Skate of the nation
Ian Martin is hired as consultant at large without portfolio by the Skateboarding Alliance
MONDAY Choked to learn that my exquisitely sketched Tokyo Olympic stadium has been ruled ineligible simply because I’m not a member of the Gold Medal Club.
Worse, you can only get the Tokyo gig if you’ve designed a 15,000-seat arena before. How do these bastards expect a person to GET experience of creating massive sports stadiums? Like those guys struggling on zero-hours minimum wage contracts at soul-crushing call centres, I feel the weight of the world’s injustice.
TUESDAY Never mind. Onwards and outwards. Today’s the launch of my new range of stylish MacBook Air claddings.
I say ‘my’ new range, but to be honest most of the creative heavy lifting has been done by my business associate and old friend Gutsy, the graffiti artist. However, I did formulate the brief - ‘Just put some edgy bollocks around the glowing Apple symbol mate, yeah?’ - and I did provide the resources necessary: a couple of hundred quid to be converted into crystal meth and some boxed wine.
I’ve got a good feeling about these laptop claddings. Mark my words, the ambience in every West Coast Mainline Virgin Pendolino Coach G will be utterly transformed within a year. In each premier cladding, the illuminated Apple symbol forms a powerful centrepiece, as follows. NB Gutsy did get weirder as the night wore on:
- A chink in ancient dry stone wall dividing us from a world of possibility.
- A magical source for air-powered sustainable energy with ‘air-rays’ streaming from it, nourishing the world’s forests and a grateful menagerie of endangered species wearing little ‘We ♥ Air’ hats.
- The centre of a fruit-based solar system.
- The illuminated downtown area of a notional hypermegalopolis in Saudi Arabia, as seen from a magic carpet.
- The glowing heart of a manga wizard who’s got like dollar signs for eyes and a cloak made of tears.
WEDNESDAY I’ve been hired as consultant at large without portfolio by the Skateboarding Alliance. The job requires me to ‘generate supportive vibes and goodwill for Britain’s skateboarding community at national level, and to secure serendipitous locations for the expression and fulfilment of skateboarding culture in accordance with UN Resolution 1553’.
I confess I knew nothing about this important strand of international law, which confers upon skateboarders the right to political self-determination and their own urban homeland.
The situation has become a lot more tense recently. A proposed masterplan to convert London’s South Bank into a sort of Heathrow Airport Terminal 6 would displace the historic skatepark below the Hayward Gallery toilets, requiring crusty 30-somethings and sons of the nobility to skate somewhere else. This turn of events has been likened to ‘the Palestinian Naqba of 1948’ by my skateboarding client contact, Bertram Fogg-Crimley.
‘Peak times for mandem, trust. Allow Babylon simply assuming we can be herded somewhere else. Absolutely outrageous. The whole TING is man found the South Bank undercroft, in much the same way as Marco Polo discovered China. Would you tell the population of China to “just go and exist somewhere else”? Nah mate. I don’t FINK so.’
THURSDAY The South Bank ‘decknic cleansing’ scandal has put every local authority on red alert. Nobody wants to get done by the UN, so they’re all emergency-designating every odd bit of underused high street or redundant civic plaza as ‘deck accessible’.
FRIDAY They’re wasting their time, of course. Legal opinion has confirmed that only self-found spaces count as humane skating environments.
Which is where I come in. A scouting team has been assembled. It is led jointly by me and Bertram and includes such skating luminaries as Tristram ‘Choo Choo’ Cumberflinch, Malachi ‘Spatz’ Greenhaus, Henry ‘Dreddlok Killah’ Harmondsley-Buffet and Prince ‘Haribo’ Harry.
We decide to make Stow-on-the-Wold our pilot scheme, as it’s more or less equidistant from everyone’s weekend gaffs. But where should we locate our Skating Promised Land?
This hospice car park? The left hand side of the high street? That nursery school and the pavement outside?
After some late-night discussions over blunts and mojitos, we decide the best thing to do is declare Stow the world’s first rural skateboard overvillage.
SATURDAY Rename Stow ‘Skatewold’ and propose a simplified change of use masterplan: stencils of a toff on wheels everywhere and statutory fines for pedestrians and drivers who get in the way.
SUNDAY Hang in the recliner, avoiding any hazards.