Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2003 10:27:00 +0100
From: Simon Wistow 
Subject: Re: (xxxx) gone dark

I landed back in England from Munich (My international jetsetter
lifestyle doncha know) and hopped on the train back into London.

Paddington was fucked.

The tube was shut with a wall of people against the gates looking lost.
People seemed aimless. Like Pod People with the master controlling brain
dead or something. The queue for the taxis was an hour long and the
traffic was such that even if you got one it was practically useless.

The buses were full.

I struck out on my own.

The streets seem fuller with people stalking along, vainly craning for
taxis with a mobile (cell, for Americans and other aliens) clamped to
their head. The atmosphere seemed slightly hostile - not the mardi gras
feel that pictures from NY seemed to show. The humidity didn't seem to
help. Perhaps it was because I was so tired, the result of a grand total
of 10 hours sleep over the past 3 days, everything felt slightly ...

I took my destiny into my own hands and decided to walk home.

There is a fatal flaw in London taxis - you can spot them by the yellow
light on top of the black car.  But, at night, the yellow sodium street
lamps reflecting off dark cars looks awfully like a taxi. I saw lots of
people get caught out by that.

I meandered along Marylebone dodging roving herds of people searching
for a bus. Outside Baker Street a crowd of a hundred people surged
towards an empty one that pulled into the stop despite the prominent
"Not in service" signs. Again this feeling of aimlessless - people just
standing around doing nothing, seemingly devoid of free will. Sheeple.
The news had vox pops with various people who had jumped manically
jumped on the bus on The Strand desperate to get anywhere, oblivious to
the fact that the buses terminated 500 meters down the road at Aldwych.
Or the people queing for a bus to get to Waterloo when they coudl have
just walked across the bridge. Or the woman who complained of it taking
2 hours to get from Picadilly to Victoria. A brisk walk of less than 20

I felt good about my pro-active walking stance. So good in fact that I
phoned Mr Batistoni and enquired whether he had ingested of fermented
cereal bi-products already this evening and, if not, would he be a
darling and jump in a car and come and get me.

I was tired. You get lazy when that happens. And the madness was getting
to me. I felt like arming myself with a shotgun and a b-movie
renta-starlet-in-distress and start blasting my way through the hoards.

Just south of Regents Park, in Park Crescent, I plopped down between two
Grecian columns and read and watched the busy road junction and the box
junction blocking morons and the even bigger morons who leaned on the
horn until they other morons moved. What? You think that somehow you can
shift them with sound waves. I resisted the urge to mete out painful
whirling death and, instead, thought about the bottle of Sour Apple
Schnapps that I had nestling between the dirty underpants and weissebier
speckled t-shirts in my ruck sack and how good it would be to crack it 
open right then.

And then Simon arrived.

And I could have kissed him.

the illusion of knowledge without any of the difficult bits