I was surprised to learn that the city of Philadelphia has a policy of confiscating newspaper boxes after they’ve been vandalized. I’d really like to know who’s job it is to walk a beat on the streets of Philly, examining Philadelphia Inquirer boxes, and determining if the dispensers have exceeded the city’s mystery level of acceptable tagging and stickering.
I also like to think about where these little guys go, once they’re confiscated. Maybe it’s to a scaled-down version of the “buff” system that NYC used in the late-80’s, to remove all of the graffiti from the subway cars? I imagine a tiny conveyer belt with tiny sprayers, washing a tiny train of newspaper boxes. Or perhaps it’s more of an “Island of Misfit Newspaper Boxes” scenario, where they are left to live together in vandalized-harmony?
Perhaps my favorite part of this ridiculous “civic service” is the fact that in their efforts, the city of Philly has engaged in their own form of graffiti, and managed to garner quite a few ups! Check this out: