The logo no-go, Mohammed rising, drunk Bishops and other short stories
LONDON - And so it came to be that, having burnt a hole through his shallow pockets despite taking it slow in Oslo, the son-of-man made a quiet re-entry into good old London to find the sun still out and the pints still reasonably priced at less than a fiver!
The news last week was dominated by a few amusing tales. First was the debacle of the 2012 London Olympic logo that was unveiled with aplomb, only to bomb with the public. Like many folks, I was shocked to learn that this caricature (pictured) had been drawn at a cost of £400,000! Some said it had the markings of the infamous swastika. A more cheeky pundit said it looked like a woman performing fellatio on a bloke (you have to see the Olympic rings for her supposedly curly hair). Then the kicker; it was revealed that the animated version on the website could trigger epileptic fits and had, indeed, caused eight of such.
The Olympic organising committee appears to be sticking to its logo despite 48,000 protests online within two days, and despite several (in my opinion) better logos being sent in to newspapers by disgusted artists. One, which had me in stitches, showed the above logo being flushed down the drain, a funny metaphor of the sums in question.
To the news, then, that there is a new most-popular first name in Britain. Forget Jack, Nick, Tom, Dick or even Harry. Top of the naming tree is the Muslim name Mohammed, with its various spellings. The reason given to explain this is that the Muslim population in Britain is having more children and many obviously want to name their offspring after the prophet.
Considering that the average first-buyer has to fork out an average £180,000 or so for a one-bed house in the lower end of London's housing market, it is easy to see why many people are taking longer to have babies. A report in the papers also warned of slave-wages; young people who must work for a large chunk of their lives in the hope that their wages can pay off the mortgage. We've had our own over-heated housing (or rather land) market in Kampala and its environs which seems to be cooling at last. I just wonder what happened to the much-taunted mortgage scheme that President Museveni promised in his campaign manifesto to help younger people get onto the property ladder.
Was it just another flash in the pan? Or was it flushed down the pan? It is clearly raining puns here.
One show that has been scrapping the bottom of the barrel for a while now is Big Brother. I don't watch much TV, let alone wanna-be celebrities in C-lass reality tv shows but Big Brother UK was on the news after one of the contestants, Emily Parr, I think, was booted for referring to one of her Afro-British BB housemates as 'nigger'.
No word seems to hold as much potential for trouble. It is all around us in rap songs and many young Africans still use it amongst themselves, almost like an antidote against its racially-offensive and demeaning origins. It appears, however, that once spoken by a white person, it takes on intent and purpose, wildly bouncing off the walls like a noun possessed by an adjective.
It might be possessed by evil spirits or by the devil's juice. Tom Butler, the Bishop of Southwark in south London might have had a dose of both after having drinks at a Christmas party last year. It was reported that Butler had one glass of Portuguese wine too many and then set off a series of unfortunate incidents.
As he sssssshtaggered off in search of public transport, he came across a parked Mercedes, got into the back and started throwing toys out of the window. When he was accosted, he reportedly said: "I am the Bishop of Southwark; it is what I do".
He incurred the wrath of the car owner -- and cuts, bruises, and a black eye as he was thrown out. He was later seen sssshhtaggering away in the rather inappopriately named Crucifix Lane. No one remembers seeing him carry a cross. Sorry but nice try.
Somehow he got home without mobile phone, briefcase and other personal items and turned up in church the next day with a black eye and claimed he'd been mugged. After details started seeping through about his inebriation, the church called an investigation which was leaked last week by the Times.
It now appears that, in true Christian spirit, Bishop Butler has been forgiven and there shall be no more whining about the wine. Vintage stuff.