Zak Spade's

The Trouble with Tribbles

Published under my View from the Stairs column in a magazine covering north Buckinghamshire, May 2011, as:
The Trouble with Tribbles
by Phil J O'Hara

o - O - o

The trouble with tribbles was the fact that they were undeniably cute while at the same time being a serious pest. Star Trek fans will know the story and the problems they caused.

Beam ahead over forty years and we can see that we have our current day trouble with tribbles. The modern day tribble is known as a pothole.

What they do share with tribbles is the ability to reproduce at an alarming rate. The first one seen will grow and, before long, the place is infested with them.

Captain Kirk was devoid of ideas on how to eradicate the tribbles that had infested his starship, the USS Enterprise, and the space station which he was visiting.

Strangely enough, that is yet another departure between the similarity between a tribble and a pothole: not only are potholes not cute and furry, they are very easily eradicated. At least that is what normal human beings think. To the authorities they appear to be uncontrollable.

On some roads in Milton Keynes, hit a pothole and you are clunked by another before you have time to think, "Goodness, I hope it hasn't broken something expensive on my car!"

Fill in a pothole properly and it becomes a patch of colour on the road surface. Employ the methodology of sticking one's head in the sand, and guess what? They don't go away; they get deeper, and they are joined by other potholes.

The council are very quick to deny liability by claiming (possibly rightly) that they are unaware of particular potholes. If no one tells them, then they can claim they had no way to tell, therefore cannot be held to be negligent.

Solution: if you see a pothole, report it to the council. Make a note of the ID on the side of the nearest lamppost so as to tie down an almost exact location.

The huge pothole heading north off the Brinklow Roundabout causes much mirth and merriment during the daily trudge to work as vehicles hog lanes to avoid it, or jink to the side when they see the gaping chasm. Ah, what fun it is to see little old ladies nearly being run off the road by other road users trying to avoid an expensive repair bill - not!

You help those who are unfortunate enough to hit a pothole if you notify the council. It can benefit you if someone else has already informed the council of the pothole you have struck.

However, I prefer the Star Trek solution: Scotty beamed the tribbles off the Enterprise and on to the nearby Klingon spaceship. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to beam all the potholes in Milton Keynes onto the driveways of the councillors?

© 2011

31 August 2021