Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Street farting man

Contrary to popular belief the streets of London aren’t paved with gold, they’re paved with people. Lots and lots of people. Crowds of ‘em. Everywhere you turn, people, people, people. Hustling, bustling, nudging, pushing, shunting. Shoppers, shoplifters, loiterers, free newspaper thrusters, clipboard-wielding charity muggers, chain-gangs of Hari Krishnas, clumps of bewildered out-of-towners, Big Issue sellers, traffic wardens, truants, God botherers, slack-jawed shopgirls, media tossers, bike couriers, Armadas of babbling Spanish schoolkids and a whole host of other characters whose sole purpose in life seems to be to stand on your toes and generally get in your way. London is like one giant film set, and 7 million of us have been cast to play the part of ‘man in crowd’. It’s easy to become anonymous in London. You’re just another blobby face among many. Which is wonderful when you really need to fart. You can just let one go, and then go. A little jink here, a side-step there, quick turn of pace and you’ve put a dozen shoppers and a coachload of Joseph fans from Barnsley between yourself and your lingering stink. As you nonchalantly stride up the street like the Artful Dodger, you’ll leave a small mob in your wake, wrinkling their noses and eying each other accusingly. They’ll never know it was you. You're nowhere near the scene of the crime, you’re long gone, one more nameless, faceless, blameless bobbing head on Oxford Street. And if you need to trump again, you simply repeat the process – parp, jink, side-step, pace. So next time you’re out and about and you feel those all too familiar rumblings, just remember, there’s safety in numbers.