‘Get ahead of the games’, an excitable Boris Johnson booms over the tube’s tannoy system as if part of some unpublished farcical Orwellian fanfiction. Public service propaganda is forced in front of you with a similar message. Much like Johnson, it waffles, but can be cut down to a single bone of contention; whether or not you really need to use the tube to get to work.
Who exactly is all this targeting? Well, apparently there are thousands of commuters who use the underground unnecessarily – especially in the early hours of the morning. No doubt they cannot resist the rush of being forced into close proximity with someone with a poor understanding of personal hygiene. Or perhaps it is the excitement of guessing whether or not their line will actually be running a service. What fun they must have finding an alternative route that is not also subject to signal failures!
This must be why so many Londoners have avoided walking to work for so long. Luckily, Boris has been on hand to let them know them that giving up the tube is simply a sacrifice they will have to make as it is going to get rather busy indeed.
For those who are genuinely unable to make alternative arrangements the tube will still be running. In order to transport tourists looking for a little of what the Americans like to call ‘authenticity’, would-be passengers have been told it will faithfully recreate an antiquated London underground of a bygone era in which trains regularly break down mid-journey and a sub-par ventilation system is in place.
Although an oxygen supply may occasionally be too much to ask for, visitors can be reassured that advertising will not foresake them at any point during their journeys. The corporate sponsors of the Olympics will have a presence in the city both above and below ground, encouraging our guests to embrace this festival of sport by indulging in a Big Mac or a Coke.
So get ready for the games by making sure you plan ahead! Incidentally, South West trains have just started telling their customers to piss off – sorry that should read; South West trains have just started encouraging their customers to ‘get ahead of the games’. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to do just that. Sod all this cynicism! I can’t wait for my first 14 hour walk from Reading to begin.