Dead tourists

I have a theory about the 70 tourists who were killed in Egypt earlier on this week. It’s easy to blame the usual Islamic fundamentalists, but my theory would be that the Luxorites just got pissed off with enormous hordes of dumb foreigners wandering round their city, and decided to take the direct route to…well, to quote that fine philosopher T.Bickle, “Someday a rain’s gonna come and wash the scum off the streets”.

I fervently pray that someone does something similar here, and if I knew their address, would even write to the Islamic Jihad committee (or whatever they’re called), and hint that London is a hotbed of seething Western decadence, worthy of being put to the sword. And the centre of this evil empire is Leicester Square, which you could safely napalm and not even touch anyone with a London bank account. In fact, pretty much anywhere in Zone 1 would do — chalk up another reason why South London is superior to North London, any tourist who ventures down here is embarking on a trip which makes ‘Heart of Darkness’ look like a ride at EuroDisney.

“But think of the damage to the economy”, I hear you whine. Well, let’s look at the businesses most likely to go under if we practiced a little ethnic cleansing:

  • Shops that sell plastic policemen’s helmets
  • Theme restaurants — the Rainforest Cafe, I *ask* you! Bring on Belsen King…
  • Most of Covent Garden
  • Rock Circus and Madam Tussaud’s
  • English language schools
  • Fleabag hotels charging fifty quid a night
  • Europa Food Stores

With regard to the last, can someone explain to me why a loaf of bread should be twice as expensive because you’re buying it near Trafalgar Square. And don’t give me that ‘rent’ bullshit; neither HMV, Books Etc nor anyone else feel the need to jack their prices up. But that really deserves an entire rant to itself. Suffice it to say that I fail to be overly heartbroken at the prospect of any of these places biting the dust.

When the Libyans and friends were blowing up American planes, life in London was great, because tourism dropped so much. You could shop, eat, live in comfort, even go to the theatre if you wanted (though, let’s face it, only tourists do that sort of thing). And I still treasure memories of walking through a deserted Camden Town just after the IRA set off a bomb there — though admittedly those memories are mostly ones of fear and panic because I was carrying a suitcase of ‘questionable’ video tapes through an area where there were more police than pedestrians.

But that’s still preferable to thoughts of “get out of the way, you STUPID tourist”, as they stand on the wrong side of the escalators on the tube, then when they get to the top, fumble around in their bum bags for their one-day Travelcards, seemingly surprised by the presence of a ticket barrier LIKE THERE IS AT EVERY OTHER GODDAMN TUBE STATION! And after they get through, they don’t move smartly away, but hover around, blocking it up as they wait for their friends. This is just one facet of London life, a single area that they make unbearable.

It’s all an interesting exercise in divisive intelligence. If one tourist has an IQ of N, then two will have a *combined* intelligence of N. So will three. Or five. Or twenty. Get enough, and you have something which would lose at Trivial Pursuit to a dish of penicillin. So, pretty please, I’m begging any terrorist groups who feel a need to kill tourists. Come to London. Shoot all you want. Just don’t stand on the wrong side of the escalators…