The National Environment Research Council (NERC) funds environmental scientific research in the United Kingdom and is about to build a state-of-the-art polar research ship here in the North West of England. The boat is backed by government funding and will launch in 2019.
NERC have launched a public campaign to name the ship, opening a web site for the British public to suggest a suitably apt name for what will be a magnificent vessel.
In other parts of the world, I think that the suggested names would reflect the excitement of the ship’s purpose, perhaps naming it after a science or a famous historical person.
But what is currently leading the pack BY FAR in names suggested by the great British public?
I am not kidding you. A state-of-the-art ship, with a serious purpose will sail to the Polar Regions with the name RRS Boaty McBoatface etched on its hull.
There are some serious suggestions but also some equally silly names such as:
RRS Its Bloody Cold Here
RRS Usain Boat
RRS Boatimus Prime
RRS I Like Big Boats and I Cannot Lie
RRS What Iceberg?
RRE Big Metal Floaty Thingy-Thing
This is a typical British quirk that stems from our ability to laugh in the face of adversity and make a mockery of things labelled as serious.
Don’t get me wrong; there are British people who are probably howling in outrage at this but the good news is that the majority of votes are for silly names.
This is why I love being British. We can, as a nation, see humour in everything and often use that humour to make people laugh in serious or stuffy situations.
There are millions of examples of things we find funny that perhaps other nations will either raise their eyebrows at or simply tut and shake their heads in disgust.
Here’s another example of the kind of thing I mean. A friend of mine was on his own in a pub, waiting for another friend, when he needed to go to the toilet. He had a full pint in front of him and decided that the best way to stop somebody stealing his pint or taking his seat was to put a note on top of his glass saying:
“I have spat in this beer”
When he came back, somebody had added:
“And I have put my winkie in it”
I love this.
Regular readers will also know that I am a sucker for clickbait, where I click links to read meaningless nonsense instead of doing something more constructive. However, some of these sites are full of “Things that only British people will find funny”.
For example – a letter from a disgruntled customer which finished:
“I have enclosed your letter and you will notice that I have taken the liberty of rolling it up very tightly which should make it easier for you to stick up your arse.”
Or this answer to a Health and Safety Question:
If an accidental fire started in a building with employees inside, what steps would you take?
Answer: Fucking BIG ONES!!
Some people have even named their businesses or shops with a hint of humour such as:
A lift company called Schindler’s Lifts
A wine shop called Planet of the Grapes
A flower shop called Florist Gump
A painter and decorator called Luther Van Gloss
A pet nanny called Hairy Pop-Ins
A Caribbean restaurant called Jamaican Me Hungry
A removal company called Jean-Claude Van Man
A male hairdresser called Barber Black Sheep
I have been told by some foreigners that they simply do not understand some British humour.
For example, do you find the following funny?
There are a gazillion examples of British humour knocking about on the internet, as well as lots of British silliness.
Oh – and finally, not to be outdone by a polar research ship, a train driver pulled into Waterloo Station in London and gave his train a name:
Only in Britain – unless you know something different, dear reader.