CRF Blog

Scotland’s Forth Bridge

by Bill Hayes

In Scotland can stop painting its Forth Rail Bridge, the Los Angeles Times reports that the latest technology makes unnecessary the drudgery of constantly repainting the famous bridge.

Like Sisyphus of ancient Greek myth, condemned by the gods to push a boulder up a hill only to have it roll right back down again, painters would no sooner reach one end of the span than they reputedly had to return to the beginning and start over, their efforts erased by the mischievous Scottish weather.

It was such a famously fruitless and repetitive exercise that, even now, the phrase “like painting the Forth Bridge” is common British parlance for an exasperating, seemingly endless task that must be performed over and over. (See also: U.S. presidential elections.) [more]

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.