Statistically speaking around 50% of us were small boys once. Many of us still act like one. And you know what all small boys love? Dinosaurs dinosaurs dinosaurs.
Whales are great, don't get me wrong. They are big, they can jump out of the water, they eat a lot of fish, but as a general rule :
1. They don't have massive teeth and in-built killer instinct (barring orcas, which are really just like dysfunctional giant dolphins)
2. They don't have the ability to stomp on things
3. They don't make threatening roaring sounds that you can replicate whilst chasing people and pretending to be one
In fact, from a small boy's point-of-view, a whale is just a big fish. And any fool knows that fish just aren't that interesting.
So it was with great sadness that I learnt that the Natural History Museum is to retire Dippy from the main entrance hall to an as yet undisclosed location. The poor creature may even end up on a tour of the UK, like some sort of third place loser in the X-Factor. Before long, he/she will be gracing Bognor Regis, Blackpool and Merthyr Tydfill rather than the entrance of London's most beautiful building.
So why are they doing this? Well apparently "The story of the blue whale reminds us of the scale of our responsibility to the planet", or so says the Museum Director. Try explaining that to my eight year old. I tried and it didn't work. He wants Dippy to stay.
Is he ever going to say "Can we go and see the massive whale at the Natural History Museum?" No. Never. He wants to see the dinosaurs because he loves the fact that they have massive teeth and claws or clubs for tails or huge bony plates on their back.
Yes, yes, the "fossil" is a plastercast fake. But you know what? It's not exactly a real living whale that you are replacing it with. Heck - a substantial part of the world doesn't think that any fossils are real. We don't care - it looks ace.
Getting rid of the whale frees up floorspace in the entrance hall, speculates The Londonist. True, but how many people will be queuing up in a year if the dinosaurs lose top billing?
On behalf of small boys everywhere, please only get rid of Dippy if you replace him/her with a massive animatronic version that breathes fire.