We all have things that grind our nerves in unbearable ways. Typically, we’re forced to sit back and accept them, unless there are laws protecting against them. Like, in Chicago, landlords must give at least 48 hours notice before entering a rental house or apartment. Makes sense. Potholes, on the other hand, aren’t high on the list of important regulated township repairs. Something that is, apparently, a big issue in the UK town of Middlesborough.
We’ve all been there, driving in our cars and being unable to avoid a pothole so devastating that your heart sinks whilst imagining your tires, alignment, and sanity all simultaneously disintegrating. One person had had enough. In the U.S., there’s more than $300 billion spent on business travel in a given year and some of those taxis rides, limos, and Ubers feel first hand what a peppering of potholes can do to the roads (and your ride). Still, the solution to repairing them at any consistent rate eludes us.
In Middlesborough, one resident started tackling the multitude of potholes in town in a unique way. He found them and used spray paint to paint animated graffiti penises around them. People around town began snapping pictures of the graffitied potholes and posting them on a town Facebook group, which got people’s attention. Including the Middlesborough Town Council:
“Middlesbrough…has issues with potholes and repairs are carried out on a priority basis determined by the risk they pose to highway users. Currently, however, we are carrying out pre-planned works in the Acklam area and staff were able to visit the nearby site on Fane Grove when the matter was reported to us and have patched over the hole,” reported a council spokesperson.
Sometimes you must take matters into your own hands to goad the authorities along. This graffiti statement worked pretty promptly, and this isn’t the first time phallic imagery has surrounded potholes. Back in 2015, one cheeky graffiti artist who dubbed themselves Wanksy — a tongue-in-cheek nod at the famed, anonymous UK graffiti artist Banksy — did the exact same thing.
“I wanted to draw attention to the pothole and make it memorable. Nothing seemed to do this better than a giant comedy phallus. It’s also speedy. I don’t want to be in the road for a long time,” Wanksy reported in 2015.
A cyclist, he’d set to work after a couple of his friends had been injured because of the potholes in question. They were also promptly fixed. At this point in time, the strategy has proven that while understandably uncouth, it’s also been successful.