Friday, 20 June 2008

Friday Grab Bag: Last Days of Saigon Edition

Ever tried to put 50 pounds of, um, anything in a 20-pound bag? Then you know exactly how our packing is going for our imminent return to the States. We brought too much with us when we came here 10 months ago. We bought a bunch of stuff while we were here. British Air reduced the weight of luggage passengers may bring. And now we're trying to pack.

We're in a triage situation. If it's an article of clothing that hasn't been worn in the last year why should we ship it back? In the giveaway pile it goes. Then there's the fashion eugenics: Tiny hole in a sock or a pair of underwear? Sorry. Your services are no longer needed. Such is the decision made between who will live and who will die.

We're resigned to mailing a few suitcases back but we're also calculating whether it would be cheaper to ship it or buy it new in the U.S. Oh, and we also have to clean the house for the final inspection.

So, grim, panicky hours around here. The Viet Cong are at the door. The chopper's on the roof. The clock is ticking....

BritNews RoundUp
Just some quickies (and, oddly, none from the Daily Mail): The Cerne Abbas Giant, an ancient monument carved in the chalk of a Dorset hill, is in danger of being obscured by vegetation. The problem: Not enough sheep are grazing away the weeds to reveal the white outline of the priapic fellow. Maybe they could get Viagra to sponsor a few sheep.

The BBC says it's not dumbing itself down, even though it bought the rights for a UK version of a popular Japanese game show that pits contestants against each other in madcap exploits. Writes the Telegraph: "BBC executives are said to have been particularly excited by a segment of the show known as 'human tetris.' A celebrity contestant is required to contort himself to fit through a shape cut out of a moving wall while dressed in a tight silver jumpsuit. If he fails to pass through it, he is knocked into a pool of water." (Check out the link with the Telegraph story. Looks like fun.)

A BBC spokeswoman said: "We are obliged to have something for everyone. Some people accuse us of being too highbrow."

Speaking of the BBC, a police helicopter in Cardiff gave chase to an unidentified flying object after nearly colliding with the UFO near a military base. "They are convinced it was a UFO," said a South Wales police spokesman. "It sounds far-fetched, but they know what they saw." What's this have to do with the BBC? Well Cardiff is where the sci-fi shows "Dr. Who" and "Torchwood" are filmed. Surely this can be incorporated into upcoming episodes.

Oh wait, we do have an entry from the Daily Mail: You can slice cheese with Keira Knightley's collarbones. And that's not good.

Gargoyle of the Week
St. Michael's Church in Ballinasloe, Ireland, is made of the gray limestone that runs through that part of Eire like the bones under Keira Knightley's skin:

The church features some particularly muscular gargoyles:

At least I'm not trying to pack a gargoyle, though it seems like we have to squeeze just about everything else into our suitcases. So, back to that. I'll try to pop in over the next few days, before we take a jumbo across the water, but if I can't, thanks for reading and have a great weekend.


Old Lady said...

Bon voyage - safe trip - welcome home.

wiredog said...

"mailing a few suitcases back "

Nothing wrong with that.

Been enjoying the blog, look forward to having you back on page 3 of the Metro section.

Maybe with a report on the gargoyles at Washington Cathedral?

mark from alexandria said...

Don't forget the photo of you on the roof getting into the copter, while holding the stars and stripes! You just have to deal with Heathrow, I face the horror that is O'hare on a Friday night!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Ha! I pictured the 'copter on the roof as soon as I saw your title. You should get back just in time for the summer-type weather to return. Prepare for a shock.

Mike M in Columbia MD said...

Well, John, I spent three years in the UK (N. Yorkshire) and I came home at the end of July. For me, it was great to step out of BWI into the sultry air and actually sweat! Fifteen years later, I still think fondly about the people and scenery, but I do NOT miss the UK weather.

Deb said...

We'll miss seeing your family biking (well, not Charlie) around Oxford in our last week here. I'm not sure, but I think I'll trade your sultry D.C. climate for the wall of heat that's going to hit us when we get off the plane in Texas.

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