In case you missed it, the United Kingdom is currently going through its second Prime Minister resignation, after Liz Truss announced her intention to vacate No 10 Downing Street. We understand that not everyone will be super familiar with UK politics, which might make it even more confusing to see plenty of memes and jokes made on social media about… a head of lettuce? Take for example the following:
What a great day to be a lettuce— Aldi Stores UK (@AldiUK) October 20, 2022
“We now go live to 10 Downing Street.” pic.twitter.com/ZdF9UgF4KK— Amanda (@Pandamoanimum) October 20, 2022
flatmate has just asked me whether i think the lettuce voted leaf or romaine in the brexit referendum and im frankly furious at how funny i found it— Ben Smoke (@bencsmoke) October 20, 2022
🟢 Lettuce GAIN from Con— Stats for Lefties (@LeftieStats) October 20, 2022
the lettuce pic.twitter.com/dn9PKhbJLc— James Felton (@JimMFelton) October 20, 2022
Well as it turns out, it’s a joke nearly a week in the making. It originated from an 11 Oct article in The Economist, which said that due to the turmoil Truss’ government had been enduring and the 10 days of mourning the late Queen Elizabeth II, Truss really only enjoyed roughly seven days in control of the country, which is ‘roughly the shelf-life of a lettuce’.
The British tabloid newspaper Daily Star would then take this throwaway joke and turn in on its head, starting a livestream on YouTube on 14 Oct depicting a lettuce with the question ‘Will Liz Truss outlast this lettuce?’ The gag continued for days, with someone even putting on a blonde wig, glasses, hands and feet, some food and even a framed photo of the now-former Prime Minister herself.
Incredibly, with Truss announcing her resignation earlier today, the lettuce won, with the photo of Truss now facing down and the Daily Star adding some celebratory booze to the livestream. At one point after Truss resigned, there were nearly 20,000 people tuning in to the ball of leafy roughage. A regular head of lettuce will last anywhere between a week to 10 days in a fridge, but Truss seemingly had the advantage here as the Daily Star’s lettuce was just placed unguarded on a table with a wig on, presumably somewhere in its office.
At one point it even seemed like Truss would win, as she fought back against Opposition MPs in the UK parliament, claiming that she was ‘a fighter and not a quitter’, only to fall following a week of controversy in her government, ranging from ministerial resignations and mutiny in her party. Alas, after 45 days in office, Truss would resign while the lettuce remains fresh enough for a salad.