Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Baking Soda

For some reason, submarines have recently started to feature in the iconography of these assemblages. I originally attributed this to having visited the Anselm Kiefer exhibition, and re-wakened memories of the TV series Das Boot, but there is probably more to it than that.  After all, a submarine is the very embodiment of an item bobbing up from the subconscious.  Though, as Freud might have said, sometimes a submarine is just a submarine.

If you are old enough you will remember those little plastic submarines that came as a "free gift" with a box of breakfast cereal -- Corn Flakes, I think, or possibly Shreddies.  The idea was that by putting baking soda into a little compartment beneath the sub, the thing would rise and fall in a bottle of water.  As we never had any baking soda in the house -- my mother was not a keen cook -- I never did get to try this out.  Besides, I thought the fat black plastic plug that sealed the compartment spoiled the lines of the craft, and usually discarded them.

As these tiny submarines were usually yellow, I have always assumed that they lurk somewhere beneath that single appalling blot on the otherwise immaculate and only truly enduring Beatles album, Revolver.  Though, oddly, no-one has ever suggested this, as far as I know.  It may be in Revolution in the Head somewhere, but I have never been able to open that tome without wishing I hadn't.  I gave it away to Oxfam last year, along with Lipstick Traces, Lights Out For The Territory, and various other unrewarding fat volumes I shall never read again.  I need the shelf space.


Gavin McL said...

I worked briefly on the maths behind submarine maneuvering at one of her majesties research establishments and we used free running yellow models of the submarines as they were easier to see in the test tanks. But when the top brass came to visit we always used a black one as a demonstrator as the yellow ones were a bit "hippiesh"

Mike C. said...


Funny! Mind you, I thought yellow turned up a lot on military kit, doesn't it? Nice strong colour, easy to see -- *pink*, on the other hand...