Thursday, February 14, 2008

On celebrating John Frum Day

On celebrating John Frum Day

Possibly not John FrumTomorrow is John Frum Day. Happy John Frum Day!


John Frum is a mythical figure venerated by the people of Vanuatu who worship him as part of a cargo cult. The people of Tanna believe that Frum will return to them on 15th February, bringing much cargo, material wealth and all the trappings of Western Civilisation denied them by white settlers.

Convinced that luxury goods, made from materials and by technologies outside of their expertise, are the work of deities or their ancestors, islanders worship the mysterious Frum as the man who has promised to bring them 'cargo' as part of some sort of second coming.

They will go as far as constructing fake airstrips to attract said cargo, and will often have non-working replicas of radios, TVs and whole houses full of white goods in the hope that their deity will bless them with the real thing.

He is said to look "a bit like David Attenborough", which might explain a lot.

John Frum worship is not universal in Vanuatu. On the contrary, some people worship the Duke of Edinburgh as a god as well. Heaven help them if he decides on a bit of smiting whilst waiting for the grouse season to open.

Oh, and 15th February is my 42nd birthday.

I, too, worship a cargo cult, known to those of us residing in the First World as the Amazon Wish List.

That wasn't too mercenary, was it?

Love love, kiss kiss

On this day of lovers - St Valentine's Day - I thought it might hit the mood to reproduce the text of that most romantic of plays.

So, with a hey-nonny-nonny, a fire in my cod-piece and no refunds on tickets already purchased, we present:

Harry Hill's Romeo and Juliet

Act I Scene I - The Prologue

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
Montagues and Capulets toil with ancient grudge
But which one's better? Only one way to find out


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