In the middle of 2015 I moved to London for my first job and wrote a few Facebook posts about my new life. As I found some of my friends quoting them at random, I decided to continue documenting my slow descent into madness, culminating in about 10k words worth of rambling. I finally (as of mid-2017) cleaned them up and made them available to a wider audience.
Best viewed like this.
...By about 10am I had made the decision to throw the badminton rackets away. It's amazing how much extra stuff you become willing to let go of when your mission is to pack the contents of a large room into a suitcase that's much smaller than the room. Pure physics, really.
Before that, after a couple of failed rounds of Sokoban, I also had to say goodbye to a sleeping bag that in its rolled-up shape took up half of the suitcase. It only feels like yesterday I picked you up from Argos, I told it as I dropped it off into the clothes donation bin. Leicester won the Premier League on that day. David Cameron was Prime Minister and Hillary Clinton was making her way through the Democratic primaries. I'll miss you, old buddy.
It didn't respond. Probably trying to choke back its tears.
The cocktail shaker used to dispose of random bottles of alcohol in the fridge in a civilised way also will have to stay here. So will all the random cutlery and the massive shelf (yes, we brought a shelf here. No, I'm not taking it with me). So will the ice trays.
Remember that time I forgot to defrost the freezer and you ended up stuck inside a massive block of ice, I ask them. Isn't it ironic? Instead of having ice inside the ice trays, I ended up with ice trays inside of ice. It took me a whole weekend to get you out. Was it worth it?
As I shut the fridge door, I think I hear them say "Retribution". I open the door again and stare at them. Probably nothing.
I take one last glance around the room to make sure I disposed of all incriminating evidence. Minutes later, key handed over, I'm on a train.
Hi, Chicken Cottage on Praed Street here. I haven't seen News from Paddington for about two weeks now and I think I know why (see the attached front page of the Guardian). I dug around in its computer and found these notes which would probably have been parts of the Friday's News from Paddington, but I think this is urgent enough to be posted here in its unfinished form with all the notes and mistakes.
Well well well, dear readers, I hope you enjoyed not having News from Paddington around for one week. Because News from Paddington knows it enjoyed not having you guys around for one week. Welcome to the final month of the year and let's get straight back into it!
This fortnight's edition of News from Paddington is brought to you by Boom Boom! Boom Boom is News from Paddington's neighbour and a Feng Shui master: his primary occupation is what sounds like moving furniture around his room every night in order to ensure his room always has a Northern Luopan aspect, since only then will Qi ride the wind and scatter. Boom Boom also seems to have obtained complete and total enlightenment and often mumbles something to himself ("need to get some chicken", "fucking lights are broken again", "shit"), a habit News from Paddington is intending to also take up.
This fortnight's edition of News from Paddington is also brought to you in partnership with Shure! Shure make earphones with amazing isolation, which is invaluable when sleeping next door to a passionate Feng Shui master.
Turns out, there are many hostels near Kings Cross and also turns out many of them actually claim to not let any guests check in without searching their bags. [TODO: snarky comment about how searching kids' suitcases will protect this country]
[TODO: figure out how to segue into the food section] [TODO: should i tell them about tuesday?]
Hi, I'm News from Paddington and jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz.
News from Paddington went to a database conference last Friday instead of going to work! Going to a conference is basically like going to university, except the lectures are more interesting, filled with swearwords and useful content, and all of the food is free. Five Paddington points out of five.
It's amazing how little it takes to stop a city. Somebody decided to hold the door for a second on the Jubilee Line train at Waterloo one morning and that broke the doors. After staying at the station for 10 minutes and finally moving, the train arrived to a massive crowd of happy commuters at London Bridge (a diligent reader might remember Jubilee Line has doors on some platforms and so people usually queue in front of these doors, except in this case the queues were too long for the platform and evolved into some sort of a multiplayer Snake game without losing their integrity at any point. This did prevent News from Paddington from getting out of the station in less than 10 minutes, though).
