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Saturday, February 04, 2006

When dim people get too much time on their hands...

...they run around trying to change the name on Tube stops in London, simply because they're jealous of a certain North London team's popularity and long term success. I'm referring to one loony by the name of Damien French, whose job as an author is so taxing that he has taken on the mission, in his voluminous spare time, of getting the name of the Arsenal Tube stop on the Piccadilly line changed back to its original designation of Gillespie Road.

Pull the other one Damien. No? Serious? To quote Michael Palin in the Pythons' Cat Licence Sketch, "You are a loony."

Apparently, this hardly working loonific author has gotten 2,999 other people to sign his petition. French is a Chelsea fan, which leads me to believe that either he simply got people to sign the thing at Stamford Bridge after a particularly boring Chelsea match, or that the petition has a lot of names like "D. French", "Dam-ee-en French", "Dame Ian French", and "D.F. Chelsea" on it.

One can see the desperate ineptness of Monsieur French's Quixotic quest when he offers up quotes like, "There's no such place as Arsenal and as far as I know it's the only football club that has a station named after it. If they are prepared to move down the road to Cash Burden Grave then surely they should have to give up naming rights to their own station."

"Cash Burden Grave" is meant to be an amusing pun on the Gunners future home of Ashburton Grove. The Islington Gazette should be a little more careful with the way it tosses around suggestions that certain people are actual writers. To be fair, the paper merely said that French was an "author", which means he could be sitting at home 8 hours a day writing out the ingredients lists for Heinz soup labels. Don't laugh, it's not as easy as it sounds. Oh, never mind, you're right...laugh away.

Also, "Cash Burden Grave" is just about the same distance from the station as the Gunners current digs of Highbury, according to sources at the club, demonstrating that while Señor French claims to be a lover of Islington history, his grasp of Islington geography is on a par with that of Genghis Khan.

Herr French also claims that the club's name of Arsenal is "warmongering". I suppose a really impressive and authoritative name for a football club is that of a district of the city known mainly for posh flats and a big antiques festival (Went there once... the cheapest thing in the whole show was a tiny, rust-covered £25 spoon. Every other single thing was £200 or above, including the fork next to it.) Nothing says crunching tackles and rocketing volleys like the word Chelsea, right? Wait a minute, wasn't Chelsea Barbie's friend?

French even goes so far as to claim that he knows a number of Arsenal fans and that they break into two camps, "Some think I'm a thorn in their side because deep down they know I'm right and others think I'm pathetic and chasing a lost cause." I'm guessing that the word "some" in this case means "My imaginary friend Bob, who likes Arsenal and who I beat up when I'm blotto." Just for the record, I fall into the latter camp.

Fortunately, the nice people at the London Underground have made it clear that they have no plans to change the name of the station any time in the next millenium. They issued a statement which read in part, "We have no plans to revert the station name back to Gillespie Road as the station will continue to play a key role in getting fans to matches when the club moves to Emirates Stadium."

That's 60,000 seat Emirates Stadium, which will be the second-biggest football stadium in London after the new Wembley. Mr. French should talk to Chelsea owner Roman Abromovich about that. Maybe Roman can talk Ken Livingstone into getting Fulham Broadway station changed to Roman Abromovich Station, or something like that. What? Chelsea Station you say? The Fulham locals would never stand for it.

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