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Top five annoying things in London

Eddy Frankel

Nathan James Page

1. Months with weird paydays

The week before payday is the worst. How are you meant to survive on just a tub of hummus and three mouldy pitas? But every once in a while, the universe conspires against you, and payday, for some ungodly reason, is a Monday. Forget fun, forget the pub, forget brunch. Instead, you spend the weekend turning the toaster upside down for crumbs and licking the sideboard for dust. At one point, you even consider attempting to make your own booze in the toilet cistern, like they do in prison. Don’t. Toilet Duck vodka is not nice.

2. Friends in Zone 6

The minute your friends decide to pop off to the middle of Zone 6 with a parent-gifted deposit for a bungalow, you know it’s over. It’s not just the two-and-a-half hour Sunday tube journey to see them that’s the problem. It’s not even the horrifying ‘local’ pub they’re so proud of because it’s ‘authentic’, even though half the clientele is literally dead. It’s the fact, that once they move out there, they are moments away from being people who say things like, ‘We’re pregnant!’ Yeah, the worst people.

Nathan James Page

3. People who say 'When a man is tired of London...'

Fact: you are never more than ten feet away from someone who will respond to any complaint about the city with, ‘Weeell, as dear Oscar Wilde said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life!”’ But let’s face it, things in this town can be shit. Did Oscar Wilde have to pay £750pcm for a room in Morden? Did he have to take the Northern Line at rush hour to a job in accounts while his boss gets driven in from the quaint village of Massive Bellend in Hertfordshire? No, he fucking didn’t. And nor did Samuel Johnson, who actually said the thing in the first place.

4. Buses terminating early

Nothing makes you realise that life in London is a massive, unbearable, soul-destroying lie like a bus terminating early. Why do buses even have destinations? They should just say: ‘Somewhere near-ish where you want to go, unless I can’t be bothered, in which case, boo hoo.’ True story: an old Chinese man once vomited all over my jacket on the N29 at 2am. The vomit was so copious and so pungent that the bus driver decided it was a health-and-safety issue and kicked everyone off early. I still have that jacket.

Nathan James Page

5. Rail replacement services

If a bus is an adequate rail replacement, then this half-eaten, quarter-digested Greggs sausage roll that I found in the street should be an adequate Travelcard replacement. If you get to substitute my expensive transport with inferior alternatives, I get to do the same with my payment.

By Eddy Frankel, who found writing this to be the most annoying thing of all.

Illustrations: Nathan James Page

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