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“Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble,” reads an article in the Vancouver Sun, as, thanks to the work of an unknown prankster, only hours after it is first turned on, Vancouver’s brand-new courthouse fountain begins overflowing with bubbles.
“For months, workmen as far away as Italy have toiled on Vancouver’s courthouse fountain,” the paper declares. “Thursday night, Premier W.A.C. Bennett went to the trouble of unveiling it in a rainstorm. And then, two hours and twenty minutes later came the bubbles. A prankster dumped in a packet of detergent and the bubbles came thick and fast as foaming suds flew in every direction,” the paper continues, “and thick foam covered the cloverleaf surface of the water at the bottom of the fountain. The fountain lathered until it was shut off late in the evening, and police were asked to give special attention to the fountain for the next few weeks to prevent any further acts of vandalism.”
The plans for the “controversial” courthouse fountain (known officially as the B.C. Centennial Fountain) have been kept secret throughout the construction process, and the fountain itself has cost the provincial government roughly $250,000 to build. According to official reports, the “symbolic twin-pillar centrepiece” is “meant to represent mankind rising from the sea and depicts gods of Celtic mythology.” Its features include “built-in filters” which are designed to remove any additives, including dyes.
Only a small crowd gathers to watch the unveiling, owing to the torrential rainstorm beating down upon them, and, owing to the turnout which is owing to the rainstorm, Premier Bennett refrains from making a speech.
“Give it a cheer!” shouts Mayor Bill Rathie. “It’s one of the wonders of the western world.”
“Haven’t we got enough water already?” retorts a woman under an umbrella.
Her male companion nods.
“It would be better if they’d put in a big fireplace and held a wiener roast.”
IMAGE: Courthouse Centennial Fountain under construction, circa 1966. Note the parking lot on the future site of Pacific Centre. Image courtesy of the Vancouver Public Library.