EVADING THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) BY SEEKING SANCTUARY IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM

It’s nerve-wracking. The world is going crazy. We’re all about to be infected with a debilitating virus, the Prime Minister says we are about to lose loved ones and, terrifyingly, the Prime Minister is somehow Boris Johnson.

It’s enough to drive you mad with worry. It reminded me of Douglas Adams.

Douglas Adams once had a problem. He was stuck in a plot hole. There was absolutely no way out of the situation the characters had found themselves in (floating in deep space with seconds to live). It was impossible.

But then, he said, he was inspired by Judo, the martial art. In Judo, you use your enemy’s own weight against them. You use the problem against itself.

Being rescued from deep space wasn’t impossible, it was just very very improbable… And so the Infinite Improbability Drive was born.

Similarly, last weekend, I was so anxious about the coronavirus pandemic that I needed to get away from it all. So I took a trip to London where, thanks to the worry caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the streets were paved with an absence of people and it was actually relatively chilled out.

I ended up going to the British Museum and ticked off more important archaeological finds in one day than Indiana Jones managed in an entire Quadrilogy of movies.

(Yes, there’s FOUR. They DID made Kingdom of the Crystal Skull! They did! It’s no use denying it now. No matter how ridiculous it is!)

I was very excited to see the ACTUAL ROSETTA STONE and, in particular, this explanation of the word cat:

The ancient Egyptians had “Miaow-cats”.

Cool.

I bought a Rosetta Stone mug. And a mousemat.

Who uses mousemats in 2020? No one. But it’s the thing in the gift shop that looked most like the original. So I bought it.

I also saw lots of cool hieroglyphics.

This dude looks like he’s on a mission.

I saw the Elgin Marbles or “The Parthenon Marbles ” as they prefer to call them. (I think the British Museum are a bit touchy about that.) And noticed a lot of…

MISSING WANGERS

By the way, LADS, if you do ever insist on getting a statue made of yourself with your wanger hanging out. Make sure it’s made of something TOTALLY INDESTRUCTABLE.

Seriously. You’re going to need it made out of titanium or kryptonite or something. And that means future generations are just going to wonder why it was such a funny colour.

(Does not apply to centaurs.)

BUDDHAS

I saw several Buddhas of various sizes and plumpness.

(I’m guessing the skinny Buddha depicts him before he reached enlightenment. There was a period when he was searching for the truth by renouncing pleasure and fasting.)

Just before the museum closed, so that Ben Stiller could run around whilst being chased by enormous Buddhas and various statues with no wangers, I made a final I’ve-been-here-for-so-long-taking-photos-of-things-my-phone-has-died sprint through the museum halls.

I just managed to fit in the Sutton Hoo helmet AND the Lewis Chessman.

At the end of the day, as I was escorted from the building clutching my Rosetta Stone mug and mousemat, I felt a lot better about things. I felt culturally enriched. I often forget the ability of a museum or art gallery or place of culture to take you out of the worries of the modern world and transport you to…

WHAT THE…?!

 

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