LONDON (Rotters) -- Only a week after a Royal Parks spokesman's announcement that the costly (£3.6m) trouble-plagued Hyde Park fountain dedicated to Princess Diana was being demolished for another, more cost-effective model, delighted visitors were given a first look at its replacement.
The new memorial cost only a fraction of what its predecessor did and is, according to Royal Parks spokesperson Nova Vicodin, "a much more honest representation of the Princess's life. It shows not only the hurdles she had to endure, but the high point of her career in public service as well."
Noticeably absent from the event was Queen Elizabeth, who was honoring a prior commitment to Princess Michael of Kent's Bundles for Bigots charity drive. The aged monarch sent a video recording of the speech she gave when the original memorial was presented to the public last year instead.
Gone is the slippery granite ring, replaced with a striking free-form sculpture by an anonymous Soho artist, and an exact replica of the Angola minefield the former Princess of Wales defused singlehandedly following her much-publicized divorce from Prince Charles.
The centrepiece of the imposing sculpture features a thick plank of solid English oak, symbolizing Diana's keen intellect. Beside it, three steps leading nowhere represent the stairs she claimed to have flung herself down in several unsuccessful suicide bids; a pink plastic bucket, her celebrated battles with bulimia; and an Oriental rug, her final romance before tragedy overtook her in a Paris tunnel.
Most poignant perhaps is the tampon on the middle step set at an angle facing due north, a nod to the intrusive and debilitating element of Mrs. Camilla Porker-Bowels, whose ongoing affair with the Prince of Wales ended Diana's fairy tale romance which peaked in a landmark 1981 wedding that captured the world's imagination.
Instead of being asked to paddle in a diseased ditch festooned with dead leaves and fecal matter, visitors are now encouraged to try their hand at locating live landmines with broomsticks while wearing obligatory plastic face shield, white capri pants and open-toe shoes.
London's Mayor Ken Livingstone, one of many incidental guests present at the unveiling, was observed shoving several small children aside to pose for photographs in the minefield. Pandemonium ensued when he accidentally jumped upon one of the explosive devices.
Livingstone was seen being led from the field in six separate pieces, but an announcement from his office shortly after the sobering incident indicated there was no cause for alarm nor would there be a disruption in his official duties, as his mouth was left intact.
"He will be right back to inciting violence and American-bashing before you can say 'brownshirt,'" a spokesman from the mayor's office reassured worried constituents.