Thursday 4 October 2007


In my travels I have noticed that every town/region/country has a USP. In this small area of New Hampshire they have the oldest continuously used theatre in the country (the Colonial Theatre in Bethlehem), the longest candy counter IN THE WORLD (23' long in Littleton) and the first cog railway IN THE WORLD (on Mt Washington).

These claims sometimes sound pretty dubious to me and I think someone should start recording them because I'm sure they "overlap".

I can't remember all the biggest, fattest, oldest widest, most expensive claims that I've ever heard but I know I have mentioned that the defibulator and aircon was invented and first used in Belfast where they also have two of the the largest cranes IN THE WORLD. Incidentally, I love Belfast.

In Denver they have, if my memory serves me right, the oldest newspaper in the USA and many, many other world beating claims. Incidentally, I love Denver.

In New York they had the first skyscraper IN THE WORLD. Incidentally, I love New York.

In Boston they have the oldest commissioned war ship IN THE WORLD. Old Ironsides. Undefeated in (I think) 38 battles. It earned it's name when it had taken a particularly hard pounding and someone commented "is that ship made of iron or something? (I paraphrase!). To retain it's commission it is sailed for one hour once a year. Now is that useless information or what? Incidentally, I really love Boston.

London had the first subway trains! We are not so good with promoting this wonderfulest, bestest, brightest thing. Too self depreciating. It might sound too boastful. Incidentally, I love London.

One random memory I just had was when we were travelling back to our hotel on the New York subway into our carriage stepped a man who announced to all and sundry in a VERY LOUD AND ANGRY voice. "I was a gunner in the US army" at which time I thought "oh fuck, where's the gun". "I was in Dessert Storm and now I have applied for welfare. What I want from you people is money for something to eat". For several minutes he glared at us. No-one moved a muscle and then to everyones relief he moved on to the next carriage where we heard him make the same announcement. Whew! That was a close one. If he's going to shoot, let him do it in the next carriage! Incidentally, I love New York.

Tomorrow we move on to Vermont. If you don't hear from us to a while, make enquires as to our welfare at the Bates Motes.

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1 comment:

DogLover said...

"A gunner in the American army". That means he was in the artillery, so he would be unlikely to carry one of his guns around with him.

What a mean carriageful of niggards you were. The Americans in the carriage should have treated him to a meal. [As he was in Dessert Storm, perhaps a Pavlova or a sherry trifle was what he was after].

The UK travellers might have done so too, though of course in the UK it is bad form to show anything but contempt for the armed forces.