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Community / Public space

63 thoughts on this video of a swan holding up rush hour traffic in Manchester city centre

Courtesy of the Manchester Evening News… what?

1) Does the swan think it’s leading a parade?

2) Does it think all those white vehicles are really big goslings?

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3) Does the swan support United or City?

4) Why has the van not overtaken the swan?

5) Actually, it’s undertaking, isn’t it?

6) Why is nobody undertaking the swan? 

7)Does the highway code apply to swans?

8) If the swan has come off the Rochdale Canal, where is it heading?

9) That’s the Ibis budget hotel in the background.

10) So the swan is heading into the city centre.

11) But wait – that means the canal is in the same direction it’s walking.

12) Has the swan doubled back on itself?

13) Is the swan heading for a night out in the Northern Quarter? 

14) It’s gonna take him bloody ages to get there.

15) It’s still over the caanal.

16) Oh! So maybe it hasn’t doubled back on itself.

17) Still, it’s going at, what, two miles per hour?

18) Bit difficult to tell to be honest.

19) But, really, why is nobody overtaking?

20) Or undertaking, come to that.

21) Just, why are they all letting the swan set the pace? 

22) What do they know that we don’t?

23) Wait: why is that woman not more concerned?

24) Could she be key to this?

25) Is she in on it somehow?


26) Is she a swan trainer?

27) No, but look – she’s running to keep up and then stops being fussed.

28) Has she taught the swan how to use roadways?

29) If you were, hypothetically, to take a swan on the roads, would it need a tax disc?

30) Are swans more like tractors or small cars?

31) Does the swan count as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle?

32) Is swan flatulence a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions?

33) What do swans even eat?

34) Do swans like Holland’s meat pies?

35) Seriously, why is nobody overtaking?

36) Or undertaking.

37) Not getting passed this. 

38) So in that sense we’re a bit like the guy in the grey van.

39) Is it a criminal offence to run over a swan?

40) What’s the penalty for swanicide?

41) What would constitute mens rea, even?

42) Would the swan’s evident trespass on human infrastructure be a mitigating factor in sentencing?

43) Hang on, swans belong to the queen, don’t they?

44) Is accidental swan murder a form of treason?

45) Would the swan killing driver end up in the Tower?

46) The Tower is next to the Thames.

47) Is the Tower adequately defended against revenge attacks by other swans?

48) Are there even swans in the Thames?

49) If so, is there a video somewhere of one being followed by some very slow boats?

50) WHY IS NOBODY OVERTAKING IT?

51) Undertaking it.

52) Are swans to other birds as Mancunians are to other northerners?

53) I.e. loud, and maybe slightly more likely to break your arm?

54) Hey. Hey, wait. 

55) If you did hit it, and it died…

56) …would someone write…

57) … 

58) A swan song?

59) …

60) …

61) …

62) …

63) Sorry. 

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