Portal to 'HELL' cracks open in street – oh sorry, it's just another pothole

Into the eternal darkness, into fire and into ice... aka York

Mild exaggeration is a time-honoured tradition for disgusted Brits whingeing to their local newspapers about everything under the Sun.

One moment they are, quote, "speechless" about the closure of public toilets, but then claim to be "fuming" as they rant on for another five pages of Pitman (a complex system of hieroglyphics skilled journos used thousands of years ago when people bought newspapers, generally superseded where permitted by the record function on mobile phones).

But The York Press has recorded a masterclass in British hyperbole around our other pet peeve – potholes. How's this for an intro?

A driver said he 'thought Hell had opened up' when his car plunged into a hole in a York road.

Yeah, local news hacks can't resist it either. "Plunged" is a wonderful word, but we suspect it was more of a grinding clunk. Never let the truth get in the way of a killer opening line.

Those of you picturing scenes from Dante's Inferno engulfing a street in the historic Viking city may be disappointed, though the snaps provided with the article are worth a gentle chuckle.

The victim, Grant Parker, is pictured standing waist deep in the diabolical chasm, which we'll concede is far worse than England's usual pothole fare, but not quite up to Indonesian sinkhole standards.

"I was driving down the street and all of a sudden the car just sank down and went into a hole," he told the paper.

"It did some damage to the car, and I'm still waiting for the insurance to deal with it.

"There was just a little mark in the road, and as I went over it, the whole car dropped at one side.

"I got out and thought it was unbelievable. You could see a tunnel under the road. I thought Hell had opened up or something."

The motor was able to clamber out of the Hellgate and limped off to a garage for repairs, setting Parker back £200.

So who's liable? The city council, as councils are wont, admirably deflected any responsibility, blaming the pit on a "sewer collapse" and adding that the insurance claim would be passed to Yorkshire Water.

The utilities firm, having repaired the road on 12 April, said Parker damaged his car and shrugged: "In circumstances like this it is the insurance companies who resolve any claims."

Of course, it would be a cold day in Hell when a local authority actually takes care of its infrastructure. ®

Other stories you might like

  • Why Cloud First should not have to mean Cloud Everywhere

    HPE urges 'consciously hybrid' strategy for UK public sector

    Sponsored In 2013, the UK government heralded Cloud First, a ground-breaking strategy to drive cloud adoption across the public sector. Eight years on, and much of UK public sector IT still runs on-premises - and all too often - on obsolete technologies.

    Today the government‘s message boils down to “cloud first, if you can” - perhaps in recognition that modernising complex legacy systems is hard. But in the private sector today, enterprises are typically mixing and matching cloud and on-premises infrastructure, according to the best business fit for their needs.

    The UK government should also adopt a “consciously hybrid” approach, according to HPE, The global technology company is calling for the entire IT industry to step up so that the public sector can modernise where needed and keep up with innovation: “We’re calling for a collective IT industry response to the problem,” says Russell MacDonald, HPE strategic advisor to the public sector.

    Continue reading
  • A Raspberry Pi HAT for the Lego Technic fan

    Sneaking in programming under the guise of plastic bricks

    There is good news for the intersection of Lego and Raspberry Pi fans today, as a new HAT (the delightfully named Hardware Attached on Top) will be unveiled for the diminutive computer to control Technic motors and sensors.

    Using a Pi to process sensor readings and manage motors has been a thing since the inception of the computer, and users (including ourselves) have long made use of the General Purpose Input / Output (GPIO) pins that have been a feature of the hardware for all manner of projects.

    However, not all users are entirely happy with breadboards and jumpers. Lego, familiar to many a builder thanks to lines such as its Mindstorms range, recently introduced the Education SPIKE Prime set, aimed at the classroom.

    Continue reading
  • Reg scribe spends week being watched by government Bluetooth wristband, emerges to more surveillance

    Home quarantine week was the price for an overseas trip, ongoing observation is the price of COVID-19

    Feature My family and I recently returned to Singapore after an overseas trip that, for the first time in over a year, did not require the ordeal of two weeks of quarantine in a hotel room.

    Instead, returning travelers are required to stay at home, wear a government-issued tracking device, and stay within range of a government-issued Bluetooth beacon at all times for a week … or else. No visitors are allowed and only a medical emergency is a ticket out. But that sounded easy compared to the hotel quarantine we endured in 2020.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021