Thursday, 1 May 2008

‘Is there nowt else?’

To Manchester Museum yesterday with my friend and colleague Helen to see the Lindow Man. This weathered-looking chap likely dates from the 1st Century and is on loan to Manchester from the British Museum for one year, even though he hails from Cheshire and should really stay up here in my opinion. He’s a sad and sleepy looking thing and after a while it felt a tad intrusive to be watching him in his eternal slumber. Still, there are no relatives to upset, and it is fascinating, even if the exhibit itself is a little piecemeal and claustrophobic.

He wears a smart armband made of fox fur so was clearly a dapper chap, and the archaeologists make a great fuss over the immaculate state of his nails. To add intrigue it seems he was ‘killed’ three times in the Celtic style, perhaps to honour gods, meaning he was probably someone to know. To me it’s plain what actually happened: the accessories, the manicure, the brutal yobbish overkill … This was a homophobic killing of the worst kind. Still, Lindy gets the last laugh with eternal stardom in his Sleeping Beauty glass case.

A typically earthy Mancunian response was overheard while we were there. A chav couple peered into the display case whereupon the girl was heard to honk loudly: ‘Is that real or has someone made it?’ To which her paramour replied: ‘Course it’s fucking real, that’s why it’s here’. After a lengthy pause she wondered aloud: ‘Is there nowt else?’ Well, the heathens are always amongst us, from the 1st Century to this very day.

This reignited my love of overheads so I submitted that nugget, plus another, to Overheard in Manchester. While there are some gems on there nothing can match the bitter, nasty, dumbfounding street wit and stupidity of Overheard in New York. ‘Move you pregnant bitch’ being forever a high point for me.

Speaking of pregnancy and the like, it seems prolapsed vaginas are pressed right up to the watershed these days. Embarrassing Bodies was one of my rare forays into telly watching of late ... what on earth have I been missing? Who are these women crippled with self-consciousness by various vaginal ailments but happy to bare all, inside and out, on national TV? Well, good on ‘em I say. It’ll all be forgotten by next week anyhow when it’s the chaps turn to whip ‘em out and get them stitched and cauterised up close for our edification. I can’t wait. The promise of sitting there with my brew and going ‘Ooh I know him’ looms tantalisingly close. Don’t forget to tune in.

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