Monday, 3 August 2009

The Story of the Man in Foyles Claiming to be Harassed

I don't want to talk to Owen. I had a mental breakdown here. I sort of hold Owen to blame.

It's like... I don't want to say Big Brother but it's like some terrible television show. Standing here.

Your security was prodding me in the chest. I had a mental breakdown. I just want an apology.

I'm not being aggressive.

I'm not distