Tuesday, November 01, 2005

National Lampoon's UK Vacation

So, in a premature celebration of my birthday, I headed out on a three-day road trip with my chum Andy last Friday. We hired an automobile and drove cross-country (well, on the M40 motorway, not through fields and rambling brooks as 'cross-country' might deceptively suggest. It was, in fact, 'across the country'). Onward ho we went to Bristol via Oxford and Bath, the home of ancient Roman baths (with some statues rather tackily tacked on in the 1880s, I was disappointed to discover, especially after keying up so many artfully framed photographs of the baths 'tween Julius Caesar's decidedly stocky legs). Bath is also the setting of Jane Austen's post-humously published Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. Me, I thought the Jane Austen museum looked like a cheap and tawdry Georgian money-spinner. So, in lieu of looking inside, I photographed myself chatting to the rather ramshackle “Jane” mannequin perched out the front, which is my kind of tourism, really.

After steaming along backroads through glorious All Creatures Great and Small-style hedgerows and counting only two road kills - a mouse and a swallow - we happily found ourselves in the biggest shit-hole on earth, a seaside resort called Weston-Super-Mare (best said in a booming WWF-style voice). I was entirely bursting with glee to find that it was grey, drizzly and downright squally as the Brits stoically ate their ice cream on the pier, determined to have a bloody good time.

Later, after going to a pub in Bristol and being asked, “Do ye fancy a chip butty do ye?” and having me say “Pardon? Excuse me?” about five times, only to have the publican's missus cheerily bellow: “A CHIP SANDWICH! WITH CHIPS IN IT. DO YE WANT ONE?! WE ALWAYS EAT EM AFTER THE FOOTBALL!” as she pointed at the telly and the football, in its closing footbally throes.

Nah, I didn't want one, thanks.

Later, the pub dog, a mangy little Jack Russell terrier deceptively snuggled up to a little ginger kitten, bared its teeth at me when I tried to take its photograph.

“DON'T TAKE HIS PHOTO!!!” The Publican himself shouted.

“WHY NOT? RELIGIOUS REASONS?!” I shouted back.


Then he pointed his own (perfectly intact) finger at the wall with an A4 print-out of someone posing in with a bloody dog-mauled hand, emblazoned with a cute little caption saying “Careful, he'll bite!”

I never quite determined whether or not the snuggled-up ginger kitty was alive or a carcass.

Later, we got hopelessly drunk at another pub on apple cider dubbed 'Exhibitionist', two of which Andy skolled on a dare by some Welsh rugby players from Cardiff.

“NEVILLE! NEVILLE! NEVILLE!” they chanted as he threw it back.

“No, no. My name's Andy!” Andy replied plaintively between skols.

“NEVILLE! NEVILLE! NEVILLE!” they continued.

Then, we all sang the Rolf Harris hit parade and, when we got back to our lodgings, I gracefully vomited.



At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Krissy said...

Sounds like quite the adventure Momo!

At 11:27 PM, Blogger Lucy Tartan said...

If the Momo + Stuffed Jane picture isn't uploaded to Flickr by the time I get there, there's going to be trouble.


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