Thursday 3 February 2011

Beware of elderly people...

I hate the word "elderly" almost as much as I hate being, well, elderly (I still can't quite believe it. It's one of those things that happen to other people, like marrying Prince Charles or being blown off Ben Nevis). But the icing on the cake has to be this road sign ("Elderly People Crossing", in case you've just landed from planet Zog).

A writer to The Times suggested that it could just as well depict "beware of pick-pockets", and he certainly had a point. But there has to be a better way of portraying older people, hasn't there? I mean, not only is it deeply insulting; it's soooooo sad. And they could at least be standing up straight.


  1. An interesting observation and it got me thinking. Maybe the intention is to deliberately portray a stereotype elderly couple. After all, what message would you want to get across to motorists?
    We're old and decrepit and can only move at a snail's pace. We couldn't get out of the way even if you drove straight at us.
    We're getting on a bit but still quite sprightly. We could probably jump out of your path if you sounded your horn at us.
    At least the guy has gone first so he'll probably take the full impact.
    What about the sign for an open level crossing? It shows a steam train with smoke coming out of the funnel. When did you last see that on a public road?
    Sorry to be completely logical about this. I can't help it. I'm an engineer.

  2. Hi, Keith. Old and decrepit, indeed. Speak for yourself!

    Teresa - glad you agree!

    Perhaps a shopping trolley* would be better? Or two shopping tolleys, entwined? There has to be something - anything - better than That Couple.

    * Back to my thing about shopping trolleys.

  3. You, elderly....?! Do me a favour!!
    (forgive brevity - just got back from France and various bits of brain still not functioning well)

  4. Welcome back, Alis. I do hope it wasn't too traumatic.

    As to elderly, sadly, I most certainly am(offcially, anway). Though when I compare mymself to my grand mother at the same age ....well-upholstered, grey bun, afternoon naps, those big knickers that came down to her knees, maybe not!