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Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:4982:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<h3><big><big>The Importance of Being Ergonomic or,</big></big></h3>\\n<h3><big><big>Attack of the Killer Parking Meters!</big></big></h3>\\n<table cellpadding=\\"0\\" cellspacing=\\"0\\" width=\\"200\\" align=\\"left\\" style=\\"margin:0px 10px 10p in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:349:\"Table 'edadmin_drpl1.captcha_sessions' doesn't exist\nquery: INSERT into captcha_sessions (uid, sid, ip_address, timestamp, form_id, solution, status, attempts) VALUES (0, '62e9d4020b89199900c6871341eec77d', '54.227.127.109', 1513169868, 'comment_form', 'f0879d61be816bff4b49bb73927df000', 0, 0)\";s:5:\"%file\";s:63:\"/home/edadmin/public_html/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:125;}', 3, '', 'http://www.ed-rex.com/fact/killer_parking_meters', '', '54.227. in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:124:\"Table 'edadmin_drpl1.captcha_sessions' doesn't exist\nquery: SELECT token FROM captcha_sessions WHERE csid = 0\";s:5:\"%file\";s:66:\"/home/edadmin/public_html/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.module\";s:5:\"%line\";i:214;}', 3, '', 'http://www.ed-rex.com/fact/killer_parking_meters', '', '54.227.127.109', 1513169868) in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:125:\"Table 'edadmin_drpl1.captcha_sessions' doesn't exist\nquery: SELECT status FROM captcha_sessions WHERE csid = 0\";s:5:\"%file\";s:63:\"/home/edadmin/public_html/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:155;}', 3, '', 'http://www.ed-rex.com/fact/killer_parking_meters', '', '54.227.127.109', 1513169868) in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:125:\"Table 'edadmin_drpl1.captcha_sessions' doesn't exist\nquery: SELECT status FROM captcha_sessions WHERE csid = 0\";s:5:\"%file\";s:63:\"/home/edadmin/public_html/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:155;}', 3, '', 'http://www.ed-rex.com/fact/killer_parking_meters', '', '54.227.127.109', 1513169868) in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:165:\"Table 'edadmin_drpl1.captcha_sessions' doesn't exist\nquery: UPDATE captcha_sessions SET timestamp=1513169868, solution='4SBL9L' WHERE csid=0\";s:5:\"%file\";s:63:\"/home/edadmin/public_html/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:137;}', 3, '', 'http://www.ed-rex.com/fact/killer_parking_meters', '', '54.227.127.109', 1513169868) in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:224:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:a777d0249b540b4111ef42e9d15d7638'\";s:5:\"%file\";s:44:\"/home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:27;}', 3, '', 'http://www.ed-rex.com/fact/killer_parking_meters', '', '54.227.127.109', 1513169868) in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:2124:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p><center></center></p>\\n<table align=\\"center\\" style=\\"width: 225px;\\">\\n<tbody>\\n<tr>\\n<td style=\\"width: 225px; background-color: rgb(176, 83, 162); text-align: center; vertical-align: bottom;\\">\\n<div><span style=\\"font-size: 19px;\\"><span style=\\"font-fami in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:224:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:0abc4daf3615eae37d92fac6774cbdca'\";s:5:\"%file\";s:44:\"/home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:27;}', 3, '', 'http://www.ed-rex.com/fact/killer_parking_meters', '', '54.227.127.109', 1513169868) in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:1083:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<table align=\\"center\\" style=\\"width: 200px;\\">\\n<tbody>\\n<tr>\\n<td>\\n<script type=\\"text/javascript\\"><!--\\ngoogle_ad_client = \\"pub-5278265615507417\\";\\n/* 160x600 picture-only, created 9/29/10 */\\ngoogle_ad_slot = \\"3058889442\\";\\ngoogle_ad_width = 160;\\ngoogle_ad_height = 600;\\n//--><!--\\ngoogle_a in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:224:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:44e05be548c17efbc6463c731ca1d7c4'\";s:5:\"%file\";s:44:\"/home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:27;}', 3, '', 'http://www.ed-rex.com/fact/killer_parking_meters', '', '54.227.127.109', 1513169868) in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:870:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p><center><br />\\n<table align=\\"center\\" border=\\"0\\" cellpadding=\\"0\\" cellspacing=\\"0\\">\\n<tbody>\\n<tr>\\n<td>\\n<div style=\\"text-align: center;\\"><a href=\\"http://ed-rex.com/bumblepuppy\\" target=\\"_blank\\"><img src=\\&qu in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:224:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:1587bce80743d25a13699439e1436ddf'\";s:5:\"%file\";s:44:\"/home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:27;}', 3, '', 'http://www.ed-rex.com/fact/killer_parking_meters', '', '54.227.127.109', 1513169868) in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:828:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p><center><br />\\n<table style=\\"height: 645px; width: 285px;\\">\\n<tbody>\\n<tr>\\n<td><a href=\\"http://www.bppress.ca/product/old-mans-last-sauna/\\" target=\\"_blank\\"><img alt=\\"The Old Man\\'s Last Sauna, cover image\\" src=\\"/sites/default/files/2013_06/sauna_ad04.jpg\\" st in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:224:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:a641667eb8686ec6a410a6d1682e9f16'\";s:5:\"%file\";s:44:\"/home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:27;}', 3, '', 'http://www.ed-rex.com/fact/killer_parking_meters', '', '54.227.127.109', 1513169868) in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:2569:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p><center><br />\\n<table style=\\"width: 275px;\\">\\n<tbody>\\n<tr>\\n<td style=\\"background-color: rgb(176, 83, 162); text-align: center;\\">\\n<div><a href=\\"http://ed-rex.com/mailman/listinfo/ed-rex-update_ed-rex.com\\" target=\\"_blank\\"><strong><span style=\\"font-f in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135
The deadly streets of Ottawa | www.ed-rex.com


