The Northerner’s Guide To London | Part 2
Contrary to popular opinion, there aren’t actually any tramps in London. Back in ’96, the drinks company Carlsberg started the preliminary steps for their current marketing campaign, “Carlsberg don’t do tramps, but if they did…” by purchasing all of the homeless, licencing and copyrighting them and giving them shelter in Carlsberg approved tube stations. This approach accidentally snowballed into its own perpetual licencing and subsequent relicencing infinite loop. This campaign proved so popular with the middle classes that you will often see groups of them participating in what has become known as the ‘Charity Shop Challenge’. Participants may spend up to £10 in a charity shop of their choice, in an attempt to accurately recreate the look of a Carlsberg Tramp, in the hope of convincing a Carlsberg Tramp Licencing Representative to crown them King, or Queen, of the Carlsberg Tramps, only to reveal themselves shortly afterwards as not of Tramp Pedigree and thereby win the Charity Shop Challenge. Apart from being the height of sophisticated tomfoolery, the Charity Shop Challenge has the added benefit of directly funding charitable organisations.
As you progress deeper into the heart of London, you will enter an area known as the City of London. This is an area that covers no more than 1.1 sq miles yet it is home to 7 billion people. As you might imagine, it is not possible to be nice to everyone of those people who you will meet on a day-to-day basis, in fact it was scientifically proven that it is actually very painful to be nice to everyone you meet when you live in the City of London. As such, in 1872 a law was passed that required all residents of the City of London to be as rude as is humanly possible to all they come across on a daily basis. If you are out and about in the rest of London, and you meet someone who is very rude to you, bear in mind that they may be a former resident of the City of London, and as you know, old habits die hard.
An interesting fact about the River Thames (pronounced ‘Tems”):
‘River’ is actually a misnomer as the Thames isn’t actually a river. In ’93 a joint venture between students from University College London and King’s College London, removed all of the water from the river and replaced it with a holographic version as this was easier to keep clean. However as the year 2000 approached, the fear of the Millennium Bug was so great that the government ordered BT to destroy the River’s internet connection. The fear was that should the Millennium Bug affect the river, the holographic water could leak into the rest of the internet causing a global internet flood, or GIF. Military and civilian services would be completely obliterated by what came to be known as the Huge Thames Tidal Problem, or HTTP. There was opposition to the removal of the internet connection, some people thought that a GIF was exactly the right thing for the internet, cleansing it of all of the filth. However the fear of HTTP was so great that BT elected to remove the connection anyway. As it happens, the Millennium Bug was just a big hoax created by the security firms and nothing happened to the river.