After the recent deployment of troops into Mali to counter Islamist rebels it has revealed a somewhat questionable grasp of geography and, more worryingly, reality among the general public.
The Average Joe on the street and even Excellent John for that matter have been expressing their utter shock at the nation's city, Timbuktu, being an ACTUAL place.
John Jujitsu exclaimed, "Say whaaaaaaaaat! Timbuktu's for real, eesh. Next you'll be telling me Narnia's fictional."
Debbie Pianoface chimed in, "From here to Timbuktu, that's the saying isn't it. So what we're actually saying when using that cliche is 'from here to Western Africa', definitely not the same ring to it. Infact when I heard someone say Timbuktu I thought they were just speaking Swahili, which I also thought was a made up word for talking nonsense."
Clive Kumquat commented, "Waw, waw and furthermore - waw. I always thought it was totally made up, I mean it sounds totally made up, I totally can't believe it's not totally made up. Swaziland too haha that's obviously just like Switzerland but totally made up, right?"
"Waw, my world has been turned upside down."
Or the proper way up if you're being pedantic Clive.
Michael Draught-Excluder was also shooting the breeze, and had a lengthy anecdote for us. Here it is. Now. Go! "Well I remember being told from my Mother that she would "kick my arse from here to Timbuktu" which made it seem like just a handy makey-up word which aided her unbridled rage and signified that she would never stop kicking my arse. But as it turns out she would have stopped kicking my arse in Western Africa.
"Why she needs to kick my arse whilst travelling is puzzling though, I mean even if she kicked my arse so hard it propelled me forward we would eventually reach a coastline and water where surely pragmatism would win out and she would just turn me round and kick my arse all the way back home. No? I mean she is a pragmatist, albeit a violently unhinged one."
Finally Martin Barstool pulled up and remarked "Transylvania that was one I had up there with Timbuktu as total nonsense, where Dracula lived and all that but would you Adam and Eve it it's only a place in bleedin' Romania! Wherever that is."
"And Bombay's a place in India! Named after a spicy nut mix, who'd have thunk it!"
"So many spoof cities and places. I'm just grateful for a serious article to shed light on these things. This site is called The what!? So this is a spoof article spoofing the spoof nature of certain actual cities with spoof associations? Jesus Christ I don't know what to believe now!"
Well don't start with him.