News from Paddington steadily keeps approaching legal age as it's already been fourteen weeks since a drunken rant by News from Paddington got out of hand and became News from Paddington.
News from Paddington went to see a film called Crimson Peak. Unsurprisingly, the showing was preceded by half an hour of trailers and advertisements which had more plot twists than the actual film.
"Hi, this is the museum of procrastination. This is where we put your dreams. This is where we put your unfinished novels. This is where we put all the musical instruments you didn't learn how to play. This is where the gym memberships go. Blablabla. Only with HSBC."
"shows things people are terrified of, like not being able to find their phone charger, having somebody share a photo of them on Facebook, having tons of voicemails from their mother, wearing sandals with socks, having a local MP come around. Blablabla. Only on GiffGaff." (News from Paddington thought that everybody else was scared of different things, like their loved ones being slowly dismembered in front of them, limb by limb, as they can do nothing but watch, or losing all their facilities and having to rely on others to feed, bathe, and clothe them, or suffering from depression and their lover breaking up with them, or having their brain infected with a parasitic fungus that slowly turns them into zombies, or realising that their tenants' rent is no longer enough to cover their interest on an interest-only buy-to-let mortgage. Nope. It's sandals and socks.)
Or The Steve Jobs movie! This is Steve Wozniak asking Steve Jobs "you're not an engineer or a designer. Who the hell are you?" and Steve Jobs replying... oh no, cut! This is Steve Jobs getting fired by his board. This is a theatre crowded with people who are slamming their feet on the floor as Steve Jobs unveils a computer. This is some actors saying "oh, he's really important and such a man deserved a film made about him" and "the way he revolutionized our lives... it's...". Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs.
Oh yeah, Crimson Peak. It's a film about some British guys killing people with tea. Tea Paddington points out of five.
Turns out, London has a nightlife. Somebody decided to hold a dance performance on the Northbound Bakerloo line platform at Piccadilly Circus a couple of evenings ago, which then started being accompanied by a station announcement saying "please be reminded that flash photography is forbidden on all London Underground property". News from Paddington consulted with Chicken Cottage on Praed Street who owns a square of land on Praed Street, hence everything above and below it, hence part of the Edgware Road -- Paddington Bakerloo line section. Turns out, flash photography is forbidden on the platforms because drivers who pull into a station are sometimes confused by the flashing lights and think they are an actress at a movie premiere, thus demanding higher salaries.
Vietnamese food week on News from Paddington! Sponsored by Nandos in Croydon! "Nandos in Croydon! Yes, Croydon, but Nandos!"
"...I was visiting a bar there, not unlike this one. They serve beer, not quite as good as this, but close. ... So, I'm sitting there, and in walks the biggest News I have ever seen. Big as shit. Just walks right in like it owns the place. Now, nobody knew quite what to make of it, or quite what to think. There it was and in it walked."
Thank you, Steve Buscemi. Time for the really short flu/cold season edition of News from Paddington, named after what News from Paddington thinks it has after a two-week long paracetamol and ibuprofen binge that presumably keeps the fever and the rest of the pain away. Incidentally, if anyone ever tells you to have anything that is a fancy brand name for any two of those things and also gets offended when you instead pick up the store-branded chemical and calls you a fool, News from Paddington authorizes you to punch them in the face. Please don't mention News from Paddington when you do this -- we've had enough trouble with the Bobajam incident already. Do consider doing the same thing when you're recommended to overdose yourself on Vitamin C because that will only make sure that whoever drinks the piss of the person who drinks your piss will never have scurvy again. Prefer paracetamol to ibuprofen -- as far as News from Paddington knows, stomach lining transplants aren't a thing and liver transplants are. This should not be considered medical advice -- take this with a grain of salt. Incidentally, the jury is still out on gargling with salt.
If you were food, where you would be? That's right, the next section.
Hi, Chicken Cottage on Praed Street here. It's been two days now since I've seen News from Paddington and I haven...
