Michelangelo’s Frodo

Today I discovered two completely useless things: that a model tyrannosaurus rex can scare the shit out of me – and that Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of David looks just like Elijah Wood.

The T-rex roared at me from a dark corner of the Natural History Museum. Big, convincing and animatronic, it swung its head round so that we were eye-to-eye as I entered its lair, then growled a death threat through savage teeth. Taken by surprise, I had a bit of a funny, Jurassic Park-style moment. I have to admit that I felt better once I saw the robo-dino had the same effect on everyone else, especially the kids. One boy ran away screaming blue murder, so he’ll probably be having nightmares for months. Result! Take your sprogs to the Natural History Museum and mess ’em up for life!

As I stood admiring the beast I had a text message from my mate Biddy. “Bored, bored, bored, bored,” it said. “Tell me something to cheer me up!” So I called her and let the T-rex roar down the phone. She certainly can’t say I’m predictable.

Later I met my friend Paul and we wandered the halls of the V&A, where I discovered that plastercasts of beautiful antiquities are almost as moving and wondrous as the real things. Michelangelo’s David is extraordinary – I had no idea he was so HUGE! The real statue must be glorious. I can’t imagine how powerful it must be to see in the flesh (so to speak): possibly like being in the presence of something divine. The word “wow” is so disgustingly inadequate that I’m almost ashamed to use it, but… wow.

And yes, David looks like Elijah Wood. Not all of him (I can’t comment on Elijah’s dangly bits, of course, because I’ve never seen them); just around the eyes. There’s a definite touch of Frodo there – David looks as though he’s about to cry, bowed by the pressure from forces we can barely understand. At first I thought I was imagining it… but Paul thoughtfully agreed. And just look at the freakin’ picture if you don’t believe me!

I have a strange desire to scour the Sistine Chapel for hints of Gandalf now.


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