With the plea made by the Government for suggestions for cultural icons to be installed in the Dome, my own proposal is to take full advantage of the Dome's shape and use it as the embodiment of one of the cultural icons of our age. But one Dome alone would not suffice. No, we should duplicate it, thus making it into a giant model of the breasts of Melinda Messenger, The Sun's Page Three Girl for the Thrillennium. The resulting Double Dome (or Double-D Dome) will not only be a fitting celebration of one of the leading icons of our age, but will also mean that there will be twice as much room inside. And in order to avoid the inevitable complaints of sexism, this huge structure will be supported by giant columns in the shape of Robert Carlyle taking his clothes off in The Full Monty.
Once inside, visitors will be able to gaze in admiration at the icons which make us proud to be British. Take food, for instance. It may well be the case that British food is despised by most of our fellow members of the free world, but what do they know? Obviously our traditional roast beef is slightly tainted at the moment, but we still know how to innovate. I'm talking about chips. We've already had the oven chip (looks like a chip, tastes like cardboard). Then came the micro-chip (looks like a chip, tastes like cardboard, but is ready in a fraction of the time). And now we have ... the Ketchip! Yes indeed, a chip that tastes like cardboard but has ketchup on the inside. Rule Britannia.
Freshly-cooked Ketchips will be handed to visitors as they enter the Dome's Sports area. Since sport is our new religion, it is perhaps best represented in the semi-divine form of Glenn Hoddle. Whether the England manager will have ascended to full sainthood by the time of the Dome's opening depends on what happens in France this summer, but in any case, I suggest he should be pictured together with Paul Gascoigne in a kind of Madonna and Child pose. A special water-pumping system will enable a constant stream of tears to fall from the baby Gazza's eyes.
And speaking of Paul Gascoigne, we of course come to the Teletubbies. They will stand on a bright green hill surrounded by flowers and the rotting corpses of Buzz Lightyear and the Power Rangers. The size of each Teletubby will be scaled according to popularity, which, in my experience, means that Lala will be one hundred feet tall and visitors should be careful not to tread on Tinky Winky.
Beneath the bright green hill on which the Teletubbies stand will be a narrow tunnel leading to a small, cramped space in which a real-life environmental protester lives 24 hours a day without any of the benefits of the advances in science and technology during the 20th century. Visitors will have the opportunity to crawl down the tunnel and attempt to persuade the protester to come out.
Just beyond the Teletubbies' bright green hill will be a bright green meadow on which Dolly the iconic sheep gambols merrily together with a pig with 16 legs, a cow with 12 udders, a headless chicken and a minister without a portfolio.
Leaving this celebration of British scientific achievement by means of an escalator that periodically breaks down, visitors will enter the Heritage area, in which a beacon of light shines eternally upon a commemorative Princess Diana mug emblazoned with a gold sticker bearing the solemn words of the royal motto: "A percentage of the proceeds of the sale of this mug will be donated to the Princess Diana Memorial Fund. Or not, as the case may be."
This sombre mood will be lifted, however, by the sight of a huge Union Jack symbolising the rebirth of Britain as a nation. The flag will be held aloft by an honorary member of the English cricket team's travelling barmy army who is suffering from the effects of acute sunburn and a few too many cans of Red Stripe. The patriotic theme will be enhanced by the playing of well-known Britpop classics interspersed at regular intervals by a rousing rendition of "It's Coming Home".
Finally, on leaving the Dome, visitors will be confronted by an enormous video wall displaying one of the world's few remaining mysteries: Tony Blair's smile. Now if that's not astonishing, I don't know what is.Reuse content