The Northerner’s Guide to London | Part 3
As you head down from the north on the train, you will notice that it gets busier and busier the closer you get to London. These people are called commuters; they are here for the twice daily herding. Between the hours of 07:30-09:30 and 17:00-20:00 commuters are herded to and from trains, through underground passages and along causeways. After 09:30, commuters are free to do as they please. Many have chosen to work in London so that they don’t have to travel between herdings and work. At 17:00 the last herding of the day starts. The evening herding is always busier than the morning herding, and to accommodate this, the shepherds will often cancel train services. There is always a big cheer when this happens. As an outside observer to the herding, you will be required to place luggage or personal items in isles and on seats, clog up ticket barriers, stand on the left on escalators and take up as much space as you can in lifts.
While on foot in London, you will come across a great many people who will try to give you free newspapers. This is a trick and you should not accept anything from these people. They are known as the Independent Documenters of Indisputable Or Transient Statements, or IDIOTS. The Idiots are controlled by the 9th Viscount of Rothermere, who is a wizard, and has had control over their very lives since the day they set foot on this earth. Over the years, many people have tried to destroy the connection between the Viscount and the Idiots, but to no avail. Should you accept anything from one of these idiots then you lay yourself open to the Viscount, paving the way for him to steal your heart. He’ll mash it and pulp it into a fine ink and use it to print lonely-hearts columns in the back of the next edition.
Should you tire of walking, there are a few other ways to get around this great city. By far the most economical, and the most common, is to steal a car, but should you come over all green then you could try hiring a Barclays Bicycle. As you might expect, a Barclays Bicycle is subject to a satisfactory credit and criminal background check, should you pass this then you’re well on your way to racking up literally miles of interest. The first 10 metres are interest free, but for every 10 metres after that you will incur a 30% interest rate. Meaning that for every 10 metres you cycle, you actually only travel 7 metres.
Should you not have the stomach to steal a car, nor the financial means to pass a credit check then you could try traveling by bus. Busses in London are very much like taxis, no matter where you are you simply flag down a passing bus and the driver will happily stop. However before doing this you need to visit a fishmonger. All good fishmongers will sell Oysters, but to secure your place on a bus you need to choose the biggest, oiliest, smelliest Oyster you can find. You will suffer great humiliation should you attempt to get on a bus with an under-ripe Oyster. Assuming you have chosen a sufficiently ripe Oyster and have secured passage on a passing bus, you, being an outsider, are entitled to sit wherever you please.