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Thursday, February 9, 2012

FUN WITH HAIR BLOWERS

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)

During this time of the year, when tourists are flocking to Florida, traffic can be quite congested on our highways, not to mention fast. Although the posted speed limit is 45mph for the highway in front of our office, motorists frequently exceed the limit (loudly I might add). Like any local government these days, our county has to tighten its belts, particularly the sheriff's office which has been experiencing budget cuts. Not surprising, they tend to overlook speeding in certain areas, such as in front of my office. So I took it upon myself to devise a cost effective way to slow traffic.

I tried an interesting experiment whereby I wondered if I could get cars to slow down simply by holding an old broken hair blower which people might confuse for a radar gun. To make myself look somewhat official, I wore a light blue Columbia fishing shirt and navy blue trousers. I then went out to the side of the road, and pointed the hair blower to on-coming traffic. Lo and behold, cars began to slow down as soon as they saw me. So far, so good, but I wanted to make sure it was the hair blower and not my clothing that caused the motorists to slow down. I next tried it wearing a red shirt and experienced the same success. I then tried it dressed in shorts; then in a loud tee shirt; with a baseball cap on; wearing sandals; and many other combinations. Again and again, the motorists slowed down the moment they saw the hair blower. Finally, I tried it with a stuffed dummy sitting in a lawn chair with the hair blower prominently displayed. I tilted the head down so the motorists couldn't see the dummy's face. Remarkably, despite the hair blower in plain sight, people paid no attention to the dummy and sped along unabated. From this, I concluded it was necessary to have a human being present in order to sell the deception.

As I was disassembling the dummy, a homeless man happened to approach me walking down the side of the road and solicited a handout. I asked if he would rather earn a few bucks instead of accepting charity. He replied he would be delighted to do so. I then asked him to sit by the road with the hair blower for which, in turn I would give him some money. He was a little scruffy looking but I thought it would be an interesting test. To his credit, he sat near the highway for approximately three hours and during that time I observed traffic did, indeed, slow down as I suspected it would. I paid the man who then went cheerfully on his way.

It occurred to me there were several such people like the homeless man who would be glad to render such a service, but instead of canvassing for such people, why not ask those who are receiving unemployment benefits or food stamps to perform such a service. Surely, that is the least they could do for all the benefits they are receiving. Imagine this; people sitting along the side of every road in the county holding broken hair blowers. What could be more cost effective to slow traffic? Now and then, the sheriff's office could even randomly assign a real radar gun in the field to keep motorists honest.

Imagine -
Price of a broken hair blower: $0
Cost of unemployed person to slow down traffic: $0
Slowing down speeding traffic by welfare/food stamp recipients: Priceless

Wow, talk about killing a few birds with a single stone. All that is needed are a few broken hair blowers and a little common sense.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:
http://www.phmainstreet.com/timbryce.htm

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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.