The deadly streets of Ottawa

  • user warning: Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:5fbd464382415f6c6576af02ef8f8bfc' in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<h3><big><big>The Importance of Being Ergonomic or,</big></big></h3>\n<h3><big><big>Attack of the Killer Parking Meters!</big></big></h3>\n<table cellpadding=\"0\" cellspacing=\"0\" width=\"200\" align=\"left\" style=\"margin:0px 10px 10px 0px;\">\n<tr>\n<td style=\"padding:0px; \"><img src=\"/sites/default/files/2011_11/parking_meter.jpg\" alt=\"\" width=\"200\" border=\"0\" /><br />\n<tr>\n<td style=\"background-color: rgb(181, 161, 188);\"><strong><em><small><center>Old-school parking meter. (Image: <a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Lorax\" target=\"_blank\">Lorax</a> via Wikepedia.)</center></small></em></strong></td>\n</tr>\n</td></tr></table>\n<p>I don\'t dwell on it, but I\'ve experienced a few moments of significant physical pain over the years.</p>\n<p>I sport a titanium mesh where my right orbital bone used to be (the details <a href=\"http://ed-rex.livejournal.com/2006/02/06/\" target=\"_blank\">are here</a>, but they are not for the sqeamish); I\'ve thrown my back out a few times; I\'ve fractured my fibula and, once, bounced off the cross-bar of a bicycle in such a way as to make strong men wince.</p>\n<p>But possibly the worst pain I\'ve ever experienced came while I was just walking along a Toronto sidewalk, when my perambulations came to a sudden and shocking end as the centre of my not-so irrisistable chest met an utterly immovable object &mdash; a parking meter, to be precise.</p>\n<p>The pain was sharp and shocking and very, very, intense. I had been striding along at a pretty good clip and suddenly I ... wasn\'t. Wasn\'t moving at all except to gasp, in too much pain to even make much noise.</p>\n<p>In retrospect, I can only be grateful that whoever designed those old-fashioned meters had the good sense to make them more or less <em>round</em>. A sharper edge might well have punched <em>through</em> my ribs instead of just bruising them.</p>\n<table cellpadding=\"5\" cellspacing=\"0\" width=\"200\" align=\"right\" style=\"margin:0px 0px 10px 10px;\">\n<tr>\n<td style=\"padding:0px; \"><img src=\"/sites/default/files/2011_11/ouch.jpg\" alt=\"\" width=\"200\" border=\"0\" /></td>\n</tr>\n<tr>\n<td style=\"background-color: rgb(181, 161, 188);\"><strong><small><center><em>It\'s always fun \'till somebody loses an eye! (Image: the Phantom Photographer.)</em></center></small></strong></td>\n</tr>\n</table>\n<p>Parking meters have changed since the 1980s. No longer the big-headed steel mono-pod coin-holders also suitable for hitching up one\'s bicycle, they have morphed into squarish computerized beasts that eat coins, bills and plastic and which spit out printed receipts in return.</p>\n<p>Better yet, they are <em>green</em>, hulking beneath a solar-panel like a Texan under a ten-gallon hat.</p>\n<p>And like that gun-toting stereotype, the new machines are killers below those eco-friendly toppers.</p>\n<p>Those solar panels have sharp edges and, for some reason, are placed at the eye-level of folks just a little taller than I am. (See photo dramatization at right.)</p>\n<p>More than just bruising the unwary, these modern machines are going to kill someone, and probably sooner than later.</p>\n<p>That\'s right, due to a shocking case of ergonomic oversight, my city is now infested with Killer Parking Meters!</p>\n<p>Solar power is a fine thing; I\'m all for exploiting the sun. But there <em>is</em> something to be said for not maiming pedestrians in the process.</p>\n<p>When these models were in the planning stages, did one do a walk-around and remember the Eleventh Commandment, <em>Though shalt not place sharp objects at eye-level on busy city sidewalks</em>?</p>\n<p>In a world rapidly ripping teeter-totters out of children\'s playgrounds in the name of safety, you\'d think this would have been a no-brainer.</p>\n', created = 1513169868, expire = 1513256268, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:5fbd464382415f6c6576af02ef8f8bfc' in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.captcha_sessions' doesn't exist query: INSERT into captcha_sessions (uid, sid, ip_address, timestamp, form_id, solution, status, attempts) VALUES (0, '62e9d4020b89199900c6871341eec77d', '54.227.127.109', 1513169868, 'comment_form', 'f0879d61be816bff4b49bb73927df000', 0, 0) in /home/edadmin/public_html/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 125.
