Nothing Scarier.

TV  Ever since I heard Jon Pertwee say, “There’s nothing more alarming than coming home and finding a Yeti on your loo in Tooting Bec ..." I've been curious about what it was about the place that made it seem the epitome of the ordinary British location in which the sight of a giant fury robot trying to push through a control sphere would seem out of the ordinary, the jarring mix of the fantastical and parochial.  No Yetis found, but I did buy a copy of Werner Herzog's Encounters at the End of the World in a charity shop on Tooting High Street.

Tooting Bec itself is indeed deeply average with shopping streets leading off from an intersection where the tube station has been built, in the configuration just as described by Reyner Banham in his 1964 history of the commuter belt, A City Crowned With Green (which is on the iplayer here). One street which heads of towards "main" Tooting is populated with Asian shops, another is filled with hipster cafes and another leads to a giant Argos and Tesco Express.  In other words, Jon knew exactly what he was doing when he chose this place for his oft repeated phrase.

In case you're wondering, I did indeed go to the toilet in Tooting Bec.  I was bursting having held on since a preceding saunter around Clapham.  Obviously Jon was referring to someone's own toilet, an escapade I couldn't simulate, but I did find a welcoming pub.  Fortunately, the Great Intelligence was not hiding a minion in the stall.  But I did feel somewhat attacked because there wasn't any toilet paper once I'd completed my mission.  Fortunately I had some wet wipes with me, the real world equivalent of a sonic screwdriver, so I was OK.  On the way out, I discretely mentioned the lack of the paper at the bar.  What a hero.

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