Bristol U.K. Fiction is stranger than truth.

I have been sent a Bristol, U.K. story for the umpteenth time.

Here it is.

"Outside England’s Bristol Zoo there is a parking lot for 150 cars and 8 buses. For 25 years, its parking fees were managed by a very pleasant attendant.....

The fees for cars ($1.40), for buses (about $7).

Then, one day, after 25 solid years of never missing a day of work, he just didn't show up; so the zoo management called the city council  and asked it to send them another parking agent The council did some research and replied that the parking lot was the zoo's own responsibility. The zoo advised the council that the attendant was a city employee. The city council responded that the lot attendant had never been on the city payroll.  Meanwhile, sitting in his villa somewhere on the coast of Spain or France or Italy is a man who'd apparently had a ticket machine installed completely on his own and then had simply begun to show up every day, commencing to collect and keep the parking fees, estimated at about $560 per day -- for 25 years. Assuming 7 days a week, this amounts to just over $7 million dollars ...... and no one even knows his name."


The truth is that this never happened. 

It’s an Urban Myth which is being perpetuated despite the efforts of the local newspaper “The Bristol Post” (formerly known as the “Bristol Evening Post”) ; of the Bristol Zoo; and of the Bristol City Council.

Why will the myth not die?

I suspect that’s because we all want it to be true:  – 

“a cunning attendant who cheated the system”,

“an inept local government”

a “dopey Zoo management” 

all these are the stuff of legends.

Mostly we want it to be true cos we want to be that mythical parking attendant who cheated the system.

He never lived. He never bucked the system. He is not in a luxurious retirement community.

But damn it all – we  still want to believe the story!


Popular posts from this blog

Brave Space not Safe Space

"A promise to Astrid" A book to buy.

That was the week that was