Sunday, 23 October 2011

An Offer To Tourists

Now here at WhyNotSmile, we are not Big Fans of corporate greed, bankers getting large bonuses, and capitalism in general (although we admit to having very little understanding of any of them; since our understanding is roughly as much as our influence, this is not a problem). The latest way to demonstrate this angst, is, apparently, to go and camp outside churches, because apparently sometimes stocks and shares are traded in the vicinity, and also because they don't let you camp in actual banks, and also the vicar might make you tea or something.

So, because of this, St Paul's Cathedral has had to close (although there is some debate as to whether it had to close, or just chose to close). Now, I think this is a little unfair, since the people of St Paul's have by all accounts been Quite Nice to the protestors (who have apprently also been Quite Nice) and are not generally Big Fans of corporate greed themselves. On the other hand, they are claiming to be losing £16000 - £20000 per day.

This makes me wonder a little. They charge £14.50 admission at St Paul's. That strikes me as quite a lot, although I imagine they have quite big heating bills and so on so it's probably just about covering the costs of running the place. I don't know.

However, WhyNotSmile has decided to make you all a special offer, if you are a tourist who wanted to visit St Paul's but now cannot. If you come to my church, you can see round for only a tenner, PLUS we will make you tea (I say 'we', I mean whoever's about, which may not be anyone - if it's the caretaker, you should probably slip him a fiver, cos it's not really part of his job to show random tourists around. Also, I haven't actually told anyone in the church about this, so they might look a bit surprised when you arrive).

I think we can offer at least as much as St Paul's, particularly if you have a reasonable imagination. I checked their website to see what they have. Attractions include:
  • "Climb the dome" to the "Whispering Gallery". At the back of the church, up the stairs, there's a wee room where we store boxes of random stuff, some books, and an old keyboard. Climb the stairs, go into the wee room, and then discover that if you stand at one side of the room and whisper, people at the other side can hear you (please note: this only really works if you stand against the long wall so you're only whispering across the width of the room).
  • "A touchscreen multimedia tour". As long as you bring your iPad so you can browse the photos on the website while you walk around.
  • "Explore the crypt". Yeah, ok, we don't have a crypt. We have a bouncy castle though.
  • "Travel back in time in an immersive video experience". Viewings of "Ben Hur" on the screen at the front every 2 hours.
  • "Treat yourself to afternoon tea". If no one's around, there's a kettle in the kitchen; it takes a while to boil, and you may have to jiggle it a bit, but what do you think this is? Also, I'd bring your own tea bags because all the ones we have are under lock and key in case someone from one of the other organisations nicks them. There's a Co-op across the road though.
Now, admittedly, we don't have a gift shop, but WyseByse across the road is good value and has a wide range of items for all ages.

Also, we're quite nice*.

And we do not have £16,000 per day; indeed, an extra £16,000 per year would be a significant increase in our income. And also, we do all manner of things in the community which are sometimes helpful for the sorts of people who are not bankers or corporate giants and who therefore could make quite good use of part of the £16,000 in ways which would not at all fund the corporate machine.

Advance booking is advised; guide dogs only.

*mostly. Some of us also offer opportunities for you to practice forgiveness.

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