‘These new Boris Cannons are a tremendous wheeze,’ said the London Mayor. ‘I have already spent the day riding around on one, hosing down hoi polloi and washing away beggars from shop doorways. It’s tremendous fun.’
Under the new scheme, anyone in London will now be able to hire a Barclays sponsored water cannon, for as little as £2 per-hour, enabling them to cycle around the capital firing a high velocity water jet at anyone they dislike. ‘At first I just wanted the police to have them,’ explained Mr. Johnson, ‘but then I thought, why should they have all the fun? I say, let everyone have a go with these new hydro-velocipedes. I mean, what can possibly go wrong?’
The scheme already has the approval of London cyclists who believe that being equipped with an on-board water cannon will help them navigate busy traffic. However, some cyclists have expressed concerns about the 8,000-litre water trailer they will also need to carry behind them.
Mr. Johnson addressed anxieties about the poor safety record of water cannons, which have been known to cause serious injury and blindness. ‘Yes, there are some safety issues,’ he admitted, ‘but pedestrians should be fine so long as they always take the precaution of carrying a cagoule, a pair of safety goggles and a specially reinforced brolly.’
The London Mayor hopes the water-cannons-for-hire scheme will encourage members of the public to chip in and do their bit maintaining law and order. ‘All I ask is that if you happen to see a potential rioter, maybe one of those student, lefty, unemployed types, then point your nozzle at them and give them a jolly good soaking. A lot of these chaps look like they could do with a wash anyway’.
Tory peer Lord Tebbit added his support. ‘This is a splendid idea,’ he said. ‘At long last people will be able to get on their bikes and look for the work-shy.’
Mr. Johnson rejected claims that the scheme was yet another one of his ridiculous self-promoting publicity stunts. ‘That is utter tish, tosh and tommyrot,’ he said, before launching himself out of a water cannon, flying high across the Thames, and back into Parliament.
August 4, 2010
London Mayor, Boris Johnson, has unveiled his latest solution to the capital’s transport problems – the bendy bike, a 60ft-long, articulated bicycle that bends in the middle.
‘The bendy bike is just what Londoners need,’ said Mr Johnson. ‘It can carry up to fifty people and, with its accordion style flexi-frame, it can go round corners much more easily than any regular 60ft bike.’
The super-size velocipede can be hired at docking stations positioned around the capital and has the advantage of rapid simultaneous boarding. ‘People can simply hop on and hop off whenever they like,’ said the Mayor. ‘When you want it to stop just ring the bell or honk the horn.’
However, critics have already raised questions about the safety of the bendy bike. ‘It looks like a good idea,’ said former Mayor Ken Livingstone, ‘but whenever it goes round a corner the whole thing tips over and everyone falls off.’
‘Yes, there have been some teething problems,’ admitted Mr Johnson, ‘but I have spoken to the designers and so long as everybody does their fair share of pedalling it should stay upright. It’s just a question of balance.’
In a further blow to the scheme, since the bike was launched, British Transport Police have been called to numerous incidents of so-called ‘bendy rage’.
‘We attended one hold-up at the junction of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road,’ said Officer Colin Pringle. ‘All the cyclists on the Tottenham Court Road side wanted to go one way while the ones still on Oxford Street wanted to go in the other direction and had begun furiously pedalling backwards. In the end the only way to get the traffic moving again was to taser the lot of them.’
Despite the setbacks, Prime Minister David Cameron has given his support. ‘This bike is what the Big Society is all about,’ he said. ‘Everyone pedalling together with little or no idea where they are going.’
However London cabbie Ted Grubbs is less than impressed. ‘These bikes are a nightmare,’ he complained. ‘They fill up the bus lanes, fly through red lights, and, if you get caught behind one, all you can see are fifty big fat arses all wobbling from side to side. Nobody wants that shoved in their face.’
Mr Johnson rejected his critics. ‘Pish, Tish and Piddle,’ he declared. ‘The bendy bikes are a jolly good wheeze. And a damn sight safer than the double-decker versions they replaced.’