McBoatface perfect for ship’s name

Monday 25 April 2016

Picture credit: Twitter/@Daily_Express

The Natural Environment Research Council doesn’t exactly sound like a barrel of laughs but even so it has had a serious sense of humour failure.

The council ran a poll asking the public to come up with a name for the latest addition to its polar fleet.

By the kind of majority leaders of the Brexit or Remain campaigns can only fantasise about, the overwhelming choice was RRS Boaty McBoatface.

The organisation is being very sniffy about this, hinting that it may choose a more conventional name, such as RRS David Attenborough (which came fifth in the poll, sea-miles behind Boaty McBoatface).

They’re looking a gift horse in the mouth. The people’s choice is a nearperfect example of daft British humour at its best.

No other country in the world would come up with a name like that, still less get the joke (I told an American friend the story and he just looked blankly at me.

“I don’t follow,” he said, mystified. “Why is this funny?”) Even The Thunderer got involved, pronouncing in a Times leader this week that the public will should prevail, quoting the US Democrat who, soundly defeated in an election, announced: “The people have spoken. The b****rds.”

It even raised the possibility of christening the UK’s new aircraft carrier Warshippy McWarface.

Judy thinks we could go further, suggesting that one of the RAF jets currently targeting IS fanatics in the desert could be re-named Bomby McBombface. But back to Boaty.

The name is in a long tradition of surreal or ridiculous British humour – the Goons, Monty Python, Ronnie Corbett’s sublime Mastermind sketch (specialist subject: “Answering the question before last.” Genius).

Come on, NERC. Paint Boaty McBoatface proudly on the bows of your £200million state-of-the-art ship. I’m sure David Attenborough won’t mind.

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