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Civil Engineers No Longer Boring _ Yellow Pages Says So

August 22, 1996 GMT

LONDON (AP) _ Civil engineers have convinced the London Yellow Pages they aren’t boring anymore.

For decades, anybody who needed a hole bored could have found a somewhat insulting listing. ``Boring: see civil engineers.″

This prompted many jokes, or rather the same joke, over and over. The Institution of Civil Engineers finally stopped laughing and _ bolstered by the 1990s climate of political correctness _ lobbied for a new directory listing.

``It’s by no means that we have no sense of humor, but after all these years, the story got a bit boring,″ deputy secretary John Whitwell said.


The engineers quickly found light at the end of their tunnel. The printers of the Yellow Pages caved in and agreed that future listings will say ``Boring: See sites exploration.″

The breakthrough was reported Thursday in the weekly trade journal New Civil Engineer under the headline ``Boring engineers walk into history.″

``It’s official! Civil engineers are no longer boring _ or so it would appear,″ the trade journal exulted.

The civil engineers insist they weren’t overreacting.

``We have over the years been accused of being boring as a result of the juxtaposition of these inserts in the Yellow Pages,″ Whitwell said in a telephone interview. ``We took most of it on the chin. People laughed at parties.″

But the bad jokes may not be over, according to New Civil Engineer columnist George Street, a pseudonym based on the Institution of Civil Engineers’ address on Great George Street in London.

``It is now incumbent upon all of us to be really interesting and make sure that no one ever calls civil engineers boring again,″ Street said.

This could be hard. Even within the engineering community, the trade publication Tunnels and Tunneling is widely known as ``Bores and Boring.″

Unfair, says editor Mike Page.

``All tunneling involves boring, but I can assure you the people in the industry are not boring, socially speaking,″ Page said.