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This Town's Mario Makeover Is Causing An Uproar

A few things come to mind when you mention "Super Mario Bros.," including red and white mushrooms, bright denim overalls, yellow boxes bearing question marks, and big green pipes full of carnivorous plants.

The UK town of Walsall is painfully aware of these pipes as the citizens essentially have to look at them every day. In a divisive move, the Walsall Council decided to spend taxpayer money on fifteen giant green planters to "promote a feeling of wellbeing and safety" (via The Birmingham Mail). That isn't how the people of Walsall see them, though. Certain "Mario" games might be getting more popular every year, but these planters certainly aren't. In fact, citizens of Walsall seem to hate the planters, and not just because they look suspiciously similar to a "Super Mario" Warp Zone.

According to The Birmingham Mail, "residents have accused the authority of wasting public funds on a 'garish eyesore' at a time they are trying to slash £29 million from their budget."

"It beggars belief," said local florist Andrea Loveridge. "It makes the place [look] more like something from Super Mario Brothers. They look like those warp pipes Mario jumps down."

You know you're in trouble when the florist doesn't like the new planters. These pots might fit in nicely at Nintendo's new "Super Mario" themed park, but according to Loveridge, "against the backdrop of grey concrete and empty shops, they just look terrible." She isn't alone in her assessment, either. 

Citizen unrest in the new Mushroom Kingdom

This might seem funny from the outside looking in, but the people of Walsall are genuinely frustrated. The pandemic has hit the town center hard, with the closure of major retailers making it difficult for them to maintain a much-needed flow of business.

"The colour is vile, they are a garish eyesore and a complete waste of taxpayer's money," says local Joanna Parrish. "Walsall is a ghost town these days and this does nothing. They should be lowering business rates instead of splashing money on pointless huge plant pots ... they just stand out like a sore thumb."

The Walsall Council maintains that these pots were, in-fact, financed by the UK's Accelerated Towns Funding, a program designed to "to kick start regeneration projects and give areas a boost."

Whether this was the best way they could have used that money is another matter. Hopefully a few planters aren't enough for Nintendo to come after the Walsall Council with copyright violation claims. After all, the company that tried to start a real-life "Mario Kart" racing circuit was quickly shut down by the gaming giant.