But stunned residents of Louth gasped in horror on Wednesday as dozens claimed she looked more like a giant phallus.Sentence of the week, I think you will agree. Perhaps residents of Louth should get out more often. Exclusive photographs from This is Lincolnshire clearly show the Mayor looked more like a banger than a pecker on that auspicious day. She looked just like a giant sausage, as she intended; a sausage with a face, a sausage with sausage-eating propaganda leaflets, a sausage happy to promote the eating of its fellow sausages, a quisling sausage. But then again, I might be wrong:
But this is not a matter of some Bizarro Lady Godiva who decided, on the spur of the moment, to flaunt convention and stand up for the sausage by dressing as one. The Mayor's appearance in costume had been announced some time before and she was encouraged by others, powerful organizations like the East Lindsey District Council and the shadowy British Sausage Appreciation Society, which supplied the costume (had the costuming been the work of the British Penis Appreciation Society, we might have been more inclined to believe that it looked like a gentleman's appendage). Furthermore, the smaller but no less umbrous Lincolnshire Sausage Association is looking to find ten grand to appeal against the Food and Farming Minister's decision to reject their claim for protected geographical indication, a status enjoyed by the Cornish Pasty, Arbroath Smokies and the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie. It might also be noted that the chairman of Louth Food and Drink group on Louth Town Partnership has supported the Mayor in her stunt. This is by no means the work of a maverick mayor.Comments on Wednesday's story on This is Lincolnshire included: "The costume makes her look like a gentleman's appendage," and "she is clearly deluded if she thinks that costume looks anything like a sausage."
It might further be worth noting at this juncture that, in the neighbouring county of Leicestershire, Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe of the aforementioned Melton Mowbray welcomed the Olympic torch to its town with an exclusive Gold Medal Hamper. Clearly the stakes are high in the Midlands and elsewhere to capitalise on the benefits accruing from the Olympic juggernaut storming through sleepy towns that are little-known but for the manufacture of authentic heritage foodstuffs.
It might yet further be noted, in passing, that the juggernaut was headed, as it stormed through Louth, by no fewer than five torch bearers in succession and these are but five of 8000 inspirational people who will raise high one of many torches and carry it for an average distance of 300 metres before passing on the flame to another local hero or minor celebrity. You would have thought the organizers and their presenting partners might have reached for higher standards of inspiration and of fitness but no: almost everybody gets a turn, including Muse and, of course, Torvill and Dean. And let us not forget, courtesy of This is Somerset, Will.i.am, as if we could. And, before we finally return to Louth, here is a photograph of an Olympic Torch Relay dress rehearsal (why are the torch bearers dressed to look as if they were escaping from an old-style mental asylum?) in Melton Mowbray, of all places.
Anyway, where were we? In Louth of course; despite the support of the powerful sausage-making lobby, at least one of the townsfolk, one Bill Nicholson of Kidgate, objected to the Mayor's scheme. But his objection was not one of gross moral turpitude on the part of the Mayor, not one of impersonating a sex organ in a public place, but of municipal humiliation caused to the populace. As This is Lincolnshire – a news organ with more grasp on this subject than the red tops – tells us, Mr Nicolson declaimed thus:
The council chamber must put a stop to this embarrassment and restore some dignity to the people of Louth who do not want the local Olympic event hijacked for commercial reasons.Leaving aside the obvious rejoinder that Olympic events were hijacked for commercial reasons decades ago and remain in bondage, the real question in indeed one of dignity. Louth, the Capital of the Wolds or if you prefer, the Historic Capital of the Lincolnshire Wolds, is but one of many towns to be headed by an exhibitionist chief executive or, if your prefer, a municipal embarrassment. Here in New Zealand there are many such mayors, men and women who never miss an opportunity to be a complete arse on behalf of some local industry. Such is the way of local body politics in our times.
It seems rather sad that, when the aforementioned Olympic juggernaut stormed through the sleepy town of Louth, the Mayor - who had not been invited to participate in any official capacity - was running alongside the relay team dressed as a sausage. It also seems farcical, the sort of thing that might happen in Ever Decreasing Circles, all that desperate shouting and waving on behalf of a sausage that failed to gain protected status because it is nondescript.
At least, though, we need not worry about the children:
As they carry out their 300 metre stint of the relay runners are accompanied by police cars, buses for the scores of staff involved, a “chaperone car” to monitor runners under the age of 18, two buses to drop off and pick up the torch-bearers, a media bus and a “command car” to keep a close eye on the bearer.
Astonishing, don't you think? And yet comforting: if at any stage of the relay a young person is carrying the flame and a mayor dressed as a sex organ rushes out of the teeming crowds to run alongside, chaperones will be close to hand and ready to protect their charges from moral corruption.
This, after all, is England.
Below is a promotional music video for a song by the Young Knives, a popular music combo from Ashby-de-la-Zouch.