Thursday, 24 March 2016

Only In Britain


The National Environment Research Council (NERC) funds environmental scientific research in the United Kingdom and is about to build a state-of-the-art polar research ship here in the North West of England. The boat is backed by government funding and will launch in 2019.
NERC have launched a public campaign to name the ship, opening a web site for the British public to suggest a suitably apt name for what will be a magnificent vessel.
In other parts of the world, I think that the suggested names would reflect the excitement of the ship’s purpose, perhaps naming it after a science or a famous historical person. 
But what is currently leading the pack BY FAR in names suggested by the great British public?
Boaty McBoatface
I am not kidding you. A state-of-the-art ship, with a serious purpose will sail to the Polar Regions with the name RRS Boaty McBoatface etched on its hull.
There are some serious suggestions but also some equally silly names such as:

RRS Its Bloody Cold Here

RRS Usain Boat

RRS Boatimus Prime

RRS I Like Big Boats and I Cannot Lie

RRS What Iceberg?

RRS Notthetitanic

RRE Big Metal Floaty Thingy-Thing

This is a typical British quirk that stems from our ability to laugh in the face of adversity and make a mockery of things labelled as serious.
Don’t get me wrong; there are British people who are probably howling in outrage at this but the good news is that the majority of votes are for silly names.
This is why I love being British. We can, as a nation, see humour in everything and often use that humour to make people laugh in serious or stuffy situations. 
There are millions of examples of things we find funny that perhaps other nations will either raise their eyebrows at or simply tut and shake their heads in disgust. 
Here’s another example of the kind of thing I mean. A friend of mine was on his own in a pub, waiting for another friend, when he needed to go to the toilet. He had a full pint in front of him and decided that the best way to stop somebody stealing his pint or taking his seat was to put a note on top of his glass saying:

“I have spat in this beer”

When he came back, somebody had added:

“And I have put my winkie in it”

I love this.
Regular readers will also know that I am a sucker for clickbait, where I click links to read meaningless nonsense instead of doing something more constructive. However, some of these sites are full of “Things that only British people will find funny”.
For example – a letter from a disgruntled customer which finished:

“I have enclosed your letter and you will notice that I have taken the liberty of rolling it up very tightly which should make it easier for you to stick up your arse.”

Or this answer to a Health and Safety Question:

If an accidental fire started in a building with employees inside, what steps would you take?

Answer: Fucking BIG ONES!!

Some people have even named their businesses or shops with a hint of humour such as:

A lift company called Schindler’s Lifts

A wine shop called Planet of the Grapes

A flower shop called Florist Gump

A painter and decorator called Luther Van Gloss

A pet nanny called Hairy Pop-Ins

A Caribbean restaurant called Jamaican Me Hungry

A removal company called Jean-Claude Van Man

A male hairdresser called Barber Black Sheep

I have been told by some foreigners that they simply do not understand some British humour. 
For example, do you find the following funny?





There are a gazillion examples of British humour knocking about on the internet, as well as lots of British silliness.
Oh – and finally, not to be outdone by a polar research ship, a train driver pulled into Waterloo Station in London and gave his train a name:
Trainy.jpg

Only in Britain – unless you know something different, dear reader.

16 comments:

Grace said...

Except for the last one (money stuck under the car tire) I laughed - loudly. Don't forget there are Americans of a certain age who worship Monty Python (nudge, nudge, wink, wink - know what I mean, know what I mean) and can recite the entire Dead Parrot sketch. I must say tho, the boat name? Never happen on an official government boat but a private boat - definite possibility. There was at one time, perhaps still is, a law firm named Dewey, Cheatum and Howe. And then there are American politicians...we need a sense of humour here else we would have all left years ago...

Elephant's Child said...

I adore Boaty McBoatface and his cousin Trainy.
And British eccentricity.

joeh said...

Here in the States, we are watching and routing for "Boaty McBoatface!"

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Grace,

I love Dewey, Cheatum and Howe.

When I was in America once, a man asked me "Explain to me WHY Monty Python is funny!".

My reply was - "Well - it just is!"

I was tempted to add "Nudge nudge wink wink say no more! A nod is as good as a wink to a blind bat!".

:o)

Cheers

PM

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

Eccentricity is good! As is Boaty McBoatface. To be honest, I've been chuckling at it since I found out.

:o)

Cheers

PM

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Joeh,

Sadly, they will probably opt for the second most popular name which is a sensible one - though I too am praying for Boaty McBoatface.

:o)

Cheers

PM

River said...

Those videos were funny, except the last one, where I knew right away all the cafe customers were waiting for the driver to move his car.
The one with the train and map of England was the funniest.
I love the Caribbean restaurant called Jamaican Me Hungry.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

I love a good pun - sometimes ...

:o)

Cheers

PM

Pandora Behr said...

I've nicknamed Tony Abbott Wanker Mc Wankface... actually most politicians here go by that name. We heard all about it. :)

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

That's strange - most politicians here are called that too.

:o)

Cheers

PM

Jackie K said...

These all made me chuckle, including the skits, even though I think I have seen them all before - the Not the Nine O'Clock News one I think I saw on TV when I was a kid!
Love that British humour.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Jackie,

I had seen them all apart from the Phobia Workshop one. Very clever.

:o)

Cheers

PM

Big D said...

I so want to see the good ship Boaty McBoatface sailing the seven seas. Because we're British and that's how we roll.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Big D,

That is EXACTLY how we roll...

:o)

Cheers

PM

Drb said...

I love British humour except Mr Bean. I just want to strangle him.
Thanks for posting the skits, they were hilarious.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi DrB,

I kind of like Mr Bean. I went to see Rowan Atkinson live way back in the 1980s and a lot of what he did later became Mr Bean.

:o)

Cheers

PM