(loud thud, scuffling)
It's time for the vacation edition of News from Paddington, named like that because News from Paddington suddenly realised it has unspent vacation days which will expire at the end of the year!
Meet Steve (name picked at random) whose conversations with his friend News from Paddington overheard as it was walking past them. Steve is a Paddington native and provides multiple valuable insights into Paddington real estate:
"(points at St Mary's Hospital) Meet the ugliest hospital in the world."
"(points at two abandoned dock warehouses by the Paddington Basin) Fuck knows what's in these derelict buildings, but they're probably worth a fortune."
News from Paddington met a Zen master the other day on the Tube. News from Paddington was standing with its back towards the door between the carriages. Some kids asked News from Paddington how to get to Leicester Square, to which News from Paddington responded and continued its journey.
Then News from Paddington heard an "excuse me, can I get through here?" behind it and was surprised to find out that a fat, door-sized kid had opened the door between the carriages (whose main feature is a massive warning sign saying "EMERGENCY USE ONLY RISK OF DEATH IF USED WHILE TRAIN IS MOVING", and yes, the train was moving), walked into the carriage and asked his friends, "Are we there yet?", to which they responded "Nope, two more stops."
Not satisfied with his display of not-giving-a-fuck, the Zen master said "Okay, see you soon!" and left the carriage the same way he came in.
News from Paddington went to Canary Wharf! Canary Wharf is like Singapore meets John Galt. It's like Poplar meets Isle of Dogs. It's like skyscrapers meet sky. It's like Costa meets Starbucks. It's like Charles Tyrwhitt meets Paul Smith. Since most of the buildings in Canary Wharf, including a residential one, are joined together with an underground mall, it is entirely possible to, without ever going outside, be born here, live here, do grocery shopping in a nearby Waitrose, work in one of the several banks, perhaps get married here, have kids here, retire here... When the apocalypse finally strikes, Canary Wharf will just seal itself from the external world and everybody in there will be safe, assuming they're not scared of LIBOR rigging.
Food with News from Paddington, sponsored by News from Paddington's wallet. "News from Paddington's wallet! Please, no more!"
According to various sources, including and limited to the number of files on News from Paddington's computer, today is the 10th anniv... weekiversary of News from Paddington! This edition of News from Paddington is hence a special edition by means of being really short.
Thank you for reading this short edition of News from Paddington. Now it's time for food!
News from Paddington's song of the week is a short informative public service announcement about the anatomy of reptiles.
You are News from Paddington. It is 10:30pm. You enter London Bridge Station after having a nice walk-and-talk with a coworker over London Bridge. Of course, neither of you are drunk. She left you before you walked into the station -- she lives around here. You walk down the escalator on your secret unmarked route that few people know of, sharing approving glances with your fellow revellers. The train approaches, protected by suicide doors. You get in and take your favourite seat: the quarter-metre sized perch at the edge of the carriage. People get in, people get out. They seem to always be able to squeeze past you. You get off at Baker Street. The Bakerloo Line train is standing at the opposite platform, half a minute's walk away from you. If you run, you will make it. But you don't care. You are News from Paddington. A gentleman can walk but never run. As you walk into the train, the doors start beeping. They are about to close. The commuters behind you are running to get on the train. Some of them do. Some of them don't. The train leaves the platform. Minutes later, you arrive to Edgware Road. You leave the train and go up the stairs to the lift. The one on the right is gone, but the one on the left opens its doors to you. You get in and stand in front of the very exit from the lift. You are News from Paddington. You swipe your Oyster card and exit the station. You enter your Headquarters and open up your laptop. There is a file on your desktop. It says...
News from Paddington!
Meanwhile in Meanwhile Gardens...
You are standing on a Tube platform. There is a train approaching and there is another train in 1 minute. Do you 1) pile up into the first train, getting squeezed inside of it more than the British middle class or 2) wait 1 minute for the next train, which comes empty and stays empty because the train in front of it is collecting everybody else?
