Thursday, February 24, 2005

From the wily and unpredictable pen of John Tynes:

The BBC's site has a weekly magazine section that includes a column called RIP. Each week, the writer proclaims the death of a well-known object, service, building, idea, or other non-person entity. For each installment, the writer picks a capitalized term for the departed and then uses it as if it were a name, as in this instance marking the end of fairground skill games' giving of goldfish as prizes:

"Friends will no doubt have seen an early sign of Prize Goldfish in a Bag's demise in the refusal of many local authorities to grant the necessary licenses to fairgrounds."

Each one also ends with the terse but informative statement "No flowers."

Readers are invited to post their own condolences, which often take the form of smart-ass poetry, puns, and other things far too clever to appear in American media.

The most delicious bit: each column includes a photograph of the departed, which is always captioned with the phrase "Happier Times". As you go from article to article, seeing the "Happier Times" caption applied to, variously, a goldfish in a bag, an ugly building, a discontinued savings account passbook, or a gold iPod, the collective sense of surreal mirth becomes overwhelming.

Start here and enjoy, you anglophiles you.

8:27 PM