The man who bought London Bridge

Share

It may not be the very last thing the world needs right now, but another vanity magazine from a British photographer has got to be up there. Which has not stopped Perou from publishing Edict (issue one available now, should you be interested).

But what's this? Lurking towards the back is this excellent anecdote from the "almost forgotten photographer" David Steen, which (sort of) answers once and for all the question of whether the American businessman who bought London Bridge really did think he was buying Tower Bridge.

"I went to Arizona with Tom Jones," Steen says, "and suddenly this light aircraft is flying over. I said to one of the American crew, 'Who's that?' He said, 'That's Mr McCulloch, he's the man who bought the bridge.' So anyway, he landed, and I went up to him and said, 'Mr McCulloch, I'm David Steen over from London, is it possible I could take a photograph of you with the bridge?' He said: 'No problem.' So I lined him up and afterwards I said the worst thing I could have said to him. I said, 'Mr McCulloch, is it true that you bought the wrong bridge?' He said, 'Sonny, when I came to Lake Havasu, land was 10 cents an acre. Now, it's $10,000 an acre. Are you telling me I bought the wrong bridge?'"

Week links

Don't know about you, but my diary is looking pretty full right now. Today sees the end of Death Awareness Week (without which we would, of course, all be oblivious) and tomorrow sees the start of Walk to School Week. Imagine if there had been an overlap!

Which raises the question, where did these endless awareness-raising "events" spring from and, more importantly, do the various bodies behind them get together to ensure there are no unfortunate clashes?

Got a few days spare this month? You may wish to mark International Museum Day (today), Goth Day (Thursday), World Turtle Day (Friday) or, this is more like it, National Wine Day (next Sunday). Prefer the full seven-day celebration? Let's not forget National Doughnut Week (ends today, still time) and National Barbecue Week (which starts 26 May).

Might it be that we have reached peak week? Turns out that as far back as 1965, the satirical songwriter Tom Lehrer pointed out that Malcolm X was killed on the first day of National Brotherhood Week. But it still might be worth saving space in 2015 for International Clitoris Awareness Week, which ended a few days ago and might have been worth marking if only I could have found it in my diary.

Clash of personalities

Missing a good media spat since Jeremy Clarkson and Piers Morgan have both been chastened?

Last week saw former NME editor Conor McNicholas use his publicly accessible Facebook page to unleash the full fury of his anger towards writer Tony Parsons. "Here's why I think Tony Parsons is an utter prick," he wrote. "When Joe Strummer died I was editor of the NME. I had the responsibility of making the issue that commemorated his unmeasurable musical contribution and life. Tony had written much on the early Clash and been a rock in the foundation of the modern NME myth. An obit, a memorium from Tony would be a fitting tribute. I got his contact details. I asked him and was told, very shortly, that he was simply too busy finishing a book. Too busy to give us 300 words on a hero of British music in the paper that gave him his journalistic platform. Sheesh. The following day a 'My Memories of Joe' piece from Tony Parsons appeared in the Daily Mirror. It was a dickhead move to begin with Tony, you didn't need to lie as well."

This column made several attempts to contact Tony Parsons for his side. Perhaps he was too busy publicising his latest book.

Bottoms up!

How has Ukip missed out on this vote winner? Pikeville, Tennessee, is the latest in a line of Southern US cities to propose a law that outlaws the wearing of saggy jeans.

The city council unanimously approved the first reading last week, though Mayor Phil Cagle warned that it could be another couple of months before officers are able to issue fines of up to $50 to offenders. The Pikeville ordinance further warns that "there is evidence that indicates that wearing sagging pants is injurious to the health of the wearer as it causes improper gait".

At precisely what point, though, can a pair of pants said to be sagging? "More than three inches below the top of the hips (crest of the ilium)", obviously. Officers: guns, batons, handcuffs, tape measures to the ready …

"All I know is we don't want them running around half naked on our streets," Cagle says, adding (I kid you not), "that's the bottom line."

No rhyme or reason

Another in a now-regular series of limericks based on recent events:

So apparently those in the know

Are all starting their sentences "so"

They think it's informal

So now that it's normal

We might as well go with the flow.

twitter.com/@simmyrichman

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Women are working in some of the lowest-paid sectors such as cleaning, catering and caring  

Women's wages have gone backwards. Labour would give women the pay they deserve

Gloria de Piero
 

Taking on Ukip requires a delicate balancing act for both main parties

Andrew Grice
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker