£926 raised – I should be really happy. I am. But there is one thing I saw late last week, something I’ve seen many times before, that irritates me to hell. No, not people using the word ‘bunch’ as a collective noun for anything and everything, not ‘the data is’ rather than ‘the data are’, not even the use of ‘less’ rather than when ‘fewer’ is correct. It is the sign, “DAVE IS 50”. One of my real pet hates. Nothing against Dave, but this is factually incorrect. I know a number of Daves – I don’t know if any are 50, but virtually all are not. I’m sure the particular Dave who is the intended target already knows that he is 50, and almost nobody else who sees this banner will have a clue as to who he is.
I could take a reasonably common name, a random number, scrawl it on an old bed sheet, drape it over a road sign and Bob’s your uncle (except he isn’t). “JAMES IS 37”, for example. Do you think any Jameses would be embarrassed by this, or even identify that is their self? But somehow the people who hang these up must think they are the funniest thing ever – not exactly Edinburgh Fringe is it? Just stop it.
I not only saw “DAVE IS 50” last week but similar on a number of occasions either when I have been walking or driving, and usually hung over a road sign of some sort, the sort that are so expensive that council tax payers get into fuel poverty over. If I’m lost in a town, I don’t care that Dave is 50. In fact, at that moment, I despise Dave or, more accurately, his ‘hilarious’ mates. What if I take the wrong road and end up in Cheltenham’s no-go area, to be stabbed by some gang members offended by me invading their patch. Or how would an insurance claim go down if the claimant wrote, “I failed to negotiate the bend since there was a “DAVE IS 50″ banner obscuring the chevrons on the sign. I am uncertain who Dave is, but it’s his fault not mine”. Er, good luck with that one, but my heart is with you.
It’s very much a British thing. I have never seen any “PIERRE A 40 ANS”, “HANS IST 30 JAHRES ALT” or “MANUEL TIENE 30 ANOS DE EDAD” on my travels abroad. Maybe I should be walking from Barcelona to Gibraltar or whatever their equivalent is.