Freeman Cebu Business

Round and Round

ARE WE THERE YET - Back Seat Driver - The Freeman

As the Kapitolyo city is busy fixing its drainage system, I can’t help but point out the glaring mistake that is the catch basin’s manhole cover.  I am not sure if they hired septic tank workers or totally lacked logic but, they decided to make the manhole covers sort of square-ish.  As common as this sight is in every single household, a square manhole cover is just a recipe for disaster.

Why you may ask?  Simple, it is geometrically designed to fall into the hole.  A square manhole cover, if picked up, turned on its side and inserted diagonally, will easily fall into the manhole like a twenty-five centavo coin inserted into a one-peso sized slot for piggy banks.  And once the manhole cover falls in, we all know it takes all the bureaucratic red tape in the world before another one is made to replace the old one.  That would mean a possibility of at least half a dozen people falling into the manhole before some kindly neighbor will put a worn out tire on top of the hole to prevent people from falling in.

If the people who handled these projects had paid attention to the manhole covers of the popular 90’s cartoons involving four mutated porpoises who had a cheese grater for a nemesis, they would make the manhole covers round and not square-ish.  Why round?  Well, if you don’t know the answer to that, you probably never tried to apply for a job at Microsoft.

For the benefit of those who never dream of working for Mr. Gates, a round manhole cover would (a) never fall in, (b) would not need to be rotated to fit properly, (c) could be rolled if there is a need for it to be moved, and (d) has a smaller surface than a square manhole.  For the benefit of those who still can’t get it, read on.  For those who figured it out, skip to the last paragraph like a “choose your own adventure” book.

A manhole cover that is round would have the same diameter regardless of which side you measure.  That means, even if you do what I illustrated in paragraph two of this article, it will still not fit into the hole.  Aside from that, you don’t need to figure out if you’ve got the manhole rotated the right way to fit the hole because they’re the same size all around.  Thus, this would save everyone time and would make it less confusing to our logic-limited public works people.

Having a round shape would also make it less tiring for our hardly-working workers to move a manhole cover from one point to another because they don’t need to lift the manhole.  They just simply roll it from point A to point B.  And judging from our national past time before all these electronic gizmos became popular, we’d be very skilled at it since we used to roll used tires down the streets.  And if you argue that many of our less-privileged brethren could not afford an electronic gadget, I would counter that with the “brick game” argument.  Someone who sold knock off versions of those games and knock off batteries surely made a killing back then.

Lastly, a round manhole cover has a smaller surface area than a square one.  This means, less material cost and big savings (well, sort of) for the city.  Even if one were to argue that round manholes are usually fashioned out of metal and would cost more than a square cement cover, I would argue that round manholes don’t fall in and would not need replacement.

So if the people in-charge of these drainage projects have any logic left in them, I would greatly suggest that they stop what they’re doing and make round manholes instead. 

Oh, and why did I think of writing about manholes?  Because it’s been almost two months since I mentioned the open manhole in front of the now useless convention center.  And guess what?  It’s still an open manhole.










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