As any Englishman will tell you, life in London is no bed of roses. Virgin tourists stepping off the plane for the Olympics will soon discover that the streets are not lined with gold but in fact, old smelly mattresses. Second only to spitting on the bus and being mean to your staffie is dumping your old mattress in the street. It winds me up a treat, especially as the council will gladly come and remove it FOR FREE so there is no need to neatly prop it up on a wall hoping that the bin man might kindly squash it into his chewy up truck.
There is an artist, filmmaker and prankster who goes by the name of Warpdog. He lives in the rather wonderful area of Walthamstow, the postcode of which is E17 which inspired Brian Harvey's 90's boy band's name East 17.
In an age where East London is being polished and primed ready to convince the world that it's paradise, Warpdog's website and Facebook group, The (unofficial) Walthamstow Tourist Board is proving an internet hit.
There are postcards, calendars and fridge magnets for sale, all depicting Walthamstow's finest moments such as these:
There are also daily photographs of Walthamstow petty crime and vandalism, which will always crack a smile but it's the "Celebrities That Look Like Mattresses" offshoot which has earnt Warpdog over 4,000 "likes" on Facebook.
Warpdog's images have been re-blogged all over the internet and have even caught the eye of the Daily Mail. When you consider the amount of time it must take to match up a mattress to a celebrity outfit then Warpdog's success is duly deserved. One might wonder what comes first, celebrity or mattress? Where Warpdog will go from here is anyones guess, other projects such as mattresses being Photoshopped into famous works of art have been launched but none have packed a punch quite like the celebrity idea.
As the countdown to the Olympics reaches fever pitch, as does the popularity of The Walthamstow Tourist Board, Boris will be doing everything he can to make sure that tourists don't stray off the golden path to the stadium and end up in E17.