Spectators and judges have hailed a vintage field of competitors in the World Kamikaze Pedestrian Championships held this weekend in Oxford Street. This pavement classic ranks alongside the Paris Marche de Imbecilite and the New York Jostle n’ Sneer, regularly attracting some of the world’s dumbest and most suicidally inclined pedestrians in breathtaking displays of hazardous and massively inconsiderate streetcraft.
The Couples event was this year easily won by Toshiro and Mariko Sakume from Japan. This mild-mannered retired couple from Osaka clinched gold in a performance that culminated with them pausing in the actual physical centre of the bus lane to unfold a tourist map with agonising slowness and blinkingly examine their surroundings right in the path of an oncoming Number 29 to Wood Green.
In the team event, four generations of the Agostini family from Spoleto, Italy, aged 7 to 86, paralysed the entire street and much of the West End by the classically simple technique of grinding to an dumbfounding halt in a pavement-wide phalanx and holding an animated and extended debate on where to have dinner, which theatre Les Miserables was now playing at and the shortcomings of Cousin Bruno as a lover.
The men’s event was won by the Austrian Kurt Metzler, whose superbly slow and meandering performance of frequent unexpected halts, half turns and pauses was helped by a rucksack the size of a small family camper van and no spatial awareness whatsoever.
Hopes were high in the women’s event for 15 year old Tiffany Terwilliker from Buffalo, New York, America, who successfully managed to traverse the length of Oxford Street without once raising her eyes from her phone and the series of texts between herself and her ‘bestie’ Summer Schlumpfert (actually walking next to her) or removing the earphones pumping whiny teen shite into her ears and effectively de-sensitizing her to any awareness of her surroundings or the many other pavement users she was blithely forcing into the path of irate rickshaw drivers.
Ultimately, however, the title went to much-favoured British hopeful DeE AnNe Humper from Muswell Hill, whose aggressive ‘strut and bob’ technique, aided by the Diamante smartphone clamped to her ear and repeated loud, grating use of the phrase ‘What the fuck, Girlfriend?’ as a question, a statement, an interrogative gerund, preposition, interjection and conjunction cleared the entire street ahead of her.
The championships were briefly disrupted when the 3000 Metre Armoured Pushchair competitors and the Primark Freestyle Looting event collided violently over the prostrate form of Giles Webley-Browne, himself a competitor in the Dawdling/Dithering/Dodging Triathlon. At the time of writing, Mr Webley-Browne has apologised 46 times for being knocked over. A new personal best.
(Hat tips to Beau Jolly, Midfield Diamond, Grumpy Cat and Squudge)