Monday 21 November 2011

Carpala, Dorsalgia, Vex, Prince Albert - and Barry

The statue of Prince Albert found upon Holborn Circus has been blamed over the years for many a traffic accident. Being a bloody great statue this is understandable what with its immensity only compounded by its solidity, its ability to dodge out of the way of oncoming traffic has over the years (if anything) degraded.
Raised a good thirteen years after the death of ever-thereafter increasingly-unpopular monarch Queen Victoria it was the City of London’s tribute to the man who we most remember now for a piece of genital jewellery and the brass-clad spaceships that would have been of at least equal surprise to him. Victoria’s decades of mourning that followed we politely ascribe to the dwindling thereafter of steam-powered corsetry rather than the regular consignment of hearty German sausage that resulted in the Queen being almost perpetually pregnant.
The statue showing Albert dressed-up in the full fig of a Field Marshall is as was typical for the time, mounted. As most people know the horse itself denotes the nature of the subject’s death if he were a military man. One leg raised means killed by the enemy. Two legs raised means killed by one’s own side. Four legs planted means nobly shat to death by at least one of a fascinating collection of battlefield dysentery, and actually having the body of a horse from the waist down means the sort of classical education that leads to the likes of Stephen Fry making doe-eyes at a lovely mare. The plinth upon which the horse stands shows Albert’s achievements, the museums and great works he oversaw on the one side and the very tight trousers he made fashionable on the other.
It is however the four statues about his own, attendant to that plinth, that might hold the answer. If we cannot blame drivers for careless road use (enormous metal lump in shape of dead Prince notwithstanding) then it might well be the statues about the statues to blame. The first Carpala, essence or spirit of wrist pain. The second is that of Dorsalgia, muse of intriguing bedroom toys. The third is Barry, spirit of curly beards and unconvincing cross-dressing. The last though is that of Vex, muse of small things jumping out of large boxes, carbonated drinks, and traffic accidents.
So perhaps there are no accidents, only acts of worship?    

1 comment:

  1. I drove past this today. I had to go up London for a medical at work's insistence, so I used the most expensive means of getting there (petrol expenses, congestion charge, NCP parking), so hopefully they won't insist again. And yes, the wee bunions Dorsalgia, Carpala, Vex and Barry were all present and correct and pointless. Utterly so. They also detract from a fine looking statue, albeit now hemmed in by glass and steel boxes in which, I believe, they keep advertising people and accounts executives.