4/19/2007

London Logic

Wherein the blogmaster points out a few really rather sensible things the Brits have on the go. This does not include the driving on the wrong side of the road thing. That's crazy.

1. There's no need to look for the stop sign red EXIT signs we're used to here in the Americas. The Brits go with a more sensible green and illustrate how to get the hell out of anywhere fast. Some of them are labelled and those say Way Out. That's smart.

2. Public toilets, what a concept! Calling them toilets rather than washrooms, bathrooms or powder rooms, what a concept! After you pay and pee, some of them self clean! George Michael went into this one and by the time I'd finished a grande Dulce de Leche at the nearby Starbucks, he still hadn't come back out. Please note the sensible spiky nails on top to dissuade pigeons from sitting and shitting on top.


3. In anger at not being allowed to perch, pigeons in London spend much of their time defacing signs to confuse tourists. I wish we had similar signs here that said this or Please be aware that morons may try and share their fries with you, mind your cholestorol.

4. Over the p.a. system on the train to Hampton Court Palace, the following announcement was straightforward enough: Beggars sometimes board trains. Do not encourage them by giving them money. If you see a beggar, please alert a member of staff. Excellent, another way of saying don't feed the pigeons!


5. Doesn't Give Way sound a hell of a lot more charming than Yield? If they just taken it that one step further and put Do Give Way on the sign, I'd be living there already spreading the message of love and gentility.

6. Look Right. Look Left. If you're going to drive on the wrong side of the road, the least you can do is warn the idiot tourists like me. And you do. Thank you. I'm still here because of this.

29 comments:

Coaster Punchman said...

Yeah, well those "Look Right" "Look Left" signs only made things worse. I walked across each street like one of those bobblehead dolls in the back of a car window, hoping that I wouldn't get killed.

Jake's Mom said...

What happened to the pic of you & CP walking across Abbey Road and one of you should have been barefoot.

Valerie said...

The "Look Right" signs are a great idea. When I was in Hong Kong I kept looking the wrong way before I crossed the street.

Bubs said...

Ah yes, they've got those "look right signs" in Ireland as well. I was in Ireland in 1999 as part of a sister cities visit and within an hour of arriving, saved my boss' life by pulling him back to the curb when he stepped off in front of traffic.

I like "give way" too. It's almost romantic.

"jew" "girl" said...

they're a sensible country, aren't they? and they produce such fabulous telly!

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

oh, now i am missing england...

my favourite sign was always dead slow children playing. it took me forever to understand that i was not looking for deceased stupid kids in the street.

The Freelance Cynic said...

Actually if the world ever ended up riding on horseback again England would be one of the only countries that was of the right side of the road to draw it's sword and fight.
The rest of the world based their travelling side on Napoleans left handedness, and if i rememeber correctly it didn't end up to great for him...
I've never heard the begger statement, jealous that you did!

Tanya Espanya said...

"Look Right" is just a bossy way of saying they want to you dress fashionably and be a stylish person.

Dale said...

Why are you leaving out the part where you were drunk the whole time and you have that nervous bobble tic anyway CP?

The other two guys never showed up for the shoot Jake's Mom. And I actually never thought of it and didn't even see Abbey Road. I guess they'll revoke my membership.

They made sense to me Valerie, those cabbies are motivated and don't enjoy stopping if they're not meant to.

In Rome I remember all the tiny one way streets and pulled my friend back a few times from certain Vespa and Smart car death Bubs. You and your gang should have a blog convention in London and we'll all meet up.

Yes and yes again Katie, I believe Dawn French should be the next prime minister.

Sounds like our Slow Children Playing signs here 668. I don't think we use them anymore, eventually the kids launched a lawsuit over the esteem.

On that train ride, it was repeated both ways at least 4 or 5 times Freelance Cynic, I loved it. It was a recorded female voice. Then a guy would come on and say in his non recorded voice, I'm so and so and if you have any problems, I'm in the middle car. Touche on the sword/horse thing.

I don't see why they can't paint that whole thing out Tanya just for clarity! I guess the cleaning up the dead tourist off the road tax would piss everyone off.

Writeprocrastinator said...

Oh, sure, I stopped traveling to England and then they post "look right."

