Out and about with BrokenTV

  • 10/14/2006 04:16:00 pm
  • By Mark Gibbings-Jones
  • 2 Comments

As you may not be aware, one of the things that BrokenTV tries to do in order to keep it different from all the other meanderings in the ‘blogniverse (yes, ‘blog with an inverted comma because it’s an abbreviation of weblog, and niverse because ‘blogosphere would be a twatty thing to say) is get all sniffy about the correct use of English on the Inter-Net (yeah, shut up). Another is trying to keep posts restricted to the topic of television (films that are on television and music videos also count, of course), in order to avoid going the way of 99.8% of ‘blogs and twittering away endlessly about the mind-numbing minutiae of our everyday lives as if anyone bloody cares. But, gentle reader, we hope you’ll allow the mask to slip just a little for this one occasion, before we get back to our usual business of going on about how Studio 60 On Sunset Strip is utterly fantastic and how the new series of Extras is tremendously shit. And tenuously enough, it’s the very matter of what the new series of Extras tremendously is that we’re going to break cover for.

BrokenTV found itself driving home after a visit to the city of Chester (a place we don’t often visit, especially as they’d gone to all the trouble of erecting a massive wall 2000 years earlier expressly to keep the Welsh likes of us out of there, so popping in and out of the place might seem a bit rude. Also, the car parks are really expensive) after discovering an excellent little bookshop selling a whole range of books by the excellent publishers Teschen at super prices. On his return to BrokenTV Towers, we were stuck behind a truck with a wonderfully apt number plate. Viz:


Now you see why we mentioned the fact we’d been to a bookshop. It’s to deflect the chance that you’ll think a lot less of us now you know we’re the sort of people who’ll fumble around in their pocket to get their mobile phone out to take a grainy jpeg photograph of a number plate that has the word ‘poo’ in it. But look closer, and you’ll see just why it was an event worthy of capture. What type of vehicle is it? It a truck especially designed for the purpose of unclogging drains. And what does that number plate say in full? What are the odds of a truck explicitly intended to, and we’re going to be blunt here, unclog excreta from drains having those three letters assigned to it’s registration number by the perpetually humourless DVLA? Exactly.

But it doesn’t end there, gentle (and possibly repulsed) viewer. Take a look at the first two letters of the vehicle registration: X4. Using the first letter in it’s arithmetic context, that’s ‘times four’. ‘Times four poo’. And what’s the sort of thing that’s very likely to clog a drain in such a comprehensive manner that it would necessitate an entire large truck to extract such a blockage? That’s right. A poo that is no less than FOUR TIMES the norm. Now, factor that into our earlier question about a vehicle designated the decongestion of drainage systems being attributed such an apt registration number, and if you’ve any sense you’ll be hastily re-evaluating your opinion on chaos theory.

You know, we can’t help but wonder about how the driver of the poomobile feels about this. And we’re sure he must have noticed the massive yellow coincidence hanging off his wheel-arch. “Aw, frigging heck, is it my turn to take out the X4 again? Can’t I take out the one with the F1 ACE number plate? That looks much cooler, and I haven’t got to take it anywhere for ages.” We noticed him glancing into his wing mirror as we were lining up the shot, and while he was probably just checking if anyone was about to overtake him, maybe he was thinking to himself “oh cocking great. Another idiot taking a mobile phone picture of my number plate. I wonder if I can get them to veer off the road into a ditch”. It’s okay though, we tried to make it look like we were sending a text.

Of course, it’s perfectly possible that the number plate was also used as an identifier as the where the truck fits into their fleet of Special Vehicles. X2 POO would just be a little van that could blast a medium-sized blockage clear, while the X8 prefix would be attached to a vehicle the size of three fire engines. And X16 (That’s quite enough about poo. –Ed).

This article was originally published in The Guardian.

(Oh alright, no it wasn’t.)

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