In Praise of The Headington Shark

Ladies and gentlemen, the Headington Shark!

We feel the need to indicate at the off this vital fact; the Headington Shark is a sculpture. No “god” didn’t drop a Great White Shark out of the sky onto this house, nor did some random tornado deposit it playfully here, and (almost certainly) The Flying Spaghetti Monster did not place it there for a bit of a laugh. Indeed. No, it’s all a bit of fun. You can see it yourself, if you so wish, in Headington, Oxford, England.

Apparently it first slammed its face into the building back in 1986 courtesy of John Buckley, although it is owned by Bill Heine. He’s a local radio presenter who attached a deeply pretentious set of meanings to the work of art about it mimicking the “impotence and anger and desperation” of “someone”. Useful. We should think most people look at it and think, “By ‘eck, guv, that’s pretty fookin’ epic!” For the folk who live next door it must be a constant local blemish of considerable humiliation. Unless, you know, you’re a really big fan of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. Anyway, if you’re wondering whether it’ll be staying put you can rest your fears onto something solid, as it was renovated in 2007 and continues to mortify all to this day. Some stats, dear? The shark weighs around 200kg and is 25 feet long. It’s made out of painted fibreglass. Huzzah, you say? Huzzah.

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