The Londoner's guide to pretending you're enjoying the summer

STILL pretending London is wonderful and you’re glad you live here? In this weather? Convince no-one by claiming to enjoy these activities: 

Sit outside a pub by constant traffic

A cold pint outside a pub is one of the joys of summer. In central London this means sitting a few feet from a busy junction with an endless flow of idling taxis and fume-spewing delivery lorries. Refuse to admit chilled and outdoorsy is overwhelmed by drinking in an exhaust testing lab.

Enjoy a picnic in a gang-infested park

Parks are great for picnics and postcode gangs practising their intimidation skills. They may not be proper criminal gangs, just macho, aggressive guys smoking skunk who may be carrying knives. So that’s okay then. As they get high, drunk, bored and rowdy, scuttle home claiming to have loved it. You loved not getting stabbed.

Visit a heaving tourist attraction

Non-London friends can’t pop to Trafalgar Square on a glorious day. You can. Though it’s too busy to really relax and the majesty of Nelson’s Column is somewhat undermined by one-legged pigeons and topless blokes swigging lager. And all the f**king Yodas and knobheads taking photos and the constant worry of getting your bag nicked.

Endure the Tube

Not a suggested recreational activity, but stifling heat and enforced intimacy with sweatier-than-usual scum are necessary if you want to go anywhere. A keen Londoner can find a benefit, eg ‘There was a busker with a lute!’, when feral urban minstrels should be exterminated like rats.

Go for a fancy ice cream

Of course, London has the best ice cream parlours. But it turns out there’s a limit to how excited you can get about ice cream, even if there are 200 flavours and toppings range from flaked gold to unicorn spunk. Grit your teeth as you realise a cone costs 12 quid and you’d have been happy with a Solero.

Visit the London Eye

And gormlessly discover every single tourist is doing that and booked three months ago, which you haven’t. You can easily pretend you’ve been on it; say ‘The view is incredible’ and nobody will ask any questions. Your mates won’t care anyway. They just wish you’d shut the f**k up about London.

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How to endure being stuck behind a slow walker

TRYING to get somewhere? Stuck a human cosplaying as a tortoise? Survive the ordeal with these tips:

Try to overtake

Deal with the problem by taking action. Instead of trudging behind a slow walker, put an end to your misery by nipping past them while muttering ‘f**ksake’. Unless, like most of their kind, they’ve honed their instincts and somehow manage to take up the entire pavement.

Practice empathy

Take this opportunity to put yourself in a slow walker’s shoes. You’ve got time. Perhaps they have aching legs, or they’re fatigued from a tough day’s work? It could be nobody’s rudely asked them to get out of the f**king way before? Explore whether the latter is true by barking those words at them yourself.

Resist violence

Like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, you’re suffering but must resist violent action. While it would get you somewhere in a literal sense, knocking the blocker to the ground could land you in court. The judge and jury, given their likely age, could be dodderers themselves and you’ll find yourself speedwalking in prison.

Go to your happy place

Imagining a place that makes you feel calm is the perfect way to get through harrowing situations like plodding behind a person trudging at glacial speed. Oceans and forests are popular happy places, but your dream location of the sofa in front of your telly is also acceptable. Concentrate and really try to picture the arse groove you’ve made.

Find a different route

It’s important to know when to admit defeat. If it doesn’t look like the slow walker is going to turn off any time soon, plot a different route that’s a mile further that you can stride along full-tilt and get there quicker. Though it’s only a matter of time until you get stuck behind another. Maybe you’re the problem?