Pesky gadgets cause mischief



It’s all gone a bit Laurel and Hardy on the streets. Walking into lampposts used to be the speciality of simpleton screen stars, but now gadget-obsessed people have begun appearing in their own slapstick comedies.

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Laurel and Hardy didn’t need gadgets to get them into a fine mess

Negotiating everyday hazards on the pavement is something most of us have managed to do since we were knee-high to a grasshopper. But put a mobile phone or an iPod Touch in our hands and suddenly we are in real danger of looking like blithering idiots.

Who has been merrily trotting along the road while sending a text message, only to be caught out by a bollard at a rather awkward height? Let’s just say it’s not an experience I care to repeat.

Still, at least I could hobble along and pretend nothing happened. Besides, I don’t think anyone noticed that my voice had gone a semi-tone higher…

Unfortunately one SMS addict from the Pennsylvania in the US couldn’t disguise her embarrassment so easily…

Cathy Cruz Marrero was strolling through her local mall on a quiet day, so she didn’t have to worry about other shoppers as she texted a friend.

Unfortunately for Cathy, the mall’s indoor fountain was outside her peripheral vision and she went head first into the water. She had to creep out and make a rather soggy exit. Nice.

No wonder the US states of Arkansas and New York are considering banning pedestrians from wearing headphones in both ears while walking or running… If it wasn’t for these damned devices which keep us entertained then we’d all be able to stay out of trouble.

Perhaps the greatest example of someone being distracted by a gadget is poor Robert Jones, who met his end while listening to his iPod. Unfortunately, while jogging to the sound of his favourite tunes he was hit by a light aircraft. The ultimate bad luck story, surely?

As a gaming enthusiast, I have a lot of sympathy for the boy who walked off a platform at a Milan station because he was so into his PSP games. Fortunately, an off-duty policeman was around to lift him to safety and no harm was done.

I get so immersed in the world of gaming, I sometimes find it hard to distinguish where the ‘real world’ begins and Mario Kart on my Nintendo DS ends…

The other day I became so fed up of my mate’s granny-like driving that I was yelling at him to drive over a mushroom to get a speed boost! Who knows what problems I’ll have when the Nintendo 3DS comes along…

And I’m sure we could all deal with the embarrassments that gadgets contribute to in our lives as long as only a few people were there to see it.

Despite all the risks gadgets bring, I’m not sure I could go jogging without the sound of a beat from my MP3 player, or sit through another journey on public transport without my ebook reader...

But my one mortal fear is that sooner or later I’ll be caught on a video camera humiliating myself like the Fountain Woman.

Have you ever got into an embarrassing scrape because of technology? Has your friend done something silly on camera? Comment below…