Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Fountain and the Comedy Police

I apologize for not updating sooner, but I've been uncharacteristically tired since my return from the States. And between travel for work and sorting through all the receipts I collected on our two-week sojourn of the North American continent, it have barely had the time to keep up with what has been happening in town:

The Candy Man and the Crime of Comedy

I had a nice visit with John O'Sullivan, proprietor of The Candy Box, this morning on my way to the barber. Seems The Council isn't as keen on prosecuting him for putting funny signs up in front of his store as they were last weekend, especially now that the national, regional and local media have taken up his cause. (Not to mention my website, which I am certain must have turned the tide.)

Mr. O'Sullivan has been on national radio, a variety of television news programs and featured in several newspapers over this past week. The police, who apparently are much amused by the situation, are no longer warning him of dire consequences, and The Council seem to be rethinking their strategy of mollifying humorless twits who claim to take offence at fake headlines by promising to arrest the author of the offending words.

Frankly, if they went ahead and had him arrested now, Horsham would become the laughing stock of the country. So I guess he's off the hook. Until the next humorless twit complains.

As a side note, Mr. O'Sullivan has a fetching young assistant with beautiful red hair who is mad about America and wants to move there. I told her the only way that was likely to happen would be if she married a Yank. So if any of you young American men out there are in the market for a British bride, let me know and I'll forward your details on.

The Fate of the Fountain

I'm afraid it doesn't look good for the fountain.

In a full page of letters to the editor on what should be done with the fountain, only six (mine included) voiced the opinion that it should be refurbished and restored. The rest were a mixture of making it a static structure and turning its base into a giant flowerpot or removing it altogether.

After an in-depth survey on the mood of the town (i.e. a chat with my barber) I'm of the mind that they will probably turn it into a flowerpot.

The reasoning behind this isn't totally insane. Fixing it will be expensive, but taking it out will be even more expensive. Just leaving it sit and dumping some dirt in the bottom will be the cheapest option and, in this economic climate, that seems the most likely scenario. My point, however, is that we will not always be in this economic climate and what a shame it will be to return to prosperity only to find an oversized planter in the Bishopric where a truly worthwhile work of art used to be.

All this debate is probably moot. The Council surely made up their minds months ago about what they are going to do and are only opening the subject up for debate hoping public opinion will come down on their side (they still remember the lesson of The Swans, apparently). In the end, however, they'll just go ahead and do what they want anyway (they remember the lesson, the just didn't learn anything from it).

Another reason I'm in the minority is because, to me, the fountain has always been there, representing Horsham, so I'm quite sentimental about it. To much of the town, however, the fountain was inflicted upon them a mere ten years ago; they didn't want it then and they don't want it now. And this is their chance to get rid of it.

But that's a shame, because the fountain is so much more than a fountain, as evidenced by something my barber shared with me.

"You'll probably think I'm crazy," he said in a conspiratorial whisper, "but have you ever noticed that the fountain is a bit..."

"Pornographic," I finished for him. "Of course, that's the first thing I noticed about it. I just thought everyone knew that so I never mentioned it."

He assured me they did not. Everyone he shared his observation with thought him way off the mark, and probably a bit of a pervert. But it's patently obvious.

Look at this:

What is that besides a depiction of a vagina riding up and down on a penis, accompanied by all the appropriate squishing and squirting of liquids? It's a work of genius, titled Universe Rising, and is supposed to symbolize the cycle of life. And what better way to embody life than a glistening wet vagina gleefully, and in joyous abandon, humping a concrete and steel stiffy?

Seriously, what town wouldn't be proud to host such a sculpture, no matter the cost?


I'm going to miss that fountain.

On a Happier Note

A window decoration depicting a naked fairy (the mythical woodland creatures--this isn't Brighton) on a shop in New Street is causing traffic jams because everyone keeps stopping to gawk at it.

They should sell tickets. Or use it as a replacement for the fountain.


  1. Anonymous2:25 PM

    Omg, I would've loved to have been in the room when the artist described their inspiration for this fountain "art" to the town council. Truth really is stranger than fiction!

  2. I think she told them it was all about Shelly, and symbolic of his life and poetry and all that. As I said, no one else in the town seems to "get" it besides me and my barber.

  3. Well, the nice thing about turning it into a flower pot is that when times are better and they get all nostalgic they can restore it one of these days.

  4. Hmmm, that might be possible, but I wouldn't want to be the guy who had to clean it out.

  5. Award for you over at mine. :) Though not as "interesting" as the fountain. Sadly.

  6. that is one ugly fountain......sorry!!!!

    Gill in Canada

  7. I just sat here and had a giggle until tears were coming out of my eyes! That fountain is brilliant!

  8. Gill, beauty is in the eye of the beholder ;) and, as Kat says, ugly or not, it is brilliant.

    On a serious note (and spurious meanings aside) it was a great feature and all that splashing water drew people's attention. Horsham was known for its fountain, and now it will only be known as the place where a fountain used to be.