Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Few Laugh Out Loud Things I'd Like To Share

Hi, today's post is going to be slightly miscellaneous and unstructured, because there are a couple of unrelated little gems I saw on my wanderings around London yesterday...

Firstly, there's this little import from Africa who's somehow strolled into Liverpool St. Station...

Yep, this is what you think it is. It's a gorilla advertising Norwich tourism. My fantastical brain instinctively conjurs up a real gorilla captured from the Ugandan jungle, orphaned and employed by the Norwich Tourist Board, and painted in such cruel fashions, designs including the Norwich coat of arms, Stephen Fry (not visible here – his photo was on the side) and some blue skies that frankly belong anywhere but East Anglia. And then nailed to a podium in a bustling London station, never to escape or see the lights of day again.

Other than the shameless exploitation of wild animals, there's another obvious problem with this nonsensical mess of an ad campaign: what exactly do gorillas have to do with Norwich?  Not exactly a city icon. The last time I saw them there was in a safari park, but please do correct me, Norwicheans (?), if you've seen some lounging in Thetford Forest trees.

The second hilarious thing I have to entertain you on this fine Saturday evening came about when some unsuspecting tourists, a boy about thirteenish and his mum, talked just too loud on a bus approaching this...
*this image isn't mine

So we were coming up to Trafalgar Square and, I being a skilled eavesdropper, overheard this priceless conversation. You couldn't make it up.

Mum: Look ahead at that pillar.

Boy: Who's that on top?

Mum: Napoleon.

Boy: But wasn't he French?

Mum: Yes. He was defeated at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Boy: But we're in England? Why do they have a statue of a French leader?

Mum: Because he was the loser. He lost to the English.

Boy: But if he lost, why put him on a big pillar like that?

Mum: Because he was defeated, so they hoisted him up so the world could know he failed. To show him up.

I like the idea of making a big, famous statue of the loser in a battle. When the media write features on celebrities doing embarrassing or mean things, it's sort of like hoisting the failure onto a column, and if the former's convention, why can't the latter? Perhaps if my blog ever goes viral, the people who manage Trafalgar Square and Nelson's Column could rebuild it with Napoleon on, and then the tourists on the bus (and probably me as well) would go down in history for changing one of London's key monuments with a single conversation.

I'm joking, of course. Nelson up there is just fine. However, I'm seriously starting to wonder what guidebooks the tourists read before visiting our city to not know that he's the one on the column. What London guidebooks don't mention Trafalgar Square? And which guidebook that does mention it, doesn't mention Nelson's Column?? And even if you have a ridiculously "concise" guide, you might still know the main opponents in the Battle of Trafalgar. And then it's just logic to work out which one's on the column. To me, with the fame the statue has, the guidebooks and history to go by, it seems a hard fact not to know.

Anyway, so my Friday was spent collecting little nuggets of laughter like these! But of course there were other purposes to the day, but they went rather unfulfilled: the Pompeii exhibit at the British Museum (tickets were still available, but we had to wait two hours so eventually bailed out), the latest Saatchi gallery art exhibition (we got in, but it only had a couple of rooms so didn't exactly take the time expected) and shopping at John Lewis and the nearby charity shops (didn't buy a single thing).

However, the purpose of finding blogworthy items was easily fulfilled, and I hope I've made you laugh and brightened up your weekend!
-DP :)


1 comment:

  1. That was funny, the conversation you over heard. *grin*