Friday, August 31, 2007

Sain bain uu! Ool zalgui, udlaa shuu! (We have not met for a long time, viewers)

I can only assume that most of you have given this blog up for dead, if only because I told you it was, back in February or so. More fool me. You see, like when Kenny met Dolly, when the material’s this good, you’ve just got to keep on singing. Islands in the stream, that is what we are. Except as we know, no man is an island. Hope that clears things up. Let us begin.

We open on the forecourt of School Number Five, usually the forgiving concrete and broken glass play space of Number Five, where 3,000 schoolkids hurl themselves around playing full contact hopscotch, flaming jumprope and ultimate fighting. This year, said kiddies are in for a surprise when the school year starts, for smack in the middle of the apron a square has been sectioned off, surrounded by spikes and iron grates.

Within the square, a mysterious black plinth has been formed. And from the navel of that, a monolith. Was Arthur C. Clarke right after all? There are no chimps around to ask. Equally mysteriously, the fellows tasked with laying the marble/polishing this plinth are distinctly lacking in most of the major Mongolian attributes. In fact, they are undoubtedly gadaadi hun, (people from outside) viewers. They appear of a more generally European persuasion, but indeterminately so. Aside from a fondness for cigarettes, they reveal no clues to their identity. What on earth is going on?

A day or so thereafter, a stern bust is placed atop the monolith. Resplendent in gold (or gold effect paint), the serious brows and mighty forehead of a man of consequence is firmly stapled to the monolith. Having stared long and hard at the fellow, his identity is as mysterious as those who put him there.

By the next day, the veil of incomprehension had been replaced with the underpants of confusion. A foreign fellow comes along with his Letraset stencils, a ruler and some gold nail polish, and paints on the front of the monolith the identity of the tenant in three languages. The gold visage who will greet youngsters as they prepare to decline the accusative is none other than Mustapha Kemal Attaturk, founder of modern Turkey and the hardest rocking bass player in history (Kerrang! Aug 1995). What is relationship is to School Number Five is still unclear. Judging from his general choleric look, he seems pretty uncertain about the whole thing as well.

Maybe he’s upset by the forbidding portcullis he’s forced to remain behind. Maybe so, because a day or so later, the ironmongery is torn up and removed, leaving six holes for poles, perhaps suitable for losing small children down.

Or maybe he doesn’t like all those people looking at him (bit of a liability for a bust, really), because, despite the cat being pretty firmly out of the bag vis a vis who this cat might be, he is then shrouded once again, rendering his once patrician visage into that of one of the Imperial Guards in Return of the Jedi, as we discovered him this morning.

What could it all mean? I await your expert analysis, viewers.

More updates on this breaking news as it happens. Any other sightings of unexplained statesmen of the 20th Century cropping up in world capitals will be reported with equal urgency.

STOP PRESS 04/09/07: It seems that the orginial portcullis was judged too unfriendly or something. In a last minute rethink, it has now been replaced by friendly yet dignified bollards, which also have the added advantage of filling in the holes in the tarmac.
Phew! A real bodice-ripper, this story. Try not to overheat.

Bi sain mit ugui (I really don’t know) viewers,