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Paving Text

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet
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Times are clearly tough in the world outside the Buchanan estate. After some reconstruction work in the village, the pavement (sidewalk, to the colonists) was re-laid not with the traditional York stone, but with - ileum dictu!! - concrete paving slabs. Can you believe it?

Concrete slabs are simply beyond the pale (literally, in my case, of course). They are dismal and drab and lower the tone. Knowing that the economic climate is harsh, I put on my public-spirited hat and told the local council that they were welcome to send their masons to the small quarry on my estate, and take what they needed. But they just looked at me strangely down the phone and hung up.

Fortunately, I have hit upon a compromise which should please everyone. Concrete paving slabs are normally cast in moulds, which can be embossed in a variety of ways. There is no reason, therefore, why they cannot be embossed with letters, and indeed complete text in large typeface.

Some of my maintainence men, therefore, have teamed up with a former printer, and are currently setting "Buchanan's Guide to the Moats and Ha-Ha's of England" in 145pt Times Roman. All 754 pages of it, each in a 4ft x 2'6" format. We've had to leave out the pictures for now, of course.

Once typesetting is finished, the slabs will be cast and offered to the local council free of charge. The laying of these slabs along major pedestrian thoroughfares will brighten the day of many local inhabitants, whilst at the same time affording a non-slip surface.

If this is as successful as I expect, I hope that the Council will consider undertaking the typesetting and printing of other exciting books - possibly even works of fiction - in pavement format.

The challenge, of course, comes when dealing with intersecting roads. However, I believe that we can commission one of the popular writers of the day to create a story which is equally meaningful regardless of the sequence in which the chapters are read. Something like The Da Vinci Code, or any of the works of Jeffrey Archer, would be a good starting point.

The scheme will particularly appeal to blind people who, with some training and the removal of their footwear, will be able to read as they walk along.

MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 31 2010

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       I don't know about long-form fiction, but this could revitalize the drabble. Or very-short-form fiction in general, really. [+]
gisho, Aug 31 2010
  

       The letters would, over time, fill up with a smooth, springy layer of discarded chewing gum.
hippo, Aug 31 2010
  

       Perhaps you could persuade a friendly nearby college to re-pave its front quad with a suitably authored text book? It would one-up a Munificentia to the college library.   

       I quite like the idea of bare footed undergraduates wandering around "revising".   

       After a while, wear and tear would reveal the best bits (of the text, you perverts).
DenholmRicshaw, Aug 31 2010
  

       //The letters would, over time, fill up...// Indeed they would. They would also develop moss, lichen and small plants, perchance. This would be pleasing.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 31 2010
  

       Probably best suited to fiction — especially the sort that is composed using elements of chance and found objects and aspects. If textbook material were used, you’d better check your facts, and the longevity of those facts (although it’s not as if they’re carved in stone). Employing good spelling checking and grammar checking is advisable also. If any of the facts are contestable, you’d have concrete proof.
Ian Tindale, Aug 31 2010
  

       Now we can blame the pedants for road works..."Sorry guv': missing an apostophe".
Ling, Aug 31 2010
  
      
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