Monday, August 13, 2007

Are you sure you need real bears Colonel ?

See the man in the hat (left)
Thats a guardsman that is.
He guards The Queens houses.

See that hat on his head?
Thats a bearskin that is.
Its made from real bears.
Dead bears that is.

50 of them every year.

Now some might say that the hat looks rather silly, some may question its practicality, many would not consider wearing such a hat if they had to stand outside in all sorts of weather for up to eight hours at a time, hot when sunny, heavy when wet - a cap would be much nicer.

Not the British Army though.

We're all very proud of our army in the UK, we're very proud of the fact that we have one of the worlds elite fighting forces to keep us snug and safe in our beds at night, of that there is no question.

But sometimes the Ministry of Defence displays that crass, upper class, brain dead twat approach to life that has been the butt of squaddies jokes for as long as there has been an MoD, guardsmans bearskins are a fine example.

The bearskin is used for ceremonial duties only, you won't find many bearskins riding on top of an armoured car patrol in Basra, its a touristy thing, and so what would be so bad if the MoD started to use an artificial pelt instead ?

They may even find that a man-made fibre can actually wick away the rain or allow air to pass through to the poor little guardsmans head during the two hot days a year whilst he is stood outside Buckingham Palace, but no, the MoD have consistently stuck to the line that only real bearskin will do the job properly and that it is beyond the wit of man to produce a synthetic version, so it purchases fifty or more real dead bears a year at £650 a dead bear to make big hats for soldiers to look nice in while they guard The Queens houses.

It also buys real dead bear skins for some of its mounted regiments busby hats (a smaller version of the bearskin that won't fall off so easily when riding a horse) and it buys real dead racoon skins for some of the Royal Fusiliers hats, none of these hats apparently can be made of nylon and none of them can be dispensed with for a cap, the colonels in charge just won't have it any other way, its always been dead bears and so it always will be.

Now I'm not a protesting sort of chap, I'd rather sit in a chair and read a good book, if I was alive (and female) in the early part of the 20 century I wouldn't be chaining myself to railings for the womens vote, I may look up over the top of my book and mutter "ah yes, votes for women" but thats about it really, I'm not an angry young man with a cause to protest, never have been, even when I was young and angry.

But you see I once followed a link in all innocence to a PETA web site (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) and whilst there I watched the most horrific video that I have ever, in my long and varied life, ever seen of a husky-type dog being hung upside down and skinned alive for its fur while it struggled to free itself. I'd love to provide a link to PETA but that image still sticks in my mind and I'd hate some child to follow it, (not that a child should be reading my musings, being rated as an 18 certificate as they were recently), so you'll have to find it yourself, its easy, just type PETA and bingo there it is.

There is something very nasty about the fur trade and the fact that it is perpetrated by foreign johnnies is no excuse for our very own MoD to use our very own tax money to buy dead bears to make daft hats just because some brain dead tax-paid civil servant fuckwit at the MoD won't consider other options.

The Queen sleeps easy tonight, guarded by 50 or so dead bears.


John_D said...

Speaking of hats, there are apparently a number of jaunty red numbers at your favourite shop in Perpignan. At least that's what Rob reckons after a vodka-laden lime sorbet from Café Vienne.

Gary said...

Ah yes, le chapeau rouge shop, the one with my cheeky little sailors number in, I should be there with him now avec famille, but they wouldn't go to France as "its got too many frenchies" there.

John_D said...

If you had gone, you'd have taken directions to the hotel near Girona wouldn't you, rather than ring someone who is at work to get them to find it on t'internet?

Gary said...

I'm fairly sure that I'd take an address and some directions, yes, but you see he didn't have to do that the last time as none of us trusted him with the map or with driving after he swiped off our wing mirror in Barcelona.

I also hope that he went the wrong way around that roundabout outside the Girona hotel like I did - we had to peel Gareth off the roof.