Litter is healthy, isn’t it?

To me, “5320” is just another Nokia phone I don’t need. To some residents of Oklahoma City, “5320” is just another nuisance they don’t need.

Steve Lackmeyer kicked off the Grand Reveal yesterday:

At some point, with all the money being spent on this campaign (which employs some of the oldest, most tired tricks in the book), names will come out. And to my readers, I will make this pledge: I will endeavor to not just provide the name and contact info of the client, but I will also provide the name and contact info for the folks who thought [of] placing ILLEGAL paper signs along a public pocket park.

Steve was as good as his word. He fired off a public nastygram to the ad agency in question, to which he got a reply to the effect that “Well, politicians do it.” Now there’s an inspiring role model.

Now when you see “5320,” what do you think?

  1. Fourth-floor balcony in Denver.
  2. The restaurant biz is truly out of names.
  3. Aggregate IQ of the Senate.

As it turns out, the state Department of Health paid for this attempt at viral marketing, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who winces at the juxtaposition of “Department of Health” and “viral.” The number is an estimate, likely of post-duodenal origin, of the number of lives that could be saved were the death rate brought in line with regional and/or national averages, or some such nebulous bushwah.

I’ve got news for ’em: the death rate here is exactly the same as it is in Texas, in New Hampshire, and in Burundi: 100 percent. Standard for the species, you know. Nothing to discuss. Were there to be a dialogue, though, it might go something like this:

“Well, yeah, but we were talking about premature deaths.” But of course. Everyone’s death is premature, and by “everyone” I mean, well, everyone, with the possible exception of Hugo Chávez.

“We just want people to take better care of themselves.” And what better way to inspire them than to litter their neighborhoods?

What’s most galling, of course, is that taxpayers are shelling out both to have these signs put in place and to have them removed. There’s got to be something in the Big Book Of Health Advisories about excessive levels of indiscriminate screwing.


  1. fillyjonk »

    27 January 2011 · 8:28 pm

    Srsly? Littering to improve public health? Fail. Unless they’re going to encourage people to get more exercise by going out and picking it up.

    I get so tired of all of the bureaucratic finger-wagging about “health.” You’d think they’d figure out, with Social Security set to go belly-up around 2036 (nice timing; that is about the time I’d be retiring), that they’d have a vested interest in people NOT living as long.

  2. Dan B »

    28 January 2011 · 1:42 am

    Government stupidity? And here I was hoping for a real evil conspiracy, or at least something interesting.

  3. CGHill »

    28 January 2011 · 3:01 pm

    There is now a @5320polluters account on Twitter. Whoever is running it is a tad harsher than I, and I thought I was semi-fierce here.

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