  • user warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.captcha_sessions' doesn't exist query: SELECT token FROM captcha_sessions WHERE csid = 0 in /home/edadmin/public_html/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.module on line 214.
  • user warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.captcha_sessions' doesn't exist query: SELECT status FROM captcha_sessions WHERE csid = 0 in /home/edadmin/public_html/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 155.
  • user warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.captcha_sessions' doesn't exist query: SELECT status FROM captcha_sessions WHERE csid = 0 in /home/edadmin/public_html/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 155.
  • user warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.captcha_sessions' doesn't exist query: UPDATE captcha_sessions SET timestamp=1513169868, solution='4SBL9L' WHERE csid=0 in /home/edadmin/public_html/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 137.
  • user warning: Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:a777d0249b540b4111ef42e9d15d7638' in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p><center></center></p>\n<table align=\"center\" style=\"width: 225px;\">\n<tbody>\n<tr>\n<td style=\"width: 225px; background-color: rgb(176, 83, 162); text-align: center; vertical-align: bottom;\">\n<div><span style=\"font-size: 19px;\"><span style=\"font-family: georgia,serif;\"><strong>Like what you&#39;ve read?</strong></span></span></div>\n</td>\n</tr>\n<tr>\n<td style=\"width: 225px; background-color: rgb(176, 83, 162);\">\n<form action=\"https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr\" method=\"post\"><input name=\"cmd\" type=\"hidden\" value=\"_s-xclick\" /> <input name=\"hosted_button_id\" type=\"hidden\" value=\"MR496TCXQQXQL\" /> <input alt=\"PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!\" border=\"0\" name=\"submit\" target=\"_blank\" src=\"http://ed-rex.com/sites/default/files/adverts/donate_button02.gif\" type=\"image\" /> <img alt=\"\" border=\"0\" height=\"1\" src=\"https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_US/i/scr/pixel.gif\" width=\"1\" /></form>\n</td>\n</tr>\n<tr>\n<td style=\"width: 225px; background-color: rgb(176, 83, 162); text-align: center; vertical-align: top;\">\n<div><span style=\"font-size: 26px;\"><em><strong><span style=\"font-family: georgia,serif;\">Tip the author!</span></strong></em></span></div>\n</td>\n</tr>\n</tbody>\n</table>\n<p></p>\n', created = 1513169868, expire = 1513256268, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:a777d0249b540b4111ef42e9d15d7638' in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:0abc4daf3615eae37d92fac6774cbdca' in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<table align=\"center\" style=\"width: 200px;\">\n<tbody>\n<tr>\n<td>\n<script type=\"text/javascript\"><!--\ngoogle_ad_client = \"pub-5278265615507417\";\n/* 160x600 picture-only, created 9/29/10 */\ngoogle_ad_slot = \"3058889442\";\ngoogle_ad_width = 160;\ngoogle_ad_height = 600;\n//--><!--\ngoogle_ad_client = \"pub-5278265615507417\";\n/* 160x600 picture-only, created 9/29/10 */\ngoogle_ad_slot = \"3058889442\";\ngoogle_ad_width = 160;\ngoogle_ad_height = 600;\n//-->\n</script><script type=\"text/javascript\"\nsrc=\"http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js\">\n</script></td></tr>\n\n</tbody></table>\n', created = 1513169868, expire = 1513256268, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:0abc4daf3615eae37d92fac6774cbdca' in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:44e05be548c17efbc6463c731ca1d7c4' in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
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The Importance of Being Ergonomic or,

Attack of the Killer Parking Meters!


Old-school parking meter. (Image: Lorax via Wikepedia.)

I don't dwell on it, but I've experienced a few moments of significant physical pain over the years.

I sport a titanium mesh where my right orbital bone used to be (the details are here, but they are not for the sqeamish); I've thrown my back out a few times; I've fractured my fibula and, once, bounced off the cross-bar of a bicycle in such a way as to make strong men wince.

But possibly the worst pain I've ever experienced came while I was just walking along a Toronto sidewalk, when my perambulations came to a sudden and shocking end as the centre of my not-so irrisistable chest met an utterly immovable object — a parking meter, to be precise.

The pain was sharp and shocking and very, very, intense. I had been striding along at a pretty good clip and suddenly I ... wasn't. Wasn't moving at all except to gasp, in too much pain to even make much noise.

In retrospect, I can only be grateful that whoever designed those old-fashioned meters had the good sense to make them more or less round. A sharper edge might well have punched through my ribs instead of just bruising them.

It's always fun 'till somebody loses an eye! (Image: the Phantom Photographer.)

Parking meters have changed since the 1980s. No longer the big-headed steel mono-pod coin-holders also suitable for hitching up one's bicycle, they have morphed into squarish computerized beasts that eat coins, bills and plastic and which spit out printed receipts in return.

Better yet, they are green, hulking beneath a solar-panel like a Texan under a ten-gallon hat.

And like that gun-toting stereotype, the new machines are killers below those eco-friendly toppers.

Those solar panels have sharp edges and, for some reason, are placed at the eye-level of folks just a little taller than I am. (See photo dramatization at right.)

More than just bruising the unwary, these modern machines are going to kill someone, and probably sooner than later.

That's right, due to a shocking case of ergonomic oversight, my city is now infested with Killer Parking Meters!

Solar power is a fine thing; I'm all for exploiting the sun. But there is something to be said for not maiming pedestrians in the process.

When these models were in the planning stages, did one do a walk-around and remember the Eleventh Commandment, Though shalt not place sharp objects at eye-level on busy city sidewalks?

In a world rapidly ripping teeter-totters out of children's playgrounds in the name of safety, you'd think this would have been a no-brainer.

Spread the word!

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