“Mornington Crescent!”

morning crescent


I learn from Martha Gill that there’s a long-running game on British radio whose object is to be the first to reach the “Mornington Crescent” tube station on the northern line. Players cite routes over London’s transport system knowing and loving that it’s an elaborate charade.

… The game is entirely made up. There are no real rules; at any point a player could “win” “Mornington Crescent” simply by saying the words. They never would of course. It is simply not done.

As with the game, writes Gill, the rules of British politics are unwritten. “[Its] smooth workings are held together by convention, good manners and a sense of… fair play…” But the main political players “have suddenly realized that they can win much faster by ignoring the rules altogether: ‘Mornington Crescent!’ they chorus, immediately, and the game is over.”

And so, after all, what never would be done, and simply is not, is done.

(Martha Gill, “Did Boris Johnson Just Break Parliament?” NYTimes, 8-28-19)

(c) 2019 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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1 Response to “Mornington Crescent!”

  1. kestrelart says:

    There are rules and each game does have a conclusion when one player says Mornington Crescent..
    The game is like a form of free style comic group improvised poetry, with the final line always coming at the point when one player judges it will maximise humour.

    Liked by 1 person

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