London Lunges: The Barclays Gander

I breathe heavily for at the moment my HEAD is empty indeed. I, Afam am a man of the world. I am immensely delighted and entertained by it. I'm ecstatic at my continued existence as several are not so fortunate as to have arms, legs, no known disability and life. So I strive to find some happiness in every waking moment. Sometimes this is hard, like when you wake up on a flight to find your self being cuddled by someone who could do without food for a year or when you put a lot of effort into a venture and find that it's not as successful as you hoped. Sometimes it's incredibly easy.

Take this random day in London for instance.

It was a Saturday about a week ago. I leaped out of bed at 8am. I can't possibly express to you how bizarre this is. I'm never awake at 8am on a Saturday. It's unheard of. On the days when I do wake up at this ungodly hour I obtain the countenance of a demon. You're probably thinking, "What does he mean when he says he develops the countenance of a demon?" I'll tell you. A dark miasma surrounds me. It swirls around me eager to inflict damage on any passer by. My skin is pale and my eyes are dull and squinty. The Miasma pulls the worst out of me. If you are so unfortunate as to ask me anything that requires more than a nod the answer you'll get will be more sour than orange juice just after you've brushed your teeth.

Where was I? Yes, the sun was shining outside, and even if it wasn't it wouldn't have mattered for my heart itself seemed to have become a mini sun of it's own, beaming amusement, felicity and truly stupendous levels of gaiety upon the general public. I wish you lot had been fortunate enough to have seen me on that day. My joy would have infected you like swine flu.

I threw on some clothes and bolted out of the apartment in Farringdon. I planned to have a little stroll around town but when I saw the the Barclays bicycles lined up on the road like so:
I thought, "Afam you mustn't waste such a delightful opportunity, as an adventurer you must hop on one of these bicycles and ride till your hearts content". That's exactly what I did. To be honest I'd have been delighted with just the average tourist experience but that's not what the universe had in store for me. After about 15 minutes on my bicycle I stumbled upon this.

 Interesting no? In that instant I thought "maybe insanity is a common trend world wide, and maybe London bus drivers are just as bad as our danfo drivers." What cause could a double decker bus have to slam into such a mediocre van? Surely the double decker bus driver must realise that his vehicle is the modern day equivalent of a battalion. It comes as no surprise that that double decker bus was sponsored by vodafone.

A danfo is the Lagosian equivalent of a bus. Having been in one I can testify that it is a miracle that most of them seem to transport a shocking number of people without any harm coming to the majority of them. A Danfo is any insurers worst nightmare. An excursion in one of them is bound to fail any risk assessment test in existence. 

Is it not a delightful creature? You might wonder at the bold and undoubtedly garish design but when looked at through all that smoke pouring from the exhaust, I can assure you  that the colour is quite mild. It becomes a muggy sort of gray.

 I'm not entirely pleased with Vodafone at the moment. I know we didn't think it possible but it seems that they managed to bugger me yet again. One would think that they'd have grown bored of causing me discomfort but I assure you that they haven't. It must be some sort of sport. Let's give this stupid chap who signed a 24 month contract with us a nice slap around the back of his head. I digress...

I carried on riding. At this point I was vaguely amused. I wondered what I would see next. I was already well aware that the day could not possibly be a normal one, that I would be confronted with scenes like this all day long. The next thing I stumbled on was a Barclays advert

 Action!! If you look closely you'll see Barclays scrawled across the board. 

Does anyone know what those things are actually called?

Is it not bizarre that I should happen on a Barclays advert while riding a Barclays bicycle? Unbeknownst to me, I was not riding a Barclays bicycle but a Barclies bicycle.

The Director of the advert interrupted filming because he'd noticed something. He walked over to where I was standing and stared at the bicycle, then stared at me. He did this for about 5 minutes during which I felt like some creature in the zoo. Then he whipped out his iphone and started taking pictures of me and the bicycle. I didn't know why. As he left he said "I like what you've done with the bicycle." I looked down and then it dawned on me. I had ruined the take because Barclays could not possibly run an advert in which one Afam would appear to be calling them liars.

 Above is a scene from the advert. That good looking gentleman gets into that sturdy looking relic of a vehicle and drives off. It occurred to me at that moment that Barclays could hardly be accused of false advertising for that locomotive device is very representative of the sort of service that the Afam household has come to expect from the bank, archaic, sluggish and oddly uncomfortable.

After that I rode down to Hyde Park to enjoy the quiet companionship that Asquith's friendship provide and to continue reading Oliver Twist.

 But even there I would have no rest. Asquith insisted on using me as his model. He proceeded to take the following picture of me.

I was fairly surprised at the result.

On that note I'll love you and leave you.

Happy Days,


Anonymous said...

Afam is certifiably on the lunar scheme of things. I read this with a bottle of beer and was pleasantly tickled.

RESTORED said...

One of your best. I still chuckle when I remember it. I love the picture of the danfo. Maybe you should write one on the history of mass transfer in Lagos. From 'bolekaja' to molue to BRT. O the places you'll go!

Afam said...

What is 'bolekaja'? I will probably write one about nigerian transportation. I just need to be carted around by one of those motored tricycles. I think they're called Keke na Peps

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