You are standing on a Tube platform. There is a massive crowd of people by the entrance. The end of the platform is empty. Do you 1) stand in the middle and then pile up into the middle carriage, getting squeezed inside of it more than people who shorted the SP500 before its biggest weekly gain of the year or 2) walk leisurely to the end of the platform and board an almost-empty carriage?
You are standing on a Tube platform. It is 17:30 on a weekday. A train is approaching. Do you 1) pile up into the train, getting squeezed inside of it more than small business owners by the Mafia in 1930s or 2) reevaluate your life choices and decide to never be on the platform again at 17:30 on a weekday?
Just like News from Paddington suspected, Lena's Cafe, Victor's Cafe and Sarah's Cafe, located in various parts of London, are owned by the same person whose name is neither of those.
"Oh yeah, of course! I know you!" -- everyone, meet the head manager of Waitrose on Edgware Road. After the previous time she approved a sale of an exorbitant amount of alcohol to News from Paddington, she now knows News from Paddington and says that every time she approves a sale of an exorbitant amount of alcohol to News from Paddington. Seems like there are very few stores in West London that don't know News from Paddington yet.
Quote of the week: "It fills up faster than you can say 'it fills up faster'"
News from Paddington promised once to keep monitoring the events on London Bridge and that finally paid off last Wednesday as the whole bridge was closed and cordoned by the police, with police boats on the Thames because of a "suspicious package" on the bridge. About half an hour after that, a man exited a police van, walked over to the middle of the bridge, crouched for five minutes and then got picked up by the van and left. The bridge was opened soon after. It is said that the man in question has difficulty travelling by air because his genitalia keep triggering metal detectors.
Did News from Paddington eat this week? Of course it did.
Mixology with News from Paddington, brought to you in partnership with Jecur Organ Transplant Services. "Jecur Organ Transplant Services! When the mind is willing but the flesh is spongy and bruised!"
"Hi, I'm PC Savile from the Metropolitan Police Service. We're looking for News... News from Paddington?"
"What a weird name. Afraid I don't know anyone like that. What happened?"
"Well, we've been forced to arrest some people who were harassing some girls around Chinatown..."
"They kept following them and saying they want to... bobajam?"
"And said that they've been told to not mention News from Paddington?"
"Well, that's terrible, sir, but I've never heard of News from Paddington."
"Alright then, thanks. Oh, do you know of any good places to eat around here?"
"Okay. Well, if you hear anything about News from Paddington, give me a call on this number!"
Damn, that was close! I told you guys to be careful! Oh well, let's see what happened this week.
News from Paddington went to the UCL freshers' fair and pretended to be a student (there is this sweet spot of aging where neither bars nor Universities ID you). The first victim of News from Paddington was the UCL Energy Society, which News from Paddington signed up for as a certain James Smith. If any of the readers know James Smith, a second-year at UCL, please apologize to him on News from Paddington's behalf. As a consolation, he is eligible to be treated to a lunch in Chicken Cottage of value up to £3. News from Paddington recommends an innovative burger from which Chicken Cottage has removed all buns -- it consists of a piece of chicken between two pieces of chicken. It's really good!
News from Paddington then walked around the fair, collecting flyers and making fun of everyone and everything:
-- "Join the scuba diving society!" -- "No, thanks, I'm afraid of water."
-- "Haha, funny, this sheet for the sign language society says 'Sign-up sheet' on it!"
-- "Sign up for the European Society!" -- "Okay!" -- "It's only 5 pounds!" -- "Actually, I forgot my university card at home :("
-- "gives flyer Join the UCL Marxists!" -- "takes flyer, in a Russian accent Thanks, comrade!"
-- "How did you find the Fair? Would you like to fill out this survey?" -- "Sure! gives the nicest answers ever and says 'better than the last year's fair!' in the end"
There was even a stage there! News from Paddington saw the Kendo society. A Kendo spar involves taking turns to 1) yell at the opponent 2) hit them with a stick. The yelling is especially funny when girls do it. This is how News from Paddington sounds like when the alcohol in its fridge runs out.
