Petrolheads: here’s your future

A PR stunt in London has shown us a glimpse of the future. Electronic Arts has taken over the Last Stop garage in Finsbury Park, north London, to promote the game Mercenaries 2: World in Flames. The company is giving away £20,000 worth of petrol: any motorist can queue up to get £40 of free car juice. Naturally, it’s all turned into a Mad Max style rampage.

According to the Press Association, by 7.30am more than 150 customers had taken advantage of the offer but “tempers were starting to fray during the rush-hour.”

A queue of about 30 cars snaked its way from the petrol station as more and more customers arrived for their free fuel.

Car horns sounded repeatedly as drivers on the other side of the road got snarled up in the congestion.

But customers filling up for nothing were very happy.

Prince Davis, 37, who queued patiently for a quarter of an hour for free petrol, said: “This is a genius idea, whoever thought of this should be promoted.”

But one local resident was less than impressed.

The woman, who did not wish to be named, said: “What an extraordinary thing to do, it’s totally irresponsible. I can’t believe they’ve been allowed to do it.

“This area is usually very quiet but look at it now, there’s cars queuing everywhere.”

Louise Marchant, from Electronic Arts, said the scenes of queuing mimicked aspects of the game: “It’s set in Venezuela, you play a mercenary and fuel is used as a currency.”

The PR stunt involved turning the petrol station into a military-style bunker, with “jeeps, oil barrels, sandbag walls, and fully-costumed actors on hand to pump the petrol for the customers.”

Ha-ha, very funny. But with oil running out, such scenes may one day be played out for real. Drive everywhere? Get ready for your future.

Want to wean yourself away from your ‘gas dependancy’? Sign up – it’s free – for the Bike to Work Book.

The first PDF is a tad late. It should have been produced at the end of August, expect it to be released in mid-September. The print book is still on schedule for November, an ideal Christmas present!