Londoners are a timid breed, really. Mild, too. If the people of the world were a curry, Londoners would probably be the chicken Korma. However, say the wrong thing to a Londoner, or hit them with the wrong announcement, and they’ll go straight from 0 to Vindaloo reeeeeal quick.
1) ‘Can you spare a minute of your time?’
I’m talking specifically about those street promoters that make it their business to get in your way. You can’t walk round them, you can’t avoid looking at them. Oh no, now you’ve made eye contact… Like staring at Medusa, you’ve frozen to stone and suddenly they’re asking if you can spare a moment of your time. Absolutely not. Well technically yes, but you hate having to talk to strangers.
2) ‘Planned engineering works’
Well there goes your weekend. You had so much planned. Garden parties, friends’ birthdays, evening drinks, charity fun runs. Nope, not gonna happen. It’d take you three buses, a taxi and a donkey to get to wherever you need to go. Maybe you could just walk it? Or give up on your social life for the next few days.
3) ‘Unexpected Item in Bagging Area’
The whole reason I go to the self-service checkout is to avoid human contact/attention. Like all other Londoners out there, it terrifies me. Suddenly, I’ve placed my courgette on the wrong bit of unmarked metal, and now red sirens are flashing and everyone is staring at me. An assistant breathes down my neck and leans all over me to eventually end the humiliation. What torture.
4) ‘The Destination of This Train Has Now Changed’
That’s cool, I only boarded the train for the fun of riding around on the underground. I don’t really mind where I go. LOL JK. I am fuming. Any Londoner will quake in their boots at the sound of unexpected change to their journey. It’s change, and if there’s one thing a Londoner hates, it’s change. Please don’t make me edit my journey route, my morning coffee, my 11am Facebook procrastination session.
5) ‘The WiFi is down’
It starts as a rumour. A vague murmum from a colleague across the office. ‘Is the WiFi down?’ ‘Your internet alright guys?’ ‘Mine’s playing up.’ Then, one or two more pipe up. Derek at the end of the row who’s never spoken chips in: ‘yep, nothing.’ Widespread hysteria hits, wild ideas of tethering phones get bounded about, some even start to suggest upping sticks and moving to an internet cafe. After an eternity (5 minutes), normality is inevitably restored.
6) ‘Where did you 2 lovebirds meet?’
Argh, panic. We met at a, erm, ballroom dance. He was my Prince Charming and I was his Tinderella. Huh? What? Cinderella, I said Cinderella. HAHAHA nooo we didn’t meet on Tinder. Definitely not Tinder… Give it up guys, the game is gone. Love at First Sight is now Love at First Swipe. Those writing ‘let’s just pretend we met at a bar’ on your Tinder profiles: who are you kidding?