Then News from Paddington miraculously met the girl it scared off last week with its friends. News from Paddington contemplated saying hi again and seeing if she would give up her hard-earned place in the queue, but decided not to. News from Paddington is really bad with the ladies.
The time has come for supermarkets to start charging for all plastic bags. The time has also come for News from Paddington to start showing the middle finger to the checkout machine and carry all of its shopping without a bag.
News from Paddington, alongside every other room in its accommodation, got a letter! The letter was from News from Foxtons and they were wondering if News from Paddington wanted to rent out its room. News from Paddington likes its room too much to rent it out and doesn't own it anyway.
News from Paddington was sitting in the Tube once with its friend opposite a dodgy-looking guy. News from Paddington then stood up and started walking to exit the carriage. The dodgy-looking guy for some reason stood up and ran away from News from Paddington towards a different exit. When he saw that News from Paddington simply exited the train, he said "Oh come on!" and walked back to his previous seat. Did News from Paddington and its friend look like ticket inspectors? Hopefully.
Next up, it's this week's culinary adventures!
Bartending with News from Paddington! Tired of making Sidecars and trying to dispose of Grand Marnier by pouring it into tea, News from Paddington explored the exciting field of mixology some more.
This edition of News from Paddington was brought to you by Surprise Surprise on Queensway. "Surprise Surprise on Queensway: Surprise Surprise! It's Surprise Surprise!"
(originally from citikey.uk)
"Hi, we're from the Guardian and we're looking for the guy..."
"Sang cheo reur chi ryo hae jur sa ram eo di eopt na ga man hi nwa du da gan kkeunh I’m eops I deot na"
"...that names himself News from Paddington and hasn't been doing his..."
"Sa rang do sa ram do neo mu na do geop na hon ja in ge mu seo wo nan it hyeo jil kka du ryeo wo"
"...duty as a rational economic agent and instead is living in some cheap student place and eating in..."
"Sang cheo reur chi ryo hae jur sa ram eo di eopt na ga man hi nwa du da gan kkeunh I’m eops I deot na"
"...in Chicken Cottage on Praed Street and pricing other people out of aff..."
"Sa rang do sa ram do neo mu na do geop na hon ja in ge mu seo wo nan it hyeo jil kka du ryeo wo"
"affordable parts of London, do you know where he is?"
"No. Also, Edgware Road is not an affordable part of London."
"Okay, thank you!"
Whew! Surprise surprise, it's News from Paddington time again!
It's also time for News from Paddington to disclose a very dark secret. In fact, News from Paddington is usually in no shape on Friday evenings to write News from Paddington and so this edition (as were multiple ones before it) has been written over the course of the whole week.
After a few weeks of not having been to Sainsbury's, News from Paddington finally went there and was rewarded with a 200 Nectar point voucher. Is Sainsbury's scared that after 5 years of productive patronage Paddington perhaps pondered preferring prestigious places? No, News naturally nominates nearer nooks. Also, alliteration.
News from Paddington's work ordered lots of hot dog assembly kits from Herman Ze German for lunch once (Herman Ze German! Our wurst is ze best!) and News from Paddington decided to keep the bucket of dried onions instead of throwing them away at the end. News from Paddington then went out to a bar with its coworkers in the evening and was stopped at the entrance by some bouncers:
"Can I look at your bag, mate?"
"Sure, here you go."
"What the heck is that?"
"That's dried onions."
"What the fuck, is that for your breakfast?"
"Okay, go ahead!"
Good thing they didn't find the mustard bottle!
News from Paddington thinks it has a split personality that awakens when it's asleep. This second personality is most likely a prominent member of some crime syndicate. For example:
Culinary adventures with News from Paddington!
Wanna know how News from Paddington got these scars? News from Paddington tried to jump into a Tube train as the door was closing. It succeeded. The door succeeded too.
