The Horrors of Flyer Alley

Why the Parkinson steps can be a truly terrifying place to be.

My friends think I’ve finally lost it. They could be right, but I still adamantly believe that you and I, the reader, are getting our rights systemically violated every time we walk past Flyer Alley.

My journey to University, like so many of us, starts from Woodhouse lane. On approaching the Parkinson Building to my right a quick check is needed to ensure pockets are zipped, laces are tied and a deep breath is performed, just before speeding up my walk.

Ahead, they are just about visible, tens of them, all lined up on either side of my impending route. A desperate scan for a buddy to help me through the inevitable always comes in handy. But no one is there, bugger. Approaching ever closer they become more visible, don’t look at them! Repeat to myself, don’t look at them!

A quick fumble for my phone becomes a standard operating procedure in this instance, pretending to send a text message as the feeling of countless burning eyes on me gets more intense. The Parkinson building steps loom large on my right, they are yards away now, oh the noise!

Then, with faces beaming happier than a group of chavs sniffing glue they are all around me, from right to left my person is swarmed by more optimism than I thought possible at 10am on a Tuesday morning!

Then WHACK! Hit, Hit!  

It happened, my guard slipped, it’s a failure. The noise, the congestion, the invasion of my personal space and the smell of freshly printed glossy paper got the better of me.

The fatal mistake was committed and eye contact was made. Before my brain had a chance to react, my body succumbed to the pressure, becoming victim to an avalanche of several hundred glossy leaflets advertising cheap plonk with the possibility of bikini clad girls serving me olives from their oiled breasts. The only caveat being, before getting hold of those olives, you have to bury yourself in a mountain of flyers steeper than an American fiscal cliff.

Now, I’m not suggesting for one moment that these leaflet distributors are Satan’s spawn; no, they are just fellow students trying to make a bob or two. But my goodness, the amount of propaganda these drinking establishments churn out and slam into students’ faces puts communist Russia to shame.

You have been warned. Flyer Ally must only be approached with careful preparation, extreme caution and the utmost bravery.