Terrible night’s sleep last night. Images of Huw Edwards, people in sleeping bags… and this story. I’ll be off for a bit…
London’s Royal Wedding shelters have opened for business this afternoon, with less than 24 hours to the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey.
The two largest shelters, in Clapham and Stockwell, were once used as protection from air-raids during World War II. Now they will be at the heart of network of locations where Londoners can escape from a tidal wave of sycophantic coverage of the royal nuptials.
Disused Tube stations at Aldwych and Charing Cross (Jubilee Line) will be brought back into use, while emergency government stores of banjos, ukeleles, and Guardian Yearbooks have been opened up to keep shelterers amused.
The last United Nations airlift of level-headed citizens is due to leave Biggin Hill Airport any moment now, leaving many remaining Londoners terrified of losing their marbles in the face of seeing fellow citizens act like children over people they will never meet.
A spokesman for mayor Boris Johnson said: “These shelters are incapable of picking up radio or TV, and there is no internet access whatsoever. Londoners who are having nightmares about Huw Edwards, or those who seeking to avoid people complaining about it on Twitter, can come and join us any time between now and Saturday.
“One shelter, at Goodge Street, will be opening later than the others, so we can paint it blue as part of a sponsorship package with Barclays.”
Local councils are pitching in, too – Greenwich Council will open up a special room beneath Woolwich Town Hall, which has already proved resistant to media coverage in tests this week. Back copies of Greenwich Time are reportedly being used to add extra thickness to the walls. Spokespeople were unavailable for comment.
In Lewisham, elected mayor Steve Bullock has advised residents to head to their nearest closed library – except the ones that have become bookmakers – if they begin to feel nauseous.
First in the queue at the Clapham shelter was a man in tears after he failed to get a ticket on Thursday’s last boat out of Harwich to the Hook of Holland.
“It’s terrible,” he said, shaking. “I can’t even go to the pub to drown my sorrows without seeing badly-rendered Union Jacks. The last straw was reading something about the wedding dress on the Guardian website. I just want to live my life in peace. I mean, I could escape to B&Q but that’ll be full up by 10am.
“Here, we can hide from everything and maybe even have a good sing-song. It’s either that or going out and getting smashed and sleeping through Friday.”
Sadly for him, though, he then collapsed sobbing after accidentally catching a glimpse of an Evening Standard.
“It’s what the shelters are there for, to save people from Bedlam,” the mayor’s spokesman added. “For some though, it could be too late.”