In other news, Tube on the weekends is amateur hour. "Covent Garden! Covent Garden!" -- some kids boarding the Piccadilly Line train at Leicester Square (known for being 100 metres away from Covent Garden). "Boy, getting through these ticket gates sure was tough! Better stop right here and have a little rest!" "Goodness, what could 'move down inside the carriage' possibly mean?" "I see this guy is mashing his wallet on this yellow spot and going through the gates, I should do the sa... oh God why are my ribs broken"
News of Paddington's song of the week is this -- especially see 1:48 when the guy goes full-on Scatman.
This edition of News from Paddington was brought to you by Surprise Surprise on Edgware Road. "Surprise Surprise on Edgware Road: Surprise Surprise! It's Surprise Surprise!"
(originally from citikey.uk)
"Hi, we're from the ONS and we're surveying people's preferences in mass media. Do you have a..."
"News from Paddington."
"News from Paddington."
"Okay, and how about..."
"News from Paddington."
"Great, umm, okay, can I have your name and address please? It's so that we can cross-reference the..."
"I'm Chicken Cottage."
"Chicken... Cottage? Is that your... "
Straight from the edge of the world, not where rich people live, but not from the outside of London where actual Londoners live either, where cultures clash, smoke from shisha pipes and roars from Lamborghinis and Bentleys with Kuwait license plates fill the streets, it's News from... Paddington again! Yes, it turns out that Edgware Road is in fact part of Paddington. News from Paddington is currently in the process of claiming a refund from Chicken Cottage Consultancy Services.
More culinary adventures!
And now, for a very special guest, It's Chicken Cottage from Praed Street!
"Hi, Mr Chicken Cottage! How are y..."
"News from Paddington."
"Thank you, Mr Chicken Cottage! And h..."
"It's really good!"
"Hi, I've just moved here, do you know of a good place to eat?"
"Well, there's Praed Street nearby. You could go to the Chicken Cottage there. I heard it's re..."
Hello and welcome to the inaugural edition of News from Edgware Road, formerly known as News from Paddington! Yes, in cooperation with Chicken Cottage Consultancy Services, News from Paddington underwent an extensive re-branding programme that involved being renamed to News from Edgware Road and moving just right to the end of Praed Street where it meets Edgware Road, 2 minutes away from Edgware Road Station. More good news include the fact that everything News from Paddington loved about Paddington (Kenneth from M&S on Edgware Road, Chicken Cottage on Praed Street and ChoZen Noodle on Praed Street) is now paradoxically closer than it used to be. News from Edgware Road's commute now takes 28 minutes door-to-door and a new runbook of where and when to change trains is currently being written!
The headquarters of News from Edgware Road could best be described as a room designed by a person who accidentally used the Seven Deadly Sins as a how-to manual:
LUST: Market it as accommodation for students. 20-year old sophomore girls always stay 20 years old.
GLUTTONY: The room should have everything. Cram a fridge, a microwave, a kettle, a kitchen sink, a wardrobe, a bed, some cupboards etc in the same room.
GREED: Make sure there's a lettings agency occupying the first floor of the building.
SLOTH: All bills, including Internet, electricity, water and council tax, shall be included in the rent.
WRATH: Four rooms shall share one bathroom and a shower. This should cause sufficient wrath in the mornings.
ENVY: Look at all these sports cars you don't own!
PRIDE: Base the building as close to Praed Street as possible.
Culinary Adventures with News from Edgware Road!
News from Edgware Road had a haircut! It was in Costas Barber Shop on Queensway, but News from Edgware Road wasn't cut by Costa(s?), instead being cut by his apprentice who was being really sad that people that were in front of News from Edgware Road in the queue would not take him and instead wait for Costa(s?) and so News from Edgware Road wanted to take pity on him. Costa(s?)'s(?) apprentice's signature move is smashing the scissors against the comb even when there's no point in doing that. But News from Edgware Road survived and lived to collate another edition of News from Edgware Road!
