Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Russian Pranksters

I'm not normally a fan of street graffiti, but there are always exceptions to this general rule, as in the case of the Duke of Wellington status in Glasgow which famously has a red traffic cone placed on its head on a regular basis.  

So I take my hat off to the Russian pranksters who turned a red Soviet-era star on top of a block of flats into Patrick Starfish, a character from Spongebob Squarepants.

The Russian authorities have threatened those responsible with a heavy fine and/or a prison sentence, but I would be inclined to ask those living in the property what they think of the new addition to their building.

Because even the work of the street artist 'Banksy' took some time to catch on and is now worth a small fortune, in some cases.


Council Killjoys (13/11/13)

Glasgow City Council has backed away from a proposal to raise the statue of the Duke of Wellington - a famous landmark which stands outside GOMA, the Gallery of Modern Art.

The statue is famous not so much for who it is, but the fact that the Duke of Wellington regularly has a traffic cone placed on his head - sometimes his horse endures this indignity as well - normally by young men who have imbibed too much alcohol for their own good.

Apparently some overpaid official at the 'toon council' decided that this behaviour amounted to vandalism - and to thwart those responsible came up with a cunning plan to raise the plinth by a few feet so that anyone wishing to place another traffic cone on the Duke's (or the horse's head) would have their work cut out - drunk or sober.

Now the council said this work would cost £65,000 but that Glasgow taxpayers would save £10,000 a year, so the operation would allegedly have paid for itself after 7 years because the would not have to keep removing the traffic cones which some council official calculated as 100 removal operations a year at £100 a time - or £10,000.

I don't know about anyone else, but all I can say that this seems like a bogus figure to me and if the council is so worried about cost - why not just leave the traffic cones up   there and let the city's revellers change them if they feel the need - at absolutely no public expense.

The laugh is that this harmless piece of fun has helped put Glasgow on the map and the Duke, replete with his traffic cones, have become something of a tourist attraction - even appearing on postcards and other memorabilia, so what's not to like.   

Dumb Britain (04/12/14)

The following entries to the Private Eye's 'Dumb Britain' column had me in stitches, especially the one about the Duke of Wellington who has a very special place in the heart of all Glaswegians. 


Fifteen to One, C4

Sandi Toksvig: Born in 1769, what was the name of the first Duke of Wellington?

Contestant: Napoleon Bonaparte.

Pressure Pad, BBC1

John Barrowman: Which British prime minister had the first names Anthony Charles Lynton?

Contestant: David Cameron.

The Chase, ITV

Bradley Walsh: The Nun's Priest's Tale is a story by which 14th century English author?

Contestant: JK Rowling.

Walsh: The title of which Shakespeare play means "everything turns out OK"?

Rugby star: Macbeth