LONDON—In an effort to ensure the iconic clock tower maintained its pristine appearance for years to come, authorities at the Houses of Parliament announced Wednesday that Big Ben was undergoing routine cleaning to remove any hapless tourists dangling from the minute hand. “Over the past months, the clock face has accumulated quite a few bumbling tourists who tumbled out onto a high ledge during a tour and were forced to hold on for dear life to the rotating minute or hour hands,” said Steve Jaggs, Deputy Keeper of the Great Clock, noting that the cleaning staff would work to dislodge the inept and bungling visitors, many of whom had fallen out of an open window while chasing after a train ticket caught in the wind or while turning away bashfully from asking for the number of an attractive woman in their tour group. “Obviously, some of these tourists slide off naturally into the bushes below when the hand rotates down to half-past. Unfortunately, though, most are snared by the back of their trousers and simply won’t fall off the clock until a visiting prime minister sees them and spits out their tea at the sight of the tourist’s heart-pattern boxers.” At press time, Jaggs announced that several of the clumsy tourists had thankfully fallen off after the deafening hour chimes struck and they clapped both hands to their ears just moments before realizing their mistake.
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