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Thursday, August 09, 2007

My Underground Empire

A few years ago a new bit of Norway bubbled up to the water surface. A passing Brit decided he fancied a bit of it and planted a flag. I can't remember now whether he decided to claim it in the name of Old Blighty or as his private fiefdom, with feudal rights on any passing polar bears, local virgins about to get married etc. But anyway, Norway was having none of it (if this story was about Canada I could have done the 'Nunavut' joke at this point) because their constitution lays claim to all existing and future parts of the Norwegian landmass. So, any other bits of Norway that are still in the microwave already belong to them, even though no one knows yet when or where they're going to appear.

But now the Russians have gone one better with their brilliant idea of planting flags under rather than on top of things, or specifically the North Pole.

I tried that at my local the other day. It was with a quiet satisfaction that I watched my Erdinger settle on the bar before I told Alan the barman that'd be three twenty please. I then explained, for his benefit, that I'd tunnelled under the bar the previous evening and planted my flag directly under where we were now standing, complete with the Puthwuth coat of arms (raised finger rampant, flanked by a black and a ginger cat).

Let's just say I was very disappointed with his attitude. The next time I'm coming up directly through the floor.

Earth-surface dwellers, eh. What do they know.

You've no idea how difficult it is to get a flag to stay in upside down, by the way. But no one said the explorer's life was an easy one.

1 comment:

Mark Granier said...

Putin is a right joker isn't he? Gives 'Cold War' a whole new meaning.

Flags are wonderfully primitive, like skulls on spikes. Think of that priapic little American flag on the moon (had to be stiff I guess, as there's no wind). I think it was Mailer who compared astronauts landing on the moon to a golfer teeing up on the main alter in the Vatican.