Ubiquitous skiffy

I live in a small town that’s more like a large village. It is the most middling of middle England and is definitely not a place for too much strangeness (‘don’t frighten the horses’). I am on record as being, to paraphrase a certain comedy show, ‘the only fortean in the village’.

I was therefore a little surprised to find a life-size gold dalek outside the Swan Hotel this afternoon. The village centre sports, in due season, a Christmas tree, and hanging baskets, and there’s a watercress festival once a year (no really, there is). But a dalek? And yet no one was paying it any attention. It seems that everyone’s favourite Time Lord is now thoroughly embedded in popular culture along with his alien friends and enemies.

Unlike the other passersby I did stop, on the remote offchance that this indicated some sort of SFnal happening in our sleepy little community. Apparently not. The poster on its plunger was advertising the Hotel’s new children’s menu. I can only conclude that, contrary to my previous assumptions about the lack of science fiction around here, in this neck of the woods daleks are cheaper than sign-boards.

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