When my son asked me why benches in bus shelters were so narrow and uncomfortable, I was forced to explain to him the depressing reason for this - to prevent homeless people from sleeping on them. Benches that can't be sat on are now commonplace in our cities.
This mean-spirited attitude has reached new levels with the advent of homeless spikes. How proud the person must be who first thought of these disgusting little things. What a great way to address the problem of homelessness.
As Alex Andreou said in the Guardian this week, it's a sign which reads "Not even this patch of earth. Not even for the night."
If you thought things couldn't get any worse, this spiked bench was designed by artist Fabian Brunsing. The spikes temporarily retract when a coin is inserted. An installation with a message, I'm sure. A message completely missed by officials of Yantai Park in China, who thought it was a great idea and apparently installed them there. How long until they appear here, I wonder?
It's incredibly sad that human beings are deliberately depriving other human beings of places to rest.
But. For now, there is still happiness and laughter to be found on benches.