|Britain, a nation renowned the world over for its sophisticated culture and the sobriety and sexual modesty of its citizens, is once again in diplomatic hot water, after a group of British visitors to the sleepy Bavarian village of Wank, were jailed for stealing the unfortunately-named towns signs|
a small village of just 28 houses (and three missing signs) near Nesselwang,
in southern Bavaria, is no stranger to the depredations of British tourists
who simply can't keep their adolescent mits off its signs. In the last
five years the village's signs have been replaced no less than 27 times.
In this latest incident, an entire coach load of puerile sign-fetishists
from every corner of the UK, descended upon the village like a plague
of locusts sweeping across the plains of Sodom
and Gomorrah in what one shocked resident described as a 'plague of
locusts sweeping across the plains of Sodom and Gomorrah.'
"I hed no choice but to lock zem up for zair own good," the shaken, forty-six-year-old Burgomeister told utterpants over a foaming stein of beer in the village's only hostelry—the equally unfortunately named 'Titz Hof'. Not that we would have known that as the sign above the door was conspicuous by its absence.
"Wasn't that a bit drastic?" we asked him.
A spokestypeperson at the British consulate told us that the theft of street signs that are considered unusual or amusing by British collectors was 'an increasingly serious international problem' and that 'the criminals involved in this activity will be severely dealt with.' When pressed to reveal what action the British Goverment would take in this case, the spokestypeperson shouted: "I wish someone would name a town 'arsehole' so we can arrest all the fucking wankers in one go!"
'Fucking' is precisely where the British tea leaves who stripped Wank of its signs were headed before they had their collars felt by the local polizei. If the burghers of a sleepy German backwater thought they were getting a rough ride by having a name which sends legions of puerile English tourists into fits of uncontrollable mirth, the 3,250 inhabitants of Fucking, near Salzburg, in Austria are, not to beat about the bush—fucking mad. It was bad enough when visitors contented themselves with simply photographing the towns signs, but since the advent of the Internet, the fame of this otherwise uninteresting little Austrian holiday resort, has soared, largely thanks to the embarrassment which this most Anglo-Saxon of nouns engenders among American webmasters. The town's businesses are particularly incensed by the censorship imposed upon their online advertisements which, as one disgruntled hotelier put it to us, 'has completely fucked up any chance I had of getting a fucking booking in Fucking!'
Our researcher soon saw why when she came across webpages whose liberal use of asterisks made complete nonsense of what would otherwise have been perfectly readable advertisements.
Best F*cking holiday Tips
But this is just the spume of a world-wide tsunami of naughty sign napping, as utterpants discovered when we interviewed Mostyn Thripp—a bespectacled postman from Purley, in Surrey, who is the self-confessed ringleader of an army of sign chasers—or 'Vankers' as the members of this bizarre group like to call themselves—named in honour of the German pronunciation of the village that first excited their attention.
This gang of dedicated British souvenir hunters, already sated with indigenous chortlers such as Brown Willy in Cornwall, Cock Bridge, in Scotland, Nob End, Bolton and the delightfully moist Lickey End in the West Midlands, regularly organise European coach tours to slake the appetite of their fanatical puerologists for 'naughty' place names. Mostyn Thripp told us that top of the group's agenda for 2006 are the very appropriate 'Slut', near Vasterbottem, in Sweden, Cunt, in Spain and Pussy, in France. Tours to Minge, in Lithuania and Clit, in Romania are planned once they've bagged Willy, in Belgium.
were shocked to learn that some signs are changing hands for as much
as $10,000 on Ebay, with the top money going to the best English euphemisms
for genitalia such as 'Minge' (Belgium and Lithuania) and 'Todgar',
(Uttar Pradesh, India).
© 2005 utterpants.co.uk / 130905