First alligators, then dogs, now Basil Fawlty is trying to standardise social distancing measures

You know this, guys: 7.14 linguine. Get with the programme!


Reg Standards Bureau No less a character than John Cleese himself has mounted a challenge to the supremacy of the Register Standards Soviet after the funny walks man suggested that he himself was an appropriate measure of social distancing.

The Fawlty Towers star took to Twitter, as reported by our state broadcaster, after Torbay Council in Devon, southwest England, used a graphic of titular character Basil Fawlty to illustrate the concept of social distancing, presumably to aid the spatial awareness-y challenged.

As every Briton knows, Fawlty Towers is a classic British sitcom set in Torquay. Cleese played a henpecked hotelier called Basil Fawlty whose Little Englander approach to life left him cowering before his imperious wife Sybil, taking out his anger on hapless Spanish waiter Manuel, and goose-stepping in front of German guests after being hit on the head by an errant moose.

Cleese – whose height is two metres, or "1 Basil Fawlty" as Torqay Council put it – advertised his challenge to the authority of El Reg's very own Standards Soviet by approvingly tweeting a council graphic promoting social distancing, the approved measure of space between you and COVID-carrying members of the species.

Although an enthusiastic council replied with gifs from Fawlty Towers, the great man himself gave them a damn good ignoring after that.

Unfortunately, Cleese's enthusiastic comparisons contradict the official Register Standards Soviet unit of measure for social distancing, namely the Osman, as we announced back in March. Despite attempts by upstart Americans to do things such as introduce alligators into the mix, we stand firm and repel this dastardly attempt to tread on our turf.

We are tempted to specify a new measure – perhaps one Torquay tree branch, in honour of the moment Fawlty lost his rag with a recalcitrant car – to take into account the new "one metre plus" reduced social distancing guidance for indoor locations, as the world continues to be confused by the perfectly sensible 7.14 linguine – though it is perhaps obvious why measuring this as 0.04 brontosauruses may contribute to public confusion. For the avoidance of all doubt, ensure you keep yourself up to date with the one and only Register Standards Converter. ®


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