16 April 2012

Level 41A


Conspiricy Theory ∕ Signage

The guy putting up this sign and building number forgot his spirit level. Possibly he was so proud at how level he got them that he left it for all to admire (‘Alex’ is scratched into the metal). Or possibly the spirit level is a symbol for the balanced body and spirit that one achieves through Tai Chi.

A German friend once told me of a superstition that it is bad luck to take a workman’s tools, and it seems on this evidence that it applies in Ireland too. The question arises: why a workman’s tools and not anyone else’s? Why should there be no bad luck from taking a teacher’s book or an angler’s boots?

A corollary to this is the fact that violin makers used to encourage the misconception that violin strings were made of catgut (which they never were). The idea seems to have been that they were playing on the superstition that it is bad luck to kill a cat, thus giving pause to anyone thinking of getting in on their niche of the market.

Modern strings for electric basses are made of metal, sometimes with plastic coatings. They are thick and sturdy, able to withstand considerable stress, especially when ‘slapped’. One of the most popular practitioners of the ‘slapping’ style was bass-player Mark King, who is a member of the (re-formed) band Level 42. It would be perfect if he lived next door to this sign.