Monday, June 17, 2024

snorklebrity lookeyspikey of the day

Today's pairing features my son Huw, in the pool at our holiday house in Brittany a couple of weeks ago and borrowing some of his big sister's swimming accessories, in particular her face-mounted snorkel, and also the strange underwater artificial dinosaur hybrid submarine that I drew for my school yearbook at Bandung International School in Java in about 1979 (when I would have been about nine). Obviously the shape and positioning of the snorkel is the thing that brought the two together in my mind.

The drawing was accompanied by the following explanatory (well, sort of) text:

It's interesting to unpick all the things that (consciously or unconsciously) influenced both the drawing and the text in my nine-year-old mind:
  • The BBRFC on the creature's sleeve, and indeed the rest of the design of the T-shirt the creature is wearing, is a reference to Bandung Barbarians Rugby Football Club, a loosely-organised group of expatriates from various countries (mainly the UK, Australia and New Zealand) for which my father used to turn out. My recollection of the various rugby days out we went to during our time in Java was that they were mainly a pretext for epic beer consumption, probably mainly the product of the Anker brewery with whom the club seemed to have cooked up some sort of endorsement/sponsorship deal, judging by the club T-shirt I am wearing in the images below (probably taken at Pangandaran). The beardy guy piloting the craft is also probably modelled on my Dad, though I should point out he has never smoked a pipe as far as I know.

  • The general concept for the creature is clearly adapted/stolen from the Tintin book Red Rackham's Treasure which I read approximately a gazillion times. The smaller shark-based craft there was the brainchild of eccentric genius Professor Calculus. That's his English name, anyway, he was called Tournesol in the original French books. Translations into other languages are available, including, rather marvellously, Welsh; who knows what his name is there. 
  • Obviously kids love dinosaurs, and you can see bits from at least three separate dinosaurs in the design of the creature: the head with its distinctive crest is clearly a parasaurolophus, the big fin thing on its back looks as if it's from a dimetrodon, and the spiked tail is a bit like that of a stegosaurus, informally known in slightly tedious paleontological nerd humour circles as a thagomizer. The fins at the rear are presumably a hangover from the fish design I stole the idea from, and I have no idea why the front limbs seem to have their elbows on backwards.

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