Hail to the gimp!

Last night was our company Christmas party at some swanky club in Leicester Square.

I am not a great fan of such places and I only ever go to them for company parties.

One of the reasons for disliking them is that they insist of having a toilet gimp (or toilet gimpette in the ladies).

You know, someone who hangs around in the toilet handing you soap and paper towels and offering to spray you with some cheap aftershave.

It seems from talking to various people that not everyone is clear about the purpose of the toilet gimp.

A common question is “Why does this place insist on having a toilet gimp?”. And the answer of course is that they don’t.

The gimp pays them for the privilege of hanging around in their toilet. He is expecting to make the money back through tips and his continued presence indicates the profitability of the work.

There are many approaches to the gimp situation.

Some people pay out of guilt.

Some don’t wash their hands (the thinking being that if they don’t use the facilities they don’t need to pay).

Some cut down on their toilet breaks, such is their fear of the gimp.

I personally make the most of the gimp’s offering, I don’t tip and I feel no guilt. This is my attempt to drive them out of business of course.

A friend of mine talks to them, finds out where they are from and a little bit about them (you know, what do they do when they’re not hanging around in toilets etc). He even gives pep talks to gimps that aren’t trying very hard. Tells them to buck up their ideas if they want to earn good tips.

The last two gimps I have seen didn’t seem to be cut out for the job, their hearts really weren’t in it.

They both started well, but by the end of the evening just sat in the corner looking sad and just waving towards the paper towels instead of handing them out. It’s pretty sad to see but what can you say to motivate someone in those situations.

Asking them “What’s wrong?” might seem like a good idea, but remember, the guy hangs around toilets for a living, do you really need to ask him what’s wrong?

Best thing to do in that situation is to act like they don’t exist so as not to bring attention to their plight.

After all, it’s not like they wake up in the morning, look themselves in the mirror and say “I’m going to be the bestest toilet gimp ever!”.

Ok, we stink

Is it just me or does London absolutely reek when it gets hot?

I walked through Lisle Street in Chinatown today and the council were out picking up the rubbish.

As I walked past their truck a wave of hot foul air hit me and I almost chundered (not that the place would have looked any worse for it, it’s filthy).

It never smelt this bad in other warm cities I have been in, is London just filthier?

Sunburned with tired feet

Went for a walk along the South Bank yesterday from London Bridge to Waterloo.

Discovered a whole part of London that I didn’t know existed. The whole experience felt very continental.

Dropped into the Tate Modern, took this photo from inside looking through the curtains out over the Thames.

Saw blockhead too.

Crap pub

I was thrown out of a pub the other day.

Not for being rowdy, or drunk, or misbehaving in any way in fact.

At lunch yesterday some colleagues and myself went to The Sussex in Covent Garden for lunch.

As soon as we entered the barmaid came over and told us we had to leave.

She said they didn’t allow more than four men in at a time (there were six of us).

We all laughed at her joke and went to sit down, then she said she was being serious.

They only had one bouncer and because of that they only allowed four men in at a time.

To emphasise the stupidity of this I should point out that it was a Thursday lunchtime and the place was deserted.

Also, there was no bouncer on the door during the day anyway.

We laughed some more anyway, and told her we used to come here for lunch with about twelve of us every Friday for most of last year.

She then looked us up and down and said that as we didn’t look like trouble we could stay.

But she’d pissed on her chips by now, we were all too offended to want to stay.

So we left and went somewhere else.

Never wanted to eat their crappy food anyway, bastards!

Guerilla advertising

Read about the fake poems on the underground over at not.so.soft and last night on the way home saw one too.

I was just scanning the tube ads in an inebriated stupor (as you do after drinking five pints) and the word Esso jumped out at me.

I re-scanned and saw that what I had previously dismissed as a poem was in fact an anti-Bush/Esso rant based on Tyger Tyger, it even had an apology to William Blake where they normally show the copyright info.

I can’t recall the wording now but it was vaguely humourous in a sub-O’ level manner.

Hats off to the cleverness of the idea and the execution of it though.

Congestion Charge working for you?

I saw my first post Congestion Charge traffic jam today.

Long Acre in Covent Garden was completely blocked this lunch-time – as it has been most lunch-times pre congestion charging in fact.

Central London was deserted of cars last Monday, then on Tuesday we saw a few, Wednesday some more, by Friday it looked almost the same as ever, and today it seems nothing has changed.

Of course, this is one person’s (highly subjective) observation, I’m sure traffic will have decreased overall as the car drivers who can easily switch to public transport have done so.

Be very interested to see the results of a proper objective study of it all – my bet is that the impact will be marginal.

Oh, until they start charging £10 a day that is. 😉