The power of irony

Last month I had a transfer in Madrid airport (Barajas). In the recent built terminal T, I had the luck to witness, with much pleasure, the power of irony.

Every so many seats there are some reserved for people in need (disabled, pregnant, elderly,….). These seats are well marked on the floor with a special yellow sign.

We know that there are people who don’t give a damn about the others and just do as they please.

At Barajas they had surely this in mind and had a wonderful idea to deal with antisocial behaviour

Next to the icons of the disabled, elderly, mum with a child,…. they added an icon showing a brainless figure. The sign gives a clear message: you have reasons to seat there or you are an idiot*.15-04disabled-seat-sign01

I was walking along the long alley when I saw such a sign. There were 5 chairs, the second from the left occupied, and on the floor the special yellow line marking the area. The person sitting was a man in suit and tie, busy with his mobile.

I stopped , surprised and I felt a smile rising on my face. I was tempted to suggest to the business man to move to the chair at the very right.

In the main while more people stopped. Some pulled out their mobiles and started making pictures. The flashes must have awaken the man.

He turned fast up his head, and bend it back down to his mobile trying to ignore us. We were already more than 10 persons, all brothered by a kind happiness, like a contagious nonsense group laugh. Finally he stood up, lift his bag next to his face as a shield against our cameras and walked away.

Some governments use high fines to deter asocial behaviours, others count on strong army. Some others would just ignore the rights of the weak. I love the irony message applied in Barajas .



*idiot     (ˈɪdɪət) n
1. (Psychiatry) a person with severe mental retardation
2. a foolish or senseless person
[C13: from Latin idiōta ignorant person, from Greek idiōtēs private person, one who lacks professional knowledge, ignoramus; see idio-]
Collins English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003



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