after the Lord Mayor's show
From the proverb "After the Lord Mayor's show comes the dust-cart" (or "donkey-cart", or "shit-cart"). Bringing up the rear of the Lord Mayor's Show is a team to clean the manure of the pageant's horses.
- (idiomatic) Said of a disappointing or mundane event occurring straight after an exciting, magnificent, or triumphal event.
1864, George Waters, Indian gleanings and thoughts of the past, G.H. Windeyer, Chatham, page 154:
- as is usual on all such occasions, after gaiety comes squalor; or, as we observe in respect to the annual pageant of the City of London that "after the Lord Mayor's Show comes a,—donkey-cart,
1995 December 10, Clem Thomas, “White hot Swansea”, in The Independent (UK):
- The All Whites came into this match hotfoot from their stunning victory over Castres last Tuesday which took them into the semi-final of the prototype European Cup. ... For a while it looked as if it might be a case of after the Lord Mayor's show as Swansea struggled with one of their dozy moods, against Treorchy.
- 1986 Eric Partridge, Paul Beale A dictionary of catch phrases: British and American, from the sixteenth century to the present day (Routledge, 2nd edition) ISBN 041505916X