01 May 2009
The Tower of London is NOT Big Ben
I went to the Tower of London today and I was completely taken back. There was no tall tower with a clock at the top! Turns out all this time I thought Big Ben was the Tower of London! And by all this time I mean since yesterday, when I first heard of the Tower of London. Perhaps I am not as British as originally figured. Please excuse my ignorance and just realize that I excel in other areas, such as freestyle walking and eating cabbage. (I eat it like a champ!) As you would have it, the Tower of London is a tremendous castle-village right in the middle of the city, complete with a grassy knoll/moat, a torture chamber, a church, ravens, a dungeon, some towers and a large clock. Everything you'd expect from a castle! I was in great company all afternoon and had a dreadfully delicious day. In the prison tower there were inscriptions from the prisoners kept therein, from roughly 1590. One of the plaques spoke of the captivating carvings and described certain well-behaved inmates as hiring masons to come in and carve things for them?! I'm just not so sure how that would go over today. I can imagine the call would go something like this:
Prisoner Pete: Hello, I'd like to order a mason to come carve my wall for me.
Mason Mac: OK, and what is your address.
Prisoner Pete: Would you like my current one or the one I hope to be at when the stonework is through?
Mason Mac: Hmmm, how about the one where you would like the Mason sent?
Prisoner Pete: Great, that will be the Tower of London Jailhouse. And could you ask him to come sometime after dark and before sunup?
Mason Mac: May I ask what type of brickwork this is going to be?
Prisoner Pete: Oh, nothing rococo. Just boring work. The sooner the better!
For some reason, I just don't see that flying. The Tower of London was not was I thought it was, but it was still a spectacle and a great attraction in the heart of London. It was worth going through "The Rack" for. Plus, I am now four inches taller and can finally dunk a basketball!
P.S. Here is a list of the puns you may have missed in this post: "Captivating carvings" meaning they were engaging, and created by captives. "Stonework is through" meaning the work is done, and the work is through the prison wall. "Just boring work" meaning a mundane task and boring a hole through the wall. Can you tell I am enrolled in a Shakespeare class over here?