Public-Funded Art

Then there was the thing. Of course, those of us who saw it were rather impressed, especially when it caught the light as the sun rose in the mornings. However, since this was Britain, the sun often didn’t bother to get up all that often, preferring to just let the clouds get a slightly lighter grey as the night’s rain turned into the day’s drizzle.

Some thought it was one of those sculptures that the publicly-funded arts bodies like to spend our tax money on so that they can give each other awards for it and tell each other how wonderfully inclusive it all is, while the rest of us wonder how long it will be before it falls over or some local freelance entrepreneur nicks it and melts it down for scrap.

Other’s – citing the overwhelming avian evidence – thought it was some new method of attracting the town’s hordes of feral pigeons all into a single location so they could use it as a form of communal toilet.

Some thought it was just one more way the area’s politicians could get themselves on local telly – which was of course true – but since no-one actually watches or cares about the local TV news apart from wondering what on earth the newsreader thought she was doing when she chose her costume, the brief clip of the unveiling ceremony mostly went unnoticed and the local MP was still totally unrecognised as he walked the streets, which on later recollection of his stint as the local representative in the Houses of Parliament made him think he was rather lucky to have got away with it.

Still, there were some others – mostly the local loons who gathered underneath it to drink tinned lager – staying well out of the range of the pigeons above, of course – thought it was an alien space craft. Much to everyone else’s dismissive scorn, which unfortunately turned rather sour when the aliens emerged from their ship and proved the inebriated UFO watchers were right all along.

Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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