1. The joke is that a godzilla wrecked it. This is not the most wrong thing in a comic full of sentient, English-speaking godzilla tourists. Given that there are no other buildings around the Colosseum, this must be happening in the far future after the great Virus War that wiped out humans and allowed godzilla sapiens to emerge as the masters of the planet. While the surrounding buildings have crumbled to dust, the Colosseum is eternal. As any culture does, the godzillas have constructed a myth–maybe a whole theology–to explain that which they observe but do not understand.

  2. I’m not sure the joke is that Godzilla actually wrecked it or that the Godzillans created a mythology where they were central. It could just be a joke about the tall tales tour guides tell.

  3. CaroZ, that reminds me of the statue of Greyfriars Bobby.

    It’s a statue of a dog in Edinburgh and somehow word has spread among tourists that you’re supposed to touch the nose of the statue for good luck. The locals just hate, hate, hate that. Fortunately, I was visiting a friend who is local, so I knew not to do it. I did however, play a funny joke on my friend. I took a selfie standing next to the statue but touching my own nose. Then I told her “I have a picture of me with Greyfriars Bobby touching the nose,” which she did not like. Then I showed the picture and she laughed a lot. I pulled the same thing with a few other locals and they were all disappointed in me, but then laughed a bunch.

    Also, Edinburgh is terrific. Visit if you ever have the chance.


  4. @SingaporeBill: I think we should start THIS as a tradition… you go to Greyfriars Bobby and touch your own nose, or the nose of your friend… people of the future will be SO CONFUSED!

  5. Wait, where are those talking apes who are supposed to be in charge?

  6. The second is correct. Humans go to Rome and the guides show all the ancient relics and talk of the ancient romans who built them. The godzillans go to Rome and the guides show all the ancient relics and talk of the ancient godzillans who wrecked them.

  7. Like Edinburgh, we have a local tradition of mocking tourists who touch a statue : John Harvard’s toe.

  8. Having tourists touch a bronze statue is a great way of keeping it polished — if only you could control the distribution of the touches, you could keep the whole statue polished instead of just the odd nose or toe…

  9. A lot of people are unaware that Ancient Rome had padded swivel chairs, hot & cold running water, and Godzilla movies.

  10. “Having tourists touch a bronze statue is a great way of keeping it polished”

    Leaving the faucet running is a great way to keep the hotel room floors moist. What’s your point?

  11. “What’s your point?”
    That if we could distribute where they touched the statue, it would keep it all shiny — I thought I made that quite clear. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to come up with a way of changing the tourist behavior to not all touch the same part of a statue, but all have to touch a different part of the statue that no one else ever touched, or else it’ll be bad luck.

  12. SingaporeBill: Guess which part of the Wall Street Charging Bull statue the tourists love to touch.

  13. I walked into a classroom once, and found a small group of engineering students polishing a statue of the engineering school’s logo. They were half done, and I just didn’t have the heart to tell them that polishing it diminished its value.

  14. Were they planning on selling it? If it’s to used as a display piece, then polishing might be right even if the value was decreased.

  15. “That if we could distribute where they touched the statue, it would keep it all shiny — I thought I made that quite clear.”

    And I thought I made it quite clear that if you left the faucet running it would keep the floor all moist.

    But what’s the point?

  16. The Field Museum in Chicago has (had) a few bronze statues of nude men / women (generally African). Guess which parts are the most shiny?

  17. Well, as I have no particular interest in keeping a floor moist, particularly by a clumsy and not very clever method, I guess there is no point. But then, why did you bring it up?
    I do have an interest in finding clever ways to change outcomes by tweaking behavior, so again, there’s the point. If you don’t care, that’s your problem, but making false equivalences is, ahem, pointless.

  18. A moist floor and a shiny statue are of equal use and desirability.

    You hotel room’s moist floor is not going to become a tourist attraction; and is not at all appealling in itself. A shiny statue might well become a tourist attraction, for its intrinsic interest or for its shinel; and may be an interesting art object in itself. The fact that most cast metals are not meant to stay shiny, and it may even be not good for their long-term stability, is not a big point against the idea of changing the tourist myth to distribute the rubbing.

    I really love the green copper patina of some local buildings’ upper panels. (I think it is also good that the row houses with these have painted trim in the same green. ) But some people want copper to look like new yellow-copper shine, and several recent constructions have copper colored panels that are treated to resist oxidation and stay bright yellow-coppery. And they like it like that, despite the tut-tutting of people like me.

  19. It’s amusing in contrast to an implied school trip of humans where the teacher says “the undemolished part? Our ancestors built that.” I guess I don’t need to know if those are dinosaurs, monsters, far future sentient lizards or whatever.

  20. “A moist floor and a shiny statue are of equal use and desirability.”

    That’s like saying belligerently contrarian comments are as useful to a thread as interesting, good-natured ones.

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