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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Elephant Parade...and other plastic animals

You'll never get one south of the river after 10.00pm


Over the last 12 years perfectly normal cities have been suffering from curious outbreaks of fibreglass (alright, resin) animals. Agent Triple P first came across theis phenomenon when visiting Agent DVD in Zurich in 1998, where they were infested, naturally, by 812 cows. The Swiss government, trying to escape the bad publicity caused by their banks refusing to return money to holocaust victim's families, pumped money into what they thought would be a jovial, informal and fun (all very Swiss traits, those) tourist attraction. The idea took off and New York, then Chicago followed the idea. This is where it all went wrong as the Swiss believed that they had sole rights to the concept. Nevertheless after a bit of jovial and fun protesting to the Americans they agreed to send 50 of their cows to New York. Unfortunately, the Swiss donated cows were found by the New Yorkers to be highly flammable and unstable. The Americans kicked the Swiss (actually made in Bosnia) cows out. Then the original sculptor of the cows tried to claim that only he could make fibreglass cows and that he had a copyright on the whole idea. Multiple competing companies sprang up, all claiming that they had the rights to cow parades which then started to happen all over the world. Some even appeared in London in 2002.


Moose in Toronto


Next, in 2000, we saw some of the 326 moose in Toronto (there is still the odd one lurking about). Whilst moose (why is the plural not meese, like geese?) are very Canadian they are not in fact, native to the Toronto region but then again Toronto often forgets that it is not, in fact, synonymous with Canada.



Berlin bears over all


Then, in 2001 we saw bears on the streets of Berlin (at least the bear is the city's symbol) where they were known as "buddy bears" and were all about international peace and co-operation, which is exactly what always springs to mind when you think about Berlin, of course.

A pig which would be most familiar to HMS


The next outbreak we witnessed was a load of pigs in Bath (less comprehensible that one) which were positive midgets compared to the seven foot tall Toronto meese.

Latterly, London has been inundated by elephants. Elephants do not have anything to do with London (other than if you are living in Southwark) but are there to publicise a charity aimed at saving the Asian elephant from extinction. As usual with these sorts of animal sculpture efforts the 250 elephants in question were decorated by an assortment of artists on behalf of companies and others. Very much the best of these, in Triple P's opinion was the one which sat outside our favourite breakfast and afternoon tea location in the City, the Royal Exchange (see top). It is a perfect amalgam of elephant and London.

An early attempt at a plastic Cheryl Tweedy


Next time we embark upon this sort of thing in London might we suggest that we use a plastic model of one of our national icons such as Cheryl Tweedy (as she now wants to be known again) or Kelly Brook, rather than dumb animals. Stop it, we are appalled that you are thinking "plastic" and "dumb animals" in conjunction with "most appropriate" at this point...

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