Monday, September 08, 2008
Why I Hate Geese
The weather was spectacularly fine on our second day in London. I had mocked Mrs.B when she packed my shorts and sandals, saying that it always rains in London. But she insisted that the weather man had said it would be warm, and she mocked in me in return for taking along my umbrella.
Don't say nasty things about London, she'll only take revenge.
So it was a brillant Saturday morning, and after thoroughly testing the mattress of our hotel room, we headed for a pub right next to the Tower for a huge English breakfast. The perfect stereotypical tourists, that's us. Then we took a ride on the Underground (alright like that, Zoe?) to Westminster, to get filmed by a zillion CCTV cameras, stared at by heavily armed security personnel while behinst our back, MI-5 and MI-6 personnel were busy collecting our finger prints for their database. Oh, and we saw the Houses of Parliament and listened to Big Ben, stared at Westminster Cathedral and saw a glimpse of the lamp post that stands in front of Downing Street n°10. If you ask me, it's a good thing they keep their Prime Minister locked up in a heavily guarded prison like that. They should do the same thing here.
Mrs.B was eager to go see the Queen's little hideout – Buckingham Palace that is. We went through St-James' Park, and because the weather was so nice we sat down on the lush green grass. It was an idylic scene, with the pond in the back and the age-old trees and the geese quacking happily along. So we just laid there for a while in the grass and then I got bored and shuffled around a bit to take some pictures. Finally I wanted to move on, so I jumped up and bent over to take our rucksack.
'Oh no!', cried Mrs.B
'What?' I asked.
'Your pants! They're covered in geese poo!'
I swallowed. 'It's just a little spot, right?'
'No', she said, 'it's like this big.' She indicated an area the size of a football pitch with her hands. 'It's a big black stain on your (beige) shorts.'
I calculated the shortest route to our hotel, but there was no way around it: I had to cross the biggest tourist attraction in London to reach a station on one of the busiest Underground lines in the country, nay in the World, to get out at another of the biggest tourist attractions and scurry to our (four stars) hotel.
All in all it wasn't that bad. I estimate that no more than four million people have seen me in my soiled trousers. My deep red face got the attention of those that would otherwise have passed me without taking a second look. My derriere is now on roughly 350,000 home videos. Expect my butt to make appearances on every 'Funniest Home Videos' show anywhere in the world for the coming ten years.
I must admit I admire how Londoners that regularly use the tube can camouflage their sniggering, not bursting out into downright holloring. The hotel clerk that inadvertantly got a glimpse of my soiled derriere is still recovering, thanks to Mrs.B who just had to draw her attention when I tried to sneak my way into the elevator.
So the rest of the day I wandered through the city in my very warm regular trousers, trying not to get recognised by my fellow tourists. Funy how the tourist busses made it a point to halt right next to me every time they passed.
They'll pay for this, those geese. This year at Christmas, the turkeys don't have to fear a thing from our family.