But then there was a big bang which must have put the wind up the locals a bit, especially the ones training in the judo club, most of whom fell over gracefully.
There were eyewitness accounts from several locals, all of whom save one spoke Russian, so their eyewitness accounting was accompanied by subtitles. The subtitles were poor; evidently the subtitler wasn’t as good at interpreting Russian as we who pay a TV licence fee have a right to expect, since there were lots of gaps in the intelligible words, all filled with groups of unintelligible characters like ‘S***!’ and ‘F***!’
There were, however, enough intelligible words to get the gist of the general feeling, only it wasn’t quite the gist I was expecting. What I was expecting were statements such as:
‘I thought it was an earthquake,’ or
‘I was hoping it would land on Putin’s house,’ or even
‘That was one humdinger of a sight.’
What one woman actually said was ‘I thought the war had started.’
War? What war? Are the Russian people still possessed of the notion that American ICBMs are about to fill the sky and set the Apocalypse in motion, just as we in western Europe did a couple of decades ago? (Only we thought it would be Russian ICBMs, of course.)
Come on, Russia, don’t you know it’s the year 18 PRD? (Post-Riverdance. The Russian routine was the best in the whole show.)
Russia, we like you now. You have beautiful women, superb dancers, and footballers who play for Fulham. We didn’t send the meteorite, OK?