Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Thinking Burger Tribes

Overheard in the Caravan:

Chairman: "Today was my starvation day - all I've had is half an apple and I still don't feel hungry. However, I haven't exactly moved much today. Did you know that your brain burns 10.8 calories per hour just thinking? I must have burned well over 100 calories today just thinking."

Hay: "Your brain didn't!"

I do believe Tesco has found traces of Richard III's DNA in their burgers.

It's strange how we actively encourage the notion of tribes, even going to the extent of creating them where none previously existed.

I belong to a Yahoo Group where old school mates from 40 plus years ago swing the lantern about our school days. I say 40 plus years ago because the school was closed down in '74 by Maggie Thatcher.

Someone recently put a counterpane from the old school on eBay, which naturally caused some comment on the Yahoo site, as we're always on the lookout for school memorabilia to put in the school shrine down at Birkenhead Priory. The counterpane in question was red, but then people kept chipping in saying they could swear they had a green one, or a blue one, etc.

The reason for this is that the ship (HMS Conway) was divided into Tops - Focsle, Foretop, Maintop and Mizzentop. Each Top had a colour, a Srnior Cadet Captain and various Junior Cadet Captains for the port and starboard watches (there was an additional Top called Hold, but that was well prior to my days in the late 60s). These Tops were the naval equivalent of Houses as found today in all public schools, and the inter-Top rivalry was legendary - you couldn't even walk through another Top without risk to life and limb.

To this day we still maintain illogical allegiance to our old Tops and woe betide anyone who maligns Foretop in my presence. Once formed, tribal allegiances are extremely difficult to break.

It seems tribes can be formed from the most trivial of differences and we humans are all too willing to collude in inter-tribal rivalry - it's in our DNA. Little wonder that kids with nothing better to do form gangs.


  1. A bit like my old school where I was in Foreskin.

  2. Bloody Foretop. Forecastle was on the TOP FLOOR and we PISSED on everyone else.