Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Funny Things That I Have Said That Really Deserved a Wider Audience #2

I was in the Olympic Stadium, Berlin, watching a football match with some friends. This, of course, was the venue of the controversial 1936 Olympics, the highlight of the opening ceremony of which was a flypast by the Hindenburg, the largest aircraft ever to be built.

And what did they have at half-time? A radio-controlled model airship flying around the stadium. It was pretty impressive, though I assume that health and safety regulators had insisted it be filled with helium, like the Hindenburg was originally designed to have been. I assume this as, with no sympathies for any survivors or relatives of victims who might have been present, the person flying it proceeded to accidentally crash it into one of the goals.

This was a golden opportunity for someone as quick-witted as myself. How many times in my life would I witness an airship crash, particularly in such resonant circumstances as that day's? But what were the chances of my friend having at least a passing knowledge of Herbert Morrison's radio commentary of that tragic event from 1937?

I had to risk it. I turned to him and, in my most anguished tones, wailed, “Oh, the humanity!”

He just stared at me. By the time I'd explained it all the second half had kicked off.