One of the minor news stories of the day concerns the sinister car-swallowing sinkhole of Wycombe, and shows the perils we all face in our daily lives. Fans of writers such as H.P. Lovecraft and Ramsey Campbell will recognise the scene at once, as some ghastly demonic being from beyond the galaxy issues forth, growing fat on a diet of Vauxhall Corsa fricassee garnished with petrol. But leaving aside the horror story potboiler possibilities (and I do so with reluctance), I was taken by the brief comment issued by the Buckinghamshire Fire Service which included these words "Firefighters placed a cordon around it and gave safety advice". (Presumably the advice was given to members of the public, not to the hole). Somehow this induced an image of a bunch of burly blokes in helmets and breathing apparatus standing in a ring around the hole, facing outwards and holding hands, whilst issuing the following vital safety advice to onlookers
"Do not fall down the hole. Repeat - do not fall down the hole. Falling down the hole may cause injuries. So do not fall down it."
And it must be working because so far nobody has been reported as having fallen in it.