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If you have to explain the joke…


Okay, last one from the miniature railway exhibit, and I don’t know if this joke will translate. Or work in black and white. Do they run Michael Portillo in the States?

He’s an ex-politician who has done series after series of TV programs of himself taking train journeys across Britain, accompanied by a Victorian guidebook called Bradshaw’s Guide. He’s an ugly brute with a comically bulbous nose, known for wearing improbably loud clashing jacket-and-trouser combinations.

Anyway, here he is in an assortment of colors (we all agreed that none was loud enough) clutching his Bradshaw’s. No modern diorama complete without its Portillo.

If you can catch any of his programs, do. I call them ‘England porn’ — though he’s done a few in other countries, as well.

We gave up on his American series after the first three. He was riding Amtrak down the Eastern seaboard and Every Single Program he brought the conversation around to the history of slavery or civil rights abuses wherever it was he happened to be.

You can only take so much scolding before you grab the remote.

May 4, 2017 — 10:00 pm
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