This week's Time Out London details a wicked and arch web-hoax-thing; someone has put plaques on benches all around London celebrating the eccentric Devenish-Phibbs family (in London, as in many places, public benches are paid for as memorials and get a small plaque to accompany them); the Devenish-Phibbs benches include "You're born, you're dying, you're dead. If your relatives are cheap they get you a bench. Monty Devenish-Phibbs 1847 - 1910" and "This was one of my favourite views. You can see it better if you move along the bench a bit. Come on, shuffle along. Bit more. More. No, more. There. Now look In commemoration of Barbara Devenish-Phibbs: Mother, wife, nag."
The joke circles back to croydevenishphibbs.co.uk, a site seemingly maintained by a cranky "silver surfer" who is offering rewards for information about his family's many plaques. When Time Out contacted him, he stayed in character (if, indeed, it is a character) perfectly: "As I explain on my home page I'm appealing for information about any of the hundreds of Devenish-Phibbs around Great Britain and sending out rewards for people who pass on details and photographs. Winter is beginning to take its toll and three residents have died in recent weeks. There's a rather macabre sense that The Bingo of Eternity is in session - whose number will be called next? With warm regards, Croy Devenish-Phibbs."
London's benches and the strange case of Croy Devenish-Phibbs
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