A fan celebrating the Phillies pennant win atop a street light on Broad Credit: Nathan Morris / Billy Penn

While Philly police may need to grease light poles around town again if the Phillies perform in the World Series, they won’t be taking up an offer received from an adult entertainment company to provide the lubricant.

Asked directly what the department thought about it, a PPD spokesperson sent a one-word response:


It’s official city protocol to apply a slick coating to lamp posts and light poles ahead of potential sports celebrations (yes, really). Last weekend, officials sent out workers with greased-up rollers in advance of the Phillies’ NLCS clincher.

The effort didn’t stop people from shimmying up after the pennant victory, however. A day full of rain may have helped.

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So CamSoda decided to jump on the moment. The adult entertainment company announced it was sending a truck filled with ten 55-gallon drums of lube “to protect unruly Phillies fans from themselves” when the series returns to Philadelphia on Monday.

While the folks at CamSoda claim to “know a thing or two about greasy poles,” Philly police use something different to deter local climbers — gear oil.

Specifically, the stuff painted on light poles around the city is called “Bio-Bottle Jack Hydraulic Fluid ISO32,” which, according to the product description on Renewable Lubricants’ website, is “designed to be a direct replacement for petroleum oil based hydraulic fluids in mobile and stationary hydraulic vane, piston and gear type pumps.”

It was selected as lubricant of choice “due to its environmentally friendly and biodegradable composition,” according to PPD Public Information Officer Miguel Torres.

“It can be washed away but can cause minimal irritation when it comes into contact with skin,” Torres said.

This isn’t the first time an adult entertainment company has offered to help Philly with its “pole problems.” Ahead of Super Bowl LII in 2018, Pornhub offered 110 gallons of lube after word spread that police were using Crisco to prevent pesky pole climbers from scaling the structures.

No matter what’s used, police still have to compete with a population that has a lot of experience. Hundreds of people each year attempt to climb a 30-foot grease pole at the annual 9th Street Italian Market Festival.

The Phillies take on the Houston Astros in the World Series starting Friday at 8:03 p.m. It’s Philadelphia’s first World Series appearance since 2009, versus the Astros’ fourth over the past six years. However, Houston’s only title during that time, in 2017, was tainted by an illegal sign-stealing scandal.

Likely in part because of that, the majority of the country is putting their hopes behind the Phils. Even Alexa is rooting for the underdog.

If things go well, the PPD might wish they took up CamSoda on that offer.

Cory Sharber is a general assignment reporter at WHYY. Prior to his stint in Philadelphia, he spent four years between WVXU in Cincinnati and WKMS in Murray, Kentucky. He’s picked up accolades at the...