Thursday, 13 April 2006

Join Us

I’m starting a campaign. I hope that people will join me. I want London to be retaken by Londoners. The only people that go to the centre of town these days are tourists, day-trippers, sightseers. Londoners don’t go to town anymore except to pass out in the pubs and clubs. The centre of town is somewhere Londoners go to be seen rather than to see.
Londoners are creature of habits. I have trouble getting friends from one part of town to meet up in another unless it’s Covent Garden or Leicester Square or somewhere else where a pint of beer costs nearer four pounds than three. London has developed cities within cities.
I mention all this to John who suggests that a snappy name is required for my campaign. “What you could do is persuade all chefs, food vendors and other purveyors of consumable goods that they should not sell to tourists.” If I was totally unable to see his irony, it became evident once he spreads his arms and announces to all and sundry that the inaugural meeting of the Campaign to Under Nourish Tourists is about to commence.
“But I stand by my original point.”
“Which was what?” asks John. “That there are too many tourists in London, that locals don’t go to the touristy areas?”
“That is how it would exist in its simplest form. I’m not planning a campaign of terrorism, all I want people to do is to make more of the place that they live in.”
I have these ideas from time to time, they seem to make perfect sense to me. It is only when I try to communicate them to other people that they begin to suffer from a lack of common sense. Like every other former student in history, I was in a college band for three weeks during which time I tried to persuade my fellow band members that they ought to play a song I’d written. Sadly, the song proceeded to sound like the theme tune from the Magic Roundabout as opposed to the radical tune bursting with vitality that lingered inside my head. I should be able to communicate my ideas more clearly being a teacher, but I suppose it is easier to impress my brain than anyone else.
Still thinking about my services to the tourist industry, John looks at me with a combination of sympathy and pity across the tops of two beers.