The Solemn Newspaper Picture Hall of Shame

There are some things in life that are always funny. Like people inhaling helium and then talking. Or that really shocked looking cat on YouTube. Or James Naughtie’s ‘Jeremy Hunt’ slip up on Radio Four.

Personally, I’ve developed a fascination with those pictures, usually found in local newspapers accompanying unfortunate stories, where people look really solemn while pointing at/ holding the object relating to said story. You know the ones.

I find them hilarious and I don’t know why. I’m not talking about horribly tragic things– I mean the ones where you can almost hear the photographer saying: “Yeah, try and look a bit sad and that– tug on the readers’ heart strings”.

Like these beauties here, here and here. As a colleague of mine quite correctly pointed out, that last picture also has an added ‘pets looking like their owners’ angle.

So, to get into the spirit of things, here is a picture of me pointing at the empty space where our bikes used to be, before some upstanding member of society decided to break into our shed and steal them.

In the meantime, my ongoing search for Solemn Newspaper Pictures will continue…

The Pegwell Bay Sperm Whale

In the early hours of the 3rd March, an enormous sperm whale beached at Pegwell Bay near Ramsgate. You can read about it here on the Kent Online website. (Warning: Reading the comments on this article may destroy your faith in mankind.)

I found myself fascinated by this story as I used to live in Ramsgate and this is quite an unusual event. How did it get there? Was it ill, or thrown off course for some reason, or hit by a boat? Does this mean, as some have suggested, that the Apocalypse is nigh? (Er… No.)

It seems the people from the Natural History Museum are going to investigate and try to find out what happened to it. I’m not one to get overly emotional about this sort of thing (and from a practical point of view I certainly don’t envy the task faced by Thanet District Council of removing five tons of dead whale from the beach), but it does make you think- one minute you’re happily swimming about in the big blue ocean, looking all majestic, and the next you find yourself dumped on a beach- in Thanet, of all places. Poor creature.