Paving Mad, Hungerford Bridge
Complaining to the council can be a frustrating experience as you try and navigate the many winding channels of bureaucracy before you can finally find the right person to speak to, so I salute this persons direct approach in calling to attention a wobbly paving slab on a bridge. However, I think the writer of this lacks a rudimentary understanding of bridge construction techniques in the 21st century ( don’t we all? ) or has played too many platform games, if they think that this slab’s unsteadiness will result in someone falling through the bridge and into the murky, swirling depths of the Thames below. What concerns me even more is that this person has lost out on a potential windfall of thousands of pounds if those adverts I’ve seen on daytime TV are to be believed. In one advert I saw featured a woman who was left unable to work because she had taken a tumble whilst somehow managing to miss a chair she was aiming to sit on. She was awarded over £10,000 and higher insurance premiums for life for essentially forgetting how to sit down. That was just a chair but this is clearly massive neglect from Westminster council which could result in twisted ankles or maybe even death. If she can be rich then so can you. Just make it look like an accident and don’t mention that you saw it here first.
Stranger Danger, Walthamstow Marshes
I used to do this regularly when I was a kid. In supermarkets I’d grab a hand thinking it was one my parents and then find it was a stranger who’d usually be just as shocked as me. It’d all be dealt with a few chuckles and excuse me’s. We’ve all done it, but that was in a more innocent age, before paedophiles lurked behind every bush and down every supermarket aisle. Now paranoia grips parents, children and strangers alike. Parents see everyone as a threat, children expect to be snatched and normal members of the public fear any interaction with a child lest they be burnt at the stake. It is for precisely that reason why I walk around supermarkets with my arms held aloft and slide the basket around with my feet. This has the added bonus of people invariably letting you jump the queue.
Spotted by Chris Barrett
Tensions, Broadway Market
Tensions grow in Hackney among the indigenous population about the ever growing influx of hipsters to the area. One old lady, who didn’t want to be named, told me “I’ve lived in the area my whole life, even the Luftwaffe couldn’t budge me, but now I’m thinking of moving. Well, it’s disgusting what’s happening around here now. My butchers has been turned into pop-up organic soup cafe, Mr Patel no longer stocks Peoples Friend so now I’m being forced to read something called Dizzy and Confused instead and the charity shop’s prices have gone through the roof. Oh and the language! It’s irony this, irony that, I just can’t tell who’s being sincere or not these days. It’s a living nightmare.”
I’m not sure what to make of this. I quite like Broadway Market for a drink or a spot of lunch but I also have a very wise friend who once described a Sunday afternoon on the street as, “an endless parade of people competing with each other to find ever more imaginative ways of looking like a cunt”, which looking about, was a point of view that was hard to dismiss entirely.
Spotted by Murray
Shit Scooter, Wimbledon
This reminds me of the time my parents stopped me turning my room into the bat cave. I’d planned to paint the room black and construct stalagmites and stalactites from papier mache and chicken wire but for what I thought were purely selfish reasons at the time they refused to let me. They knew that I would end up regretting the dank, crunchy underfoot and highly flammable room I’d create for myself. Some things are best left on the drawing board. This scooter is a direct descendent of that kind of idea. I bet the owner had a very different vision in mind when they decided to paint this. Maybe they thought they were creating two wheeled version of Further , the garishly painted bus that drove around the states in the sixties dishing out acid and blowing minds wherever it went. This person has even glued on patches for clothing reading “Fuck You” and “Don’t Even Think About” which are the kind of phrases not normally associated with hippy ideals. Maybe I’m being hard on them. Maybe this is exactly what they dreamed their bike would always look like. If that’s the case they are clearly insane.
Odd Graffiti, Golden Square
Is this a statement or a poorly constructed request? Who knows? Ahhh Soho.
Spotted by Paul Witherden