Saturday, July 31, 2004

Twas my fete

How about a few photographs of my day to reward you all for slugging through Blogonomics 101?

I was at the Victoria & Albert Museum’s ‘Village Fete’ today, billed as:

“The best of British and international up-and-coming creative talent design stalls take over the V&A's Garden, surrounded by the activities of a traditional British Fete.”

It was supposed to be: “A quintessentially English event” with a “modern twist”.

What it actually entailed was a crowd of painfully fashionable young things strolling around the V&A courtyard to dubious music. On the edges of the courtyard were the stalls manned by the artistes. Most of the stuff was harmless, but showed a shocking lack of imagination from people who should be brimming with ideas.

Nevertheless, I was glad to be out on a balmy night and photographed some of the most interesting goings on:

“Are you always the one who makes the tea? Are you surrounded by colleagues, friends and family who shirk their tea-making responsibilities? Teabuddy is the answer to your prayers.”

You’ve skinned them alive and hung their hides from the lintels to warn others in the office of my severe dislike for making 20 cups of tea instead of just one? Awww, thanks guys, you shouldn’t have.

“Teabuddy is a tool for keeping-up with the making of tea in the office, at home, or, just about anywhere. No more fighting over who made the last round, or exactly how you like to take your tea - Teabuddy simply takes the hassle out of tea-making.”

Ahh, they didn’t.

Essentially, it’s a web site with a list of tea preferences listed next to coworker’s names. Every time you twitch in your seat so that you can be construed as looking in the direction of the tea room (and therefore be burdened with The Making Of The Tea), you can just tick the names that want tea, print off a handy tray sized list (arrow) and take it with you to the tea room, safe in the knowledge that your subservience to the common horde will be up to their exacting standards.*

Please note that the tea-totallers were, in fact, imbibing Foster’s beer (circled).

Asked how they will be making money off the site (whilst taking my free tea), I was told that they won’t – that they do this out of the goodness of their hearts.

You know, sometimes I wish I had a trust fund to fritter away too, it might be fun.

*(Why don’t I like making tea for the whole office? Simply because what was going to be a 45 second task turns into a production of theatrical scale. Others presume I’m going to make them a beverage simply because I’m making my own. Absurd. Also, as a recovering HR person, I can advise that it’s actually a better idea for everyone to get up from their chair to get their own tea as they will inadvertently be stretching, relaxing, helping their circulation and posture as well as allowing their eyes to focus on longer distance things than just their monitor and desk for a few minutes. )

This man was recruiting an elite militia for a new country called Bananistan. Qualifications required were an asymmetrical haircut, sneakers that had never been used for any form of exercise and hideous vintage clothing that cost more than a monthly mortgage payment. Most of the people in the crowd qualified.

When creative people go bad. Click here for larger version.

Pay a pound, get a baseball bat, lab coat, gloves and goggles. Lucky dip as to what you get to smash. Hope for the melon. Get a piece of electronic equipment instead. Be glad that you didn’t take your afternoon dose of Ritalin. Umm, smash stuff. You have 60 seconds.

This booth attracted one of the largest, loudest crowds. I have to say I was a little disturbed by the sight of the previous boy baseball-batting the bejeezus out of a life-size female dummy’s head.

One of the more creative ways to win things was dreamt up by guys who used old transport pallets to make laptop stands.

A toy rat was placed into the top of a large PVC tube and the contestant given the rat paddle. They had to ‘Smack the Rat’ against the wall as it came out the bottom. This woman missed the critter and it’s on the floor in a sorry heap (arrow).

What fete would be complete without the stick-your-head-in-this-thing-and-look-silly stand?

I diligently stuck my head in and looked very, very silly.

Saw this on the way home on the tube.

I don't think she'd much like my answer, though, because it would be along the lines of:

"We aren't doing anything about your future. Your parents might be, your friends may decide to but I don't give a squirrel's left testicle about you, cute as you are."

On closer inspection, it was a poster for the Science Museum's new 'Energy' exhibition.

Does anyone want to rate the odds that there will be no mention of the cleanliness and cheapness of nuclear power in this exhibit?

I looked at the site and wasn't surprised to find this. Larger image here.

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