Monday, February 28, 2005

On Manhole Covers - (iv)

The reason I started on bloody manhole covers is thus:

A couple of weeks ago I left the office and was on my way to the tube station, a short walk I must have made a thousand times.

My attention was caught by, yes, a manhole cover, or more accurately, an inspection cover. Quite a big one: embossed on it were the words "London County Council Tramways". I thought, knowing that the last tram ran in the early Fifties, that this curiosity will interest one or two of those London Transport geek people, so I'd take a photo and stick it on my moblog. So, I packed my camera and the next afternoon had it at the ready.

No cover.

Just

pavement.

Perhaps I'd mis-remembered: maybe I'd crossed the road and it had been on the other side.

So I crossed the road the next day. Ridiculous: this is all new development that wasn't even there in 1952.

The next day (Thursday) finds me walking up the road, head bent. All the usuals are there: BT, Fire Hydrant etc etc. Not mine. I repeated the exercise on the Friday. And all last week.

I am now reluctantly forced to believe one of 3 things:

1) It was there and someone moved it at night, repairing the pavement invisibly. This was probably done by Wandsworth Borough Council for the sole purpose of making me look like an idiot;

2) I am going mad: I hallucinated a London County Council Tramways inspection cover;

3) I am going mad: I dream about inspection and manhole covers and then believe my dreams to be real. In many ways this is the most disturbing scenario. I would not like to be thought of as the kind of person who dreams about manhole covers when I could be dreaming of more manly things, such as former Blue Peter presenters or important sporting institutions.

What do you think, readers?

Jonathan Swift tells us that "It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he
was never reasoned into". Ca Va.

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