It’s been a real eye-opener of a year. Here are ten of our favourite things that the last 12 months have taught us.
1. You can walk ducks
Ducks being walked along a high street on a lead? In an Enid Blyton book, maybe. But in Peckham? No wonder the internet went nutso after pictures of exactly that popped up in April. Turns out it was the doing of 20-year-old Garden Centre Aquatics employee Marwan Elboury who incubated them from eggs in his place of work and now regularly walks them en route to taking them swimming in Burgess Park. Thus leading to a phenomenon we call: #birdonthestreet.
2. Tottenham Hotspur’s training ground is apparently located in Royston Vasey
One of the most beastly things we heard in 2014 was the story of the 61-year-old IT worker who tried to bum a sheep and convince a cow to give him a blowjob next to Tottenham’s training ground in Whitewebbs Lane in Enfield (despite sounding like it should’ve happened in an episode of ‘League of Gentlemen’). Paul Lovell, ahem, went down in January after a picnicking couple saw him chasing animals around without any shorts on. What a tail. Sorry, tale.
3. Railway tracks are covered in poop
You know those ‘don’t flush while the train is at the station’ signs you get in train lavs? Turns out that’s because they spray your bum-rubbish across the tracks, judging from a photo from rail union the RMT, which shows a tomato plant growing out of sleepers on a route into Liverpool. The seeds came from a passenger’s poop. Well, at least they were organic, we suppose…
4. You can get spray-paint made from chalk
In other poop news, Camden Council decided in November to start handing out cans of neon, pink chalk-based spray paint (which washes away) to locals, so they can graffiti dog doo. A sort-of ‘Art Attack’ for NIMBYs. The idea is that if it’s more visible, it’ll shame dog owner into clearing up after their pets. To be honest, though, our first thought was: You can get wash-away spray paint? Hmm, does that mean it’s not illegal to go spray-paint slogans on City Hall?
5. London literally makes your hair stand on end
Okay, okay. Strictly speaking, a specific road in London literally makes your hair stand on end. Or at least, made it stand on end in November, judging by a video from two passers by, who filmed their hair shooting skywards outside Google’s London HQ on St Giles High Street. They claimed it was static. OR WAS IT A LASER GOOGLE DEATH RAY? (It was probably static).
6. Estate agents are powered by chocolate
In September, an estate agent from Your Move was caught on camera in a tenant’s house, stealing a Galaxy chocolate bar and was promptly fired, after becoming an internet sensation. His explanation? ‘I suffer from fainting and dizziness… I needed sugar’. However, we can’t help but notice that his outfit suggests that he’s been sponsored by Cadbury’s. Coincidence, or devious marketing stunt to hype up the nutritional necessity of a mid-morning choccy bar? You decide.
7. If you dress like a chicken, YOU WILL DIE
Who knew there were down sides to dressing up in a gimp suit made from raw, salted chicken skins? Everybody. Still, it didn’t stop performance artist Lewis G from squishing himself into The Flesh Suit of Chicken Death (hands off: we invented the name) and wandering around Camden and the City in August. The idea was to make a statement about our vanity-driven culture. Which is undoubtedly devastatingly effective. One problem though: if Lewis wore the costume for more than 45-minutes, he risked blood poisoning from all the salt. So he had to keep taking it off. Oopsie.
8. You never, ever, ever want to be ‘degloved’
There was a bit of an emergency services panic when a little girl found a whole human index finger lying in the entrance to Fairlands Park in Sutton in April. Turned out nothing sinister was going on, though. What had actually happened, is that the night before a dopey pedestrian tried climbing over the gate to the park when it was locked. He slipped, impaled the finger on a fence spike and fell, yanking his entire finger off and leaving only the bone intact. The technical term for this is ‘degloving’. Not something to think about while eating a hot dog.
9. Burgers travel into space pretty well (chips: not so much)
London’s burger rivalries have been dragging on so long, it’s probably no surprise that they ended up generating their own space race. When Fulham’s Chosen Burger became the first people to attach burger and fries to a giant helium balloon and send it 112,000 feet into the air (which, strictly speaking is only near space – although it looks pretty convincing on the video), it returned to earth perfectly intact. Sadly, though, all the chips went missing whilst in the sky. Now they’re just UFOs: unidentified frying objects.
10. Sugar is the enemy of concrete
You’d have thought it would be fairly tricky to accidentally let loose enough liquid concrete to fill a room to knee-height. Apparently not, judging by the balls-up last January, where contractors working on Victoria station managed to accidentally submerge their signalling control room, thus shutting down Victoria line services all evening from Brixton to Warren Street. But you know what the miracle solution was that stopped it being a huge, long-term operation to fix? A quick-thinking TfL worker who legged it down the corner shop and bought some sugar to sprinkle over it, thus preventing it from setting. Genius.