From UAP Headquarters New York
November 2010

From the Director

Hello once again Plankers,

I don’t know if you have noticed on your way along the plank, that some times domestic items that we are used to using daily can become more difficult to use as we get older and in some cases downright dangerous. Take a look at what happened to Charlie Aitken, from New Jersey on the way back from the launderette.


A few months ago we bought a ‘granny cart’ at the local supermarket, the purpose being so we could transport our laundry to the local launderette by foot rather than driving it there in the car.

Anyway ten days ago I set off with my empty cart to collect our load of clean washing from the ‘Ocean Spray Washeteria’, just a five-minute walk down quiet suburban streets.
I collected the washing, three heavy bags full and loaded up the cart, setting off back at a leisurely pace.

On the way I walked onto an uneven area of sidewalk. All of a sudden the front wheels came up against a slightly raised pavement slab, though I was walking slowly taking in the pleasant ambiance of a sunny fall morning, I fell forward and headlong on top of the cart which had collapsed on impact! It was an awful fall and I was really shaken up. As I stood up, burning pains shot up from my left leg.

I’d trapped my hand as well, but worse as I fell, my left shin hit the sidebar of the cart with such force it did real damage and left me in excruciating pain, which still hasn’t left me even after a few days later, a visit to my doctor and six hours in the Emergency Room at our local hospital. I went there because my Doctor feared that my swollen leg may be causing ‘compartmenting,’ which means that areas of the leg can get cut off from the blood supply by pressure on the veins; a potentially very serious condition.

I examined the granny cart after I’d limped back, wondering why had the thing folded on me like that. I discovered the reason was that the one of two metal plates in the floor of the cart which are supposed to ‘lock’ the cart when it is unfolded, had completely buckled on impact, allowing the thing to collapse. On further examination I noticed that the metal from which the plates are made have little tensile strength, just thin tin I suspect.

I have just been through a ten days of great pain and discomfort, and all because of poor design and materials of utility object intended to make life a little easier. Surely a Granny Cart of all things should be made safe for Grannies and Grandads to use. Beware!

Charlie Aitken,
New Jersey


John Sunderland

New York, United States

  • Artist

Artist's Description

the unsuspected perils of using everyday things

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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