Tuesday 22 July 2008

What Bridge?

Everyone has their little rituals in the morning, don’t they? Some people lay out their clothes the night before so that they need to do as little as possible before scooting to work – some people may even sleep in their clothes. Lovely Housemate is one of the few people I know who can go from fast asleep to being dressed, fully made-up with fantastic hair in 15 minutes flat – it’s a strange phenomenon I will never master.

At uni, my morning ritual was tea and cereal in front of Trisha with Housemate-From-Penthouse-Flat – I only had two hours of lectures a week, on a Thursday afternoon I think, so there was very little need to rush in those days!

These days, my morning ritual is burnt toast and peanut butter, a cup of green tea and BBC Breakfast News. It was London Aunt who introduced me to the delights of this programme when I stayed with her in her flat in Notting Hill and did work experience for Reuters in my school holidays.

And now, it’s imperative that I watch it every day – I need to know how the tubes are running – even though I don’t take the tube, what the weather will be like – even though it’s all lies, and what Declan thinks about the FTSE thingmajib, even though footsie to me is something to be done under the table at a boring dinner party.

This morning I was in a rush – I was trying to achieve Lovely Housemate’s 15-minute record, so had one eye on the news and was forgoing my usual tea and toast for a packet of oatcakes, which I munched on the bus to work. In between hair brushing and outfit picking I absentmindedly read the subtitles, which were telling my about a guy who takes photos of Black Fry Ass Bridge.


Intrigued, I paused for a moment and carried on reading and there, sure enough were the words Black Fry Ass Bridge over and over again. Black Fry Ass Bridge…

Blackfryass Bridge…

Aaaaaah get it?


I guess that the BBC have a voice-activated subtitling machine, at least I hope they do – otherwise it would appear they have employed a Teletubby to ensure that morning news is subtitled um… wrongly.

It’s worrying though isn’t it that there are over 8 million deaf or hard of hearing people in the UK (just to warn you, I got this statistic from the BBC) and that when they tune into BBC Breakfast they get to read about something completely different to what hearing people are getting.

What if there was something important we needed to know about – if it was serious, the whole of the UK would be panicking and 8 million deaf or hard of hearing people would be wandering about quite calmly, oblivious to the fact that the apocalypse was just around the corner. Although I would like to hope the BBC would have a ‘breaking news’ banner at the bottom of the screen for this type of calamity.

Of course I am over-reacting about this and it’s quite fun to tell you the truth – but really it does make me quite cross that technology is so advanced in some ways and so crappy in others. I tuned in to a programme on Channel 4 the other day and there were subtitles to a completely different programme on. Channel 5 doesn’t even bother to subtitle half it’s programmes.

Perhaps I should write a book – the kind you get for your brother for Christmas that they sell by the tills in HMV – you know the sort: ‘The Little Book of TXT Love’, ‘101 Ways To Kill A Bunny’ etc etc. Mine will be called ‘Subtitles – What’s Really Going On In The World’ and will document all the wrong subtitles I can possible find – how great is that? Maybe the BBC will help me make my fortune after all!

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