About the ever-spiralling decay of an institution we'll only miss when it's too late and it's gone. Still, as long as most tabloids' theme this christmas is 'oh noes, the PCs are taking away our Christmasses!', I'm sure it'll get the attention it deserves.
I'm going to be guilty of the most astonishing bad taste, putting this in the same post as the above link, but there we are, fuck it.
Walking back from the shops today, I found myself walking behind a blind man, tap-tapping carefully along with his white stick. Because my average walking speed is slightly faster than that of a man already running quite fast, it became apparent that I was going to have to overtake him. Now I imagine that if you're blind, having someone swoosh past you with no warning could be a bit scary, so I stepped right out into the road to give him plenty of space.
Of course true irony would have been if I hadn't seen that lorry coming, but I did, so it was fine. I went back on the pavement, and then saw, in the distance, another blind man with a stick, on the same side of the pavement, coming straight towards my one.
So I stood there for a while, and just couldn't work out what to do. As they drew inexorably closer, part of me wanted to shout out 'Hey, blind guys!'. But this seemed somehow rude. Maybe I should run back and stand between them with my arms stretched out, braced for the crash ? Or I could take the arm of one and gently steer him round the other one, but this would require some kind of explanation, and all I could think of to say was 'Come with me if you want to live', which seemed a tad excessive.
I stood, frozen with indecision, and yet I could not look away. And I'll be honest, as I watched two blind men slowly and determinedly head towards each other, both oblivious to the others' existence, a dark and terrible part of me thought: this might end up being very very funny.
What actually happened of course, was they heard each others' sticks tapping on the ground, so one stepped politely aside for the other, and then they continued on their way.