Are there any Dabblers who have personal acquaintance with the reality checkpoint unearthed in today’s unusual wikipedia article?
Reality Checkpoint is the name given to a large lamp-post in the middle of Parker’s Piece, Cambridge, England, located at the intersection of the park’s diagonal paths. The name comes from an unofficial inscription which has been painted on the lamp-post since the early 1970s. The lamp-post is also believed to be the oldest electrical lamp-post in Cambridge.
There are numerous theories as to the meaning of the name. A few include:
1) For students at Cambridge, who walk out to Mill Road across Parker’s piece for an evening in the ‘real world’, usually including a visit to one of Mill Road’s selection of pubs, the lamp-post marks the end of the ‘reality holiday’ as they walk back to central Cambridge – back into ‘the bubble’.
2) The name arose because the lamp-post forms a useful landmark for people crossing the park at night—perhaps inebriated or in the fog—since it is the only light for hundreds of yards.
3) When drunk, students and the general public are reminded to check they are able to walk like a sober person before passing the police station just a few hundred metres away.
4) The post being situated in the middle of two walking paths that intersect, anyone walking whilst not tuned in to “reality” will likely collide with the lamp-post, hence “reality checkpoint”.
The age of the original lamp-post is uncertain. However the post above the dolphins was torn down by American GI’s celebrating VJ Day, the end of the war with Japan.
One report claims that the name was first painted on the lamp-post by students from the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology (now Anglia Ruskin University) under the guidance of one of their teachers.
It has been repeatedly repainted since then in response to removal by Cambridge City Council or obliteration by graffiti.