This week a lump of Lancashire-based granite known, via Twitter notoriety, as the Fishergate Bollard was nominated for a ‘smile award’ for its unique take on life as an inanimate object - with a habit of getting knocked down and then getting up again.
The Twitter account chronicles its exploits and unfortunate career as repeated target practice for cars and buses with deep rooted sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek wit that has spawned copycats (you, red phone box).
Not everyone is impressed at being pushed out of the shortlist by something not even been spotted recently (it was knocked over again and may be in a skip somewhere).
Plus it doesn’t possess a soul and can’t by implication, actually smile.
Yet the joy of a non-politically motivated object with a prediliction for taking down anyone who dares to interact is proving a winner amongst those perhaps tired of those with an agenda to promote other than pointing out, repeatedly, that is not a roundabout
It’s not of course the first bit of street furniture, household object and indeed body hair, to rise to Twitter fame.
Toasters, Munch’s painting The Scream, a man called Brian Wilson’s beard and the orange traffic cone at the pit entrance to the Nascar races have all risen to infamy, not to mention a wide selection of people’s pets.
They are are all in the vast sum of their audience, influencers, and it only a matter of time before our own bollard gets a paid partnership with car insurance or becomes a brand embassador for replacement bumpers, headlight bulbs or those tow trucks used to drag off the selection of vehicles impaled on top of it.
Of course it may that the bollard is a secret PR campaign for city centre shared space, or quite the opposite.
However it seems unlikely in its criticism of drivers as well as the logistics of shared space itself.
But what the bollard proves, as it grows its audience above the smaller following of local politicians and gets debated on BBC news, is that people are over people - and the joy of interacting with something you could stub your toe on is a winner for the Instagram-exhausted generations and bollards to those who disagree.