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Dreamlining for megalomaniacs

Ian Martin
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Ian Martin proposes a big ice cream cone filled with brains and more for west London

MONDAY Rethink a swathe of grim, half-empty luxury apartments in Southwark by giving them a more optimistic ‘half-full’ look.

TUESDAY My latest clients are wealthy megalomaniacs with an urgent need to launder billions of dollars ‘in cash, etc’.

They want to develop a huge composite site in west London they’ve assembled through stealth, bribery, violence and considerable paperwork. And before anybody rushes to judgement, it’s OK, I’ve Googled them, I’m not an idiot. They’re very well regarded. In the UK, at least. According to my fixer Rock Steady Eddie they’re in line for honorary knighthoods, despite their dubious past. Let bygones be bygones, I say. Let he who is without sin pay me this sort of money up-front.

We’re looking at a mixed-use development. Something bold enough to lend architectural credibility yet vague enough to adapt to whatever suits the market. At the moment it’s the usual old toffee: luxury ‘homes’, business pods, creative sheaths, commercial gourds, retail pouches, post-industrial sleeves. Oh, wait. A ‘raised park’? Who’s that for, then – ‘upper class children’? And a NEW BUS DEPOT? Are you kidding? Oligarchs are going to be riding around London in private buses now? Cool.

By the end of the day I’ve knocked up the following: a sort of jellyfish thing on stilts, a wafting stack of filo pastry, a giant sinister phage, a haystack or whatever, a big ice cream cone filled with brains, a giant illuminated pumice stone, a vertical turd, a cylindrical gubbins that looks like a rolled-up €500 banknote speckled with cocaine, kind of a blanket with something lumpy under it, a boat but upside down with masts sunk into the ground, a massive splayed block like a pack of cards dropped from a great height, a group of identical splodges similar to items you’d see going into the oven on a baking programme, a couple of funny hats, a thin pencil with a laser on the top where the eraser would be, a vague bag of chips, a glass orb, giant stalks of ‘living’ faux-celery, a half-melted cheddar wheel, some artistically knotted guts, ah bollocks I’ve run out of west London.

WEDNESDAY I know I shouldn’t laugh, but this episode of When Dream Homes Go Wrong on ITV2 is absolutely hilarious.

The smart ‘passive-aggressive’ heating and ventilation system has stopped working

For a start, the unsmiling prick of an architect AND most of the building components are German, so Schadenfreude is perfectly in order. Also, the spoiled berks who live in it are insufferable. One of them is a ‘futures fractionalist’ for Deutsche Bank. The other is a ‘curator of thoughts’ at the Institute of Plasmic Arts. They deserve calamity.

The smart ‘passive-aggressive’ heating and ventilation system has stopped working, informing its users (in German) that as they’ve manually overridden the automatic controls four times this week they must think they can do a better job, perhaps they should just build a bonfire in the living room and open some FUCKING WINDOWS.

Their little faces. Priceless. 

THURSDAY I read in a US newspaper about a New York ‘wealth therapist’ whose ‘job’ is to stroll through Central Park ‘in comfortable pants and a flannel shirt’ with ultra-rich clients, assuaging their guilt.

I cannot be alone in coveting his comfortable pants. Or indeed the astronomical fees this flannel-shirted pillock is extracting from his gormless clients. But come on. Wealth therapy is exactly what I do, all the bloody time. Reassure the 1 per cent. You’re good people, money has no intrinsic moral character, ignore the hurtful things poor people are saying about you, it’s like this for ethnic and sexual minorities too, should we order another bottle? And so on.

My reassurances however are part of a client package, not a stand-alone service. Even in this vulgar, monetised world a gentleman must have standards. Even if that means uncomfortable pants and an ordinary shirt.

FRIDAY Protesters are STILL warbling on about the ‘status’ of my Allotment Bridge over the river Tame.

Look, it will be a private place operating as a public space, therefore eligible for public subsidy but restricted to paying visitors. OK? Now shut up and hand over the money.

SATURDAY Five-a-zeitgeist theoretical football. Genderqueer International 3, Trans-Binary Fusionism 3 after pitch fluidity and pointless identical shirt-swapping.

SUNDAY Environmental mindfulness in the recliner. Stop after a while, as it’s driving me environmindfully mental.



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