Fucking SignsFucking Signs

By our woman who is no stranger to making rude signs,
Miranda S Givings

Britain, a nation renowned the world over for its sophisticated culture and the sobriety and sexual modesty of its citizens, is once again in diplomatic hot water, after a group of British visitors to the sleepy Bavarian village of Wank, were jailed for stealing the unfortunately-named towns signs
Wank, a small village of just 28 houses (and three missing signs) near Nesselwang, in southern Bavaria, is no stranger to the depredations of British tourists who simply can't keep their adolescent mits off its signs. In the last five years the village's signs have been replaced no less than 27 times. In this latest incident, an entire coach load of puerile sign-fetishists from every corner of the UK, descended upon the village like a plague of locusts sweeping across the plains of Sodom and Gomorrah in what one shocked resident described as a 'plague of locusts sweeping across the plains of Sodom and Gomorrah.'
"I hed no choice but to lock zem up for zair own good," the shaken, forty-six-year-old Burgomeister told utterpants over a foaming stein of beer in the village's only hostelry—the equally unfortunately named 'Titz Hof'. Not that we would have known that as the sign above the door was conspicuous by its absence.

"Wasn't that a bit drastic?" we asked him.
"Nein!" he bristled. "Zis is beyond a yoke! No sooner hev I made anudder erection zan ze filthy Englanders grab it again!"
Our reporter giggled.
"Zis is NOT FUNNY!" shouted the German. "We vill not release ze Englanders until zay have paid for ze damages zey are causing here."

A spokestypeperson at the British consulate told us that the theft of street signs that are considered unusual or amusing by British collectors was 'an increasingly serious international problem' and that 'the criminals involved in this activity will be severely dealt with.' When pressed to reveal what action the British Goverment would take in this case, the spokestypeperson shouted: "I wish someone would name a town 'arsehole' so we can arrest all the fucking wankers in one go!"

'Fucking' is precisely where the British tea leaves who stripped Wank of its signs were headed before they had their collars felt by the local polizei. If the burghers of a sleepy German backwater thought they were getting a rough ride by having a name which sends legions of puerile English tourists into fits of uncontrollable mirth, the 3,250 inhabitants of Fucking, near Salzburg, in Austria are, not to beat about the bush—fucking mad. It was bad enough when visitors contented themselves with simply photographing the towns signs, but since the advent of the Internet, the fame of this otherwise uninteresting little Austrian holiday resort, has soared, largely thanks to the embarrassment which this most Anglo-Saxon of nouns engenders among American webmasters. The town's businesses are particularly incensed by the censorship imposed upon their online advertisements which, as one disgruntled hotelier put it to us, 'has completely fucked up any chance I had of getting a fucking booking in Fucking!'

Our researcher soon saw why when she came across webpages whose liberal use of asterisks made complete nonsense of what would otherwise have been perfectly readable advertisements.

Best F*cking holiday Tips
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Write your own F*cking Hotels and F*cking Accommodations Review in F*cking!
Ask us about the best ways to get into F*cking!

The fact that the word has no meaning—amusing or otherwise—in the German language, is no consolation to the angry citizens, who are now only too painfully aware what it means in English. Unlike Wank, which has so far been spared the indignity of being made a laughing stock by the entire English-speaking world because the word is not well-known in America, the Austrian rib-tickler is having to spend up to a third of its annual budget replacing stolen signs, despite welding them to six-inch diameter poles and embedding them in concrete. Thefts have got so bad that the residents recently voted on changing the town's name to 'Shagging' until a visiting American who had seen all of Michael Myers films pointed out that this was almost as bad as 'Fucking.'

But this is just the spume of a world-wide tsunami of naughty sign napping, as utterpants discovered when we interviewed Mostyn Thripp—a bespectacled postman from Purley, in Surrey, who is the self-confessed ringleader of an army of sign chasers—or 'Vankers' as the members of this bizarre group like to call themselves—named in honour of the German pronunciation of the village that first excited their attention.

This gang of dedicated British souvenir hunters, already sated with indigenous chortlers such as Brown Willy in Cornwall, Cock Bridge, in Scotland, Nob End, Bolton and the delightfully moist Lickey End in the West Midlands, regularly organise European coach tours to slake the appetite of their fanatical puerologists for 'naughty' place names. Mostyn Thripp told us that top of the group's agenda for 2006 are the very appropriate 'Slut', near Vasterbottem, in Sweden, Cunt, in Spain and Pussy, in France. Tours to Minge, in Lithuania and Clit, in Romania are planned once they've bagged Willy, in Belgium.

Utterpants were shocked to learn that some signs are changing hands for as much as $10,000 on Ebay, with the top money going to the best English euphemisms for genitalia such as 'Minge' (Belgium and Lithuania) and 'Todgar', (Uttar Pradesh, India).
"Personally, I can't wait to get my hands on Clit," enthused Mr Thripp, proudly showing us around his collection of stolen signs—some still partially attached to the buildings from which he had 'liberated' them.
"Clit?" we asked.
"It's in Arad, in Romania. There's another in Byelorussia but it's written in Cyrillic so it's worth bugger all really. We're hoping to get over to the States next year to cop some of their top earners."
"Why America?" we asked.
"Their signs are bigger."
"Silly of us," we commented. "They would be."
"Sugar Tit, in South Carolina, sold for $12,500 last week, but we're hoping that by the time we get over there they'll have replaced it with an even bigger and heavier sign."

"Is that important?"
"I'll say!" gushed Mr Thripp, rubbing his hands together. "The harder they are to nick the more they're worth. "Beaver Head, Idaho, shot up to $3,000 when the mayor re-cast it in six inch armour plate. We're keen to get hold of Bald Knob, Arkansas, too, since they fenced it in with razor wire"
"Not Hooker, Oklahoma?" we asked.
"Not really, no. It's not worth much. Nor is Climax, Michigan. Frankly, most American place names are pretty limp-wristed. Your serious British vanker is after the rarer stuff like Dikshit, in India. They have armed guards around that 24/7 you know," he added in an awed undertone. I'd quite like to get Knob Lick, in Missouri, though..."
"I'm sure you would," we replied.

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© 2005 utterpants.co.uk / 130905

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