This edition of News from Edgware Road was sponsored by Chicken Cottage Consultancy Services. "Chicken Cottage Consultancy Services! When chickens come home to roost!"
"Excuse me, sir, do you know how to get to Chicken Spot?"
"You mean, Chicken Cottage?"
"No, Chicken Spot. Someone told me it's really go- OH GOD WHY DID YOU STAB ME?!"
"Sorry, my grandmother died today and the only thing humans can do in the face of mortality is laugh, so here goes..."
Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit, it's time for more news from Paddington!
For this week's edition of News from Paddington, we have a special guest, Paddington Brown. Paddington Brown is well known for having invented the brown colour and founded Braun, a consumer goods company.
"Sir, are you aware you're a bear?"
And finally, next week on News from Paddington! A reveal of the new headquarters of News from Paddington! Will News from Paddington stay in Paddington? Or will it become News from somewhere else? Or perhaps it will be something else from Paddington? Maybe News something else Paddington? Find out next Friday! In the meantime, this has been News from Paddington! Stay safe and stay Paddington!
Guess what time it is! It's time to paddle over here for yet another edition of News from Paddington!
It is with great regret that News from Paddington has to announce the death of King William Chilango, founder of Chilango on King William Street and the owner and sole proprietor of King William Street where Chilango on King William Street is located. Mr William Chilango died in a terrible accident during a kayaKING trip with his close friend, Stephen King. In the words of Mr King, the death of Mr William Chilango is "an enormous tragedy. I would like to express my full condolences to Will's family. But hey, that fucker shouldn't have named himself King. There can be only one and I enjoyed taking his lif... wait, are you still recording? Turn that off right now!"
During the search for a new sponsor, News from Paddington spoke to Robert 'Zen' Pirsig. Mr 'Zen' Pirsig is perhaps known best for being the only person who has been to the mysterious town of Motorcycle Maintenance. His accounts of various items of art discovered in this town are documented in his autobiography titled Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Back in 1974, when this book was released, the baby boomers who had spent their twenties smoking weed and enjoying the prosperous economic times were suddenly beginning to become aware of their own mortality and the need to finally face the real world. Trying to escape that, they sought something spiritual and mistook Mr 'Zen' Pirsig's book for exactly that.
In a sorry attempt at damage control, the namesake of the science of Ecology, Umberto Eco, tried to embed subliminal messaging into Foucalt's Pendulum, saying "But you, to avenge yourselves on the bourgeoisie you hadn't managed to overthrow, sold them videocassettes and fanzines, brainwashed them with Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. You've made us buy, at a discount, your copies of the thoughts of Chairman Mao, ...", but failed. Mr 'Zen' Pirsig's creation got out of hand and brought him to international fame.
Decades later, Mr 'Zen' Pirsig owns the trademark on the Creative Zen line of portable music players, has a claim at having invented the idea of citiZENship, and has founded multiple stores, restaurants and religions. Of interest to News from Paddington is a restaurant called ChoZen Noodle on Praed Street. We asked Mr 'Zen' Pirsig about this restaurant.
"Mr 'Zen' Pirsig, how would you describe your restaurant in two words to a newcomer?"
"Well, it serves noodles and sushi and... hmm, that's not two words, right? I'd say it's... an exciting place. Yes, that's right, an exciting place."
"Yes, but would you say that it's good?"
"Hmm? Well, of course it's good! Why would I ever say oth..."
"We understand, Mr 'Zen' Pirsig, but... well, how good is your restaurant?"
"What do you mean? I like it myself, but everyone is free to have their own opinion about..."
"No, Mr 'Zen' Pirsig, we're afraid we're not on the same page. See, we've been contacted by the editor of the Michelin guide and he is interested in hearing more about your restaurant. How would you..."
"Really? Good! I--"
"Thank you, Mr 'Zen' Pirsig!"
This has been News from Paddington with Mr 'Zen' Pirsig. This edition of News from Paddington was brought to you by ChoZen Noodle on Praed Street. "ChoZen Noodle on Praed Street! It's really good!"