This voluntary society goes around collecting used bubble-wrap from large firms, cutting it into strips two feet in height, and then taping it to lamp-posts in areas where there is a high number of people texting while ignoring their surroundings. Two layers of bubble-wrap will suffice for protecting texters who are walking along, but five layers may be needed on jogging tracks or running trails.
The bubble-wrap is normally placed from a height of 5ft to 7ft to protect people’s heads from hitting the post. The society also places hidden cameras at these locations, so that unfortunate texters can see their hilarious accident on youtube, along with all their friends. Recividism amongst texters whose exploits are displayed on youtube is only about 7.5%. Texters can contribute to the society’s funds in return for their video being removed from social media.
The PLTNPS was the brainchild of Toby Cartmel, who first thought of the idea after videoing his next door neighbour taking 16 minutes to park his car in a parking space. The neighbour paid an amount of money to have the video deleted, but an idea was born as Cartmel indicates: “Yah, the neighbour was, like, the worst driver – ever – and needed exposing, so, you know, he had to be shown in a bad light, like, so I posted the vid and then he said – take it down or else – and I said, like, else what, and he said he’d beat me, and I said well that won’t remove the vid, so he then gave me ten pounds and then I deleted the video, but only after it had been seen 123,728 times. I then video’d someone walking into a post when texting and thought, well, like, people need protecting from themselves. So I bought the bubble wrap and covered the post, put the evidence on youtube with contact details, the money was paid, the evidence was removed, more wrap covered more posts. Pretty soon, thanks to me and my friends, all the poles and posts in London will be safe to walk into. I don’t regard what we’re doing as anything similar to blackmail.”
Extract from the book 40 Strange Groups