Last summer I briefly worked in an office above west London's very own hospice for the rich and bohemian, Portobello Road. The thin thoroughfare is an interesting stretch of concrete, and you're more than likely to see some odd things as you make the walk from Notting Hill Gate to the shadow of the Westway.
I'd see people eat falafels which were scooped into neat little spheres and fried in front of them. I'd watch rastas smoke under the four o'clock light in beautiful parks most have only pissed in at Carnival. I'd spot withered addicts sipping Tennents, then wonder if they actually lived in a house some great rockstar gifted them for a favour from years past. I bet those haggard bastards had stories. In the midst of the smells and the burnouts and the minor celebs, I'd have moments where I'd stop and think, 'this was cool before anywhere else in London and it will be cool after.'
Then there were other days, when work would get me down and the quirky locals would grate on me.
I once saw Paloma Faith buy a coconut.
There was even a point where I thought relief would only come if I shoved dog-shit through the letterbox of Jade Jagger's shop. I didn't. Luckily my respite came in another form.
Nestled between a gastro-pub and a tapas bar with a signed pic of Iker Casillas in the window stood a Greggs. I stopped by every morning to buy the one coffee on the street that cost less than £3. Sure, it didn't taste great, but then it was coffee - and the day I drink it for any other reason than caffeine is the day I want a fresh-brewed pot of fair-trade java tossed in my face.
Like millions of people in Britain, I also selected lunch from its shelves. Contrary to what some people say, Greggs really doesn't taste that different to Pret, Eat or any other establishment known for inserting ingredients between two slices of bread. It's a fucking sandwich that's been in the fridge for five hours - it just tastes like cold, regardless of which chain you bought it from. Not everyone takes such a singular view of lunch time eateries though. For many, Greggs is the lowest of the low, which may explain this example of trolling that popped up today:
Google Greggs and this image has replaced the original logo. I don't really care about the 'shit' part, as I've happily ingested a wide variety of questionable meals in my time. What irks me is the 'scum' part. I'm no anthropologist, but I'm going to assume it relates to some questionable interpretations of class in Britain, seeing as Greggs is very cheap and largely located in low-income areas of the country.
Maybe the perpetrator would prefer it if the chain totally disappeared, if every high street in Britain became a version of Portobello road sans Greggs, replete with delis, baristas and daughters who call their fathers by their first name. What a horrible thought.
I hope this sign stays. It will keep out the twats, freeing up the chicken and chorizo rustics for the good, honest folks who'd take shit and scum over flat whites and Paloma Faith anyday.