"Give Way?"

Why not "have it your way," while they are at it?

Have a pickle
Have some lettuce
Special orders in the roundabout
Don't upset us...

Flannery Alden said...

That first sign looks like they want you to run headlong into a large white wall.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Those Brits - they have a word for everything, don't they?

Were you ever told to "mind the gap" whilst stepping onto the tube?

Tenacious S said...

Dale, in London they are kind enough to let you know which way to look, but be careful in smaller towns. They do not remind you to "Look right" and I was almost run down by a double-decker bus one day. My bad, I was a tourist outside of London.

Mob said...

The 'way out' signs amused me as well, and I saw a good number of people jogging just like the artists' conception implies.

Allison said...

I like their exit signs much better, and makes more practical sense being in green, than red.

I've seen the 'Look Right. Look Left' ones in Vancouver, perhaps we're catching up with the Brits.

BeckEye said...

And "Do Give Way, Luv" would be even better.

Beth said...

Whenever I visit my British friend, he always holds my arm like I'm a child when we hit crosswalks. Because, yes, I always look the wrong way.

Brilliant post, Bee Boy!

Jill said...

Half of the car accidents in London should be tourist going the wrong way!!
Say you enjoye those toilets too!!

chelene said...

It's an excellent idea but somehow despite the signs I almost bit the dust in front of Harrods - twice. It's amazing to me that I made it out of the country alive and with all my limbs.

Dale said...

A poet, songwriter and procrastinator, you truly are a triple threat WP. Or a threat of some kind.

I did the first few times Flannery but finally figured it out. One lump or two?

This is the part Barbara where I admit that I never took the tube whilst there. A couple of times I was going to and then I'd here that there were big delays.

Never leave the path Ten S! And don't touch that butterfly either.

An amusing and lovable city wasn't it Mob? Charm and beer everywhere!

Is everyone that stoned in Vancouver that they need the signs Allison? I like the green means go thing too!

We should apply to do sign makeovers Beckeye. It'd be lots of fun,luv.

Isn't it funny how just a few decades of habits can get in the way so easily Beth?!

As usual Jill, I have no idea what you're talking about.

Same here Chelene, multiple warnings, looking up down over and under and I still nearly got clocked a couple of times too. Better we're here and talking about it rather than hobbling around on Dancing With The Stars though.

X. Dell said...

I remember seeing those "Way Out" signs, and thinking the place was full of hippies.

The look right thing is completely unnecessary. I started looking right on my very first day in London...right after walking into a moving vehicle.

What they ought to do is tell you right away what they mean by "Mind the gap." There's this loudspeaker blaring it over and over again at Victoria station in an American accent, probably so those of us from the Western Hemisphere understand. But you'd think they would say it in US/Canadian English.

Unless you guys say "mind the gap" too on your subways.

Yas said...

lovely! and when do you go on tour with this "how to travel in England" slide show?

Dale said...

They don't say Mind the Gap on our subways X. Dell but they do have it written on the doors of the trains with a stick figure showing us how to not fall into the space between the train and the platform. In our case, there's barely enough gap to mind. A couple of the regular trains I was on going to Windsor etc did have a significant gap where you had to make an effort to be safe. Sounds like they put you on the right path quickly on day one. Yikes.

Once I get the right soundtrack worked up, I'll be coming to a city near you Yas. Would you like to be the official eyewear sponsor? I'm sure there could be some opportunity for product placement and such.

Molecular Turtle said...

Really like this post. Keep them coming:)

Dale said...

You remain a positive force in the commenting universe Molecular Turtle. Glad you enjoyed it.

Writeprocrastinator said...

"Or a threat of some kind."

Only to goldfish and incontinent Republicans.

Dale said...

A threat just the same W.P. The sharpness of your wit frightens me if that helps add to the list.

Writeprocrastinator said...

"A threat just the same W.P. The sharpness of your wit frightens me if that helps add to the list."

The last I'll say of this subject, I'm sharp as a butterknife in real life. The Internet is easy when you have five minutes to mull each and everything.

Mmmmmm, goldfish...

Dale said...

Mmmmm, the crunchy kind of Goldfish WP? I'm better on paper than in real life but I don't believe it of you.