The search for Courage in London

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Post and photos by Rob Matthews, our man in London, July 25 to July 31

Sunday July 25th, 2004



Tracy and I left Philadelphia by way of British Airways. Our plane was scheduled to leave at 9PM but it was delayed by an hour. At approximately 9:30, the plane we were to leave on finally arrived at the airport and upon docking was greeted by 6 Philadelphia police officers, 3 US Customs agents, and a team of paramedics. 5 minutes later, the customs agents left. 5 minutes after that most of the police officers left. 5 minutes later the paramedics and a police officer emerged pushing a stretcher with a body bag strapped to it. Long story short, someone died on the flight over from London. It was explained to us as a “medical problem”. My seat didn’t feel like death so I assumed the person did not expire where I sat. (image, Tom Friedman mystery piece with a nose-diving airplane, so it seemed like a good match for this paragraph. More on Friedman in another post–editors)

Monday July 26, 2004



We arrived in London mid-morning and then had about an hour long subway ride to the Covent Garden section to check into our hotel. As they say in Fargo, “It’s the Radisson, so you know it’s good.” We were conveniently located directly across the circle from the Jerry Springer Opera. (photo) Tracy’s company footed the hotel bill for the first four days we were there in exchange for locking Tracy up in a conference room for three days and forcing her to listen to speech after speech about mission statements, customer training, etc. Sounded fun, but I chose not to participate.



Before she was imprisoned, we were able to sneak across the river to ride the London Eye (the millennium ferris wheel, see picture) and then took in about an hour at the National Gallery (image below) which I used as a reconnaissance mission for a future solo attack the next day.



An hour was enough for Tracy. She saw the van Eycks, the Holbein and the Leonardo cartoon. Good enough for her.

That night we ate, what else, fish and chips. The restaurant was out of Courage beer. Something I wanted to track down merely for its relation to the second season of the Office. I settled for a Peroni.



Tracy and I watched 101 Most Embarassing Sexual Accidents on the Beeb (image, boring BBC lady). Almost all of these accidents involved a man shoving a foreign object into his penis, except for the guy that tried to hump the water pump in a hotel swimming pool.

–Rob Matthews is a Philadelphia artist whose work can be seen at Gallery Joe and most recently at the Art Alliance. Look here for his works in the upcoming MatCh-Art Sunday Afternoon Show, on line only.

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