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Nightlife Isn't Dead

Man Screams 'I'm a Legend' in a London Train Station, Gets Tasered

Truly a video for the ages.

by Angus Harrison
Nov 23 2017, 6:52pm

Legend
'lɛdʒ(ə)nd'
Noun

  1. A traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but not authenticated.

  2. An extremely famous or notorious person, especially in a particular field.

  3. From Margate, will kick it the fuck out of you.

So, some footage has just emerged from a public disorder incident that took place in London Bridge, on a Monday night in 2016. Normally we wouldn’t trouble you with a trivial event like that, but, come on, have you watched the video? Have you watched the video where a bloke from Margate shouts about what a legend he is before threatening to "kick it the fuck out of" a number of Network Rail staff, a couple of lads from Millwall and the small woman trying desperately to calm him down? Have you?

It’s strange how we behave – the places we find ourselves. One minute in the office, looking out at the blank, expressionless sky, wondering whether or not we can justify a cheeky "beginning of the week beer". The next minute, we’re being tasered a few feet away from an Upper Crust. Falling to the faux-marble floor like we’ve got broom-handles for legs. It happens to the best of us. It happens to legends.

We don’t know much about the Legend of Margate – other than him being, clearly, both a legend and from Margate – but we do at least have some concrete proof that nightlife in London isn’t over. Sadiq Khan’s affirmation that "London is Open" never rang more true than of a city worker spinning out of his head and starting on ticket barriers on a quiet Monday night. Obviously the Legend himself probably wouldn't see it that way. Safe to say he is having a proper dark one. The sort of night you don’t shake off for years. The sort of night you completely change your life over – the quit your job and move back to Margate type.

More importantly, though, you’ve got to feel for anybody in London Bridge on that fateful Monday night. First, the great Legend of Margate unleashes his weekend rage five nights too early, and then a couple of flat-capped Millwall boys pop up out of nowhere, smelling the opportunity to square up to someone, without ever actually taking a swing, from a mile off. It’s like watching Blue Planet, when a great white is suddenly flanked by two manta-rays, all hovering around the same fetid whale corpse. "Do you want the Millwall? Do you want the fucking Millwall?" The Legend of Margate, of course, does want the Millwall, leading to even more in the way of blokes defying physics by somehow simultaneously thrusting forwards while holding themselves back.

Eventually the police arrive, bringing us to the dramatic conclusion of the tasering: a weirdly filmic moment as the Legend is backed into a corner by the barriers like a rabid dog, before being ceremoniously shocked to the floor, causing a ripple of applause and cheers – probably the first real sense of community London has felt in about 20 years.

There’s everything of the rank desperation of London in the Legend of Margate. His collar, popped open; the shirt tight around his puffed-up chest. His wild, gasping howls for validation – screaming at the Network Rail night staff, the Millwall fans, whoever’s working in WH Smiths, the deep and eddying abyss: I am a legend. Perhaps the only person he really wants to convince is himself. Maybe the Legend of Margate is symptomatic of a culture, or rather the breakdown of it. He is a broken dream, a snapped synapse, an after-work pint turned nuclear.

On the other hand, maybe the explanation is a little simpler. "A lot of cocaine was involved here," says whoever is behind the camera. My friend, for legal reasons, I couldn’t possibly comment.

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