Thursday, 8 August 2013

Like a Birkenstock, stamping on a human face forever*

From The Evening Standard:

Transport For London staff have been banned from using electronic cigarettes at work because they are too realistic. And customers may also be forbidden to "smoke" them in future, bosses at TfL say.

In an email to staff, the organisation writes:

"E-cigarettes and nicotine inhalers are extremely difficult to differentiate from real cigarettes, therefore if someone uses an e-cigarette or nicotine inhaler in the workplace it might look like they are smoking a real cigarette. This is not the image we want to portray to customers and colleagues."

* I can't track down who first used this phrase, but whoever it was knows who they are and is hereby awarded a prize in their absence.

UPDATE: Having done a bit of internet archeology, i.e. Googling all hits before a certain date and moving that date ever earlier until there's only one, it would appear that the phrase was first used by a US anti-abortion campaigner in 2005.


Lola said...

"Stamping on a human face forever" comes from 1984 I don't know about the Birkenstock bit.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, yes obviously, the joke was substituting "Birkenstock" for "boot".

Lola said...

Ahh. Who is 'Birkenstock'?

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, try and imagine a bloke with glasses, a beard and longish hair wearing a colourful jumper, who probably works as a school teacher or college lecturer and is a local council candidate for the Greens or Lib Dems.

Now imagine his footwear. Those are Birkenstock sandals.

Lola said...

Aaahhhh! I didn't know that. Well. Well. You learn something every day. It makes the Orwellian quote even more chilling.

View from the Solent said...

Unh? My efag is a black tube with a tip that glows blue when I draw through it. If that's difficult to differentiate from a real cigarette, then the diffferentiee should stick to arithmetic and leave calculus to the grownups.

Mark Wadsworth said...

VFTS, exactly.

The little light is completely superfluous and you can make an efag just about any colour or shape you want.

In fact, you could make it look like a common or garden biro or felt tip pen, on which you can chew absently while working or reading the paper.