dent's adventures when the council wanted to knock down his house to build a bypass:

It hadn't properly registered with Arthur that the council wanted to knock down his house and build an bypass instead. Mr Prosser said: "You were quite entitled to make any suggestions or protests at the appropriate time you know."

"Appropriate time?" hooted Arthur. "Appropriate time? The first I knew about it was when a workman arrived at my home yesterday. I asked him if he'd come to clean the windows and he said no he'd come to demolish the house. He didn't tell me straight away of course. Oh no. First he wiped a couple of windows and charged me a fiver. Then he told me."

"But Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine month."

"Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them had you? I mean like actually telling anybody or anything."

"But the plans were on display ..."

"On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them."

"That's the display department."

"With a torch."

"Ah, well the lights had probably gone."

"So had the stairs."

"But look, you found the notice didn't you?"

"Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard."

Are you aware of the incidents which gave Douglas Adams the idea in the first place? Many blogs, such as Guthrum the Old and Man in a Shed are bringing all sorts of government inanities to us but this one was more than an inanity - it was at best tragic misunderstanding and possibly sharp practice and at worst, callous indifference.

Do read the short Wiki version of it here:

3 comments:

Gracchi said...

James thanks for bringing this incident to my attention- I'd never been aware of it.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Yes, thanks. I certainly didn't know this has given Adams the idea. How heartless authority can be.

UBERMOUTH said...

When did this incident take place? I am not surprised though with the councils in England!