Ottawa Is Social Distancing with Monty Python's "Silly Walks"

The altered sign has been seen by John Cleese
Ottawa Is Social Distancing with Monty Python's "Silly Walks"
Social distancing is a difficult but important measure required to slow the spread of coronavirus, but an Ottawa resident has taken a cue from Monty Python in looking to make the practice a little more enjoyable.

On social media, images have circulated of a City of Ottawa social distancing bulletin that had been altered in reference to Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch "The Ministry of Silly Walks."

Aired in 1970, the beloved sketch stars troupe member John Cleese as Mr. Teabag, a public servant working in a fictitious government ministry that is in charge of creating new, unabashedly silly ways to stroll.

While unaltered signs around Ottawa show silhouettes spaced apart by red arrows, the altered notice features Cleese's character, briefcase and all, distancing with an exaggerated gait.

The images eventually found their way to Cleese himself, who shared it from his verified Twitter account.

"In a park in Ottawa," he wrote, adding, "(Probably Canada, although there's no 'Sorry' at the end)." The City of Ottawa's official Twitter account also appreciated the good humour with a Python reference of its own, writing, "#OttCity won't apologize for following The Ministry of Silly Walks recommendation that if someone is less than 2 metres from you 'Run away, run away' and do so at the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow." Some sleuthing by the CBC revealed the sign-altering artist to be Alex Di Nardo, who whipped up the humorous version in Photoshop. Following his creation going viral, he wrote on Twitter, "Never had 'create an urban legend' in my bucket list, but whatev." "I swear it only took me 10 minutes. It was totally on a whim," he told the broadcaster. "This was a hack job. I actually just quickly pilfered some clip art and slapped it together as an inside joke."

Monty Python's official Twitter account also gave Di Nardo's creation a share, which may inspire more of their fans to have a laugh with some Python-inspired signage.
Recently, the city of Ottawa got some help from the Wu-Tang Clan in the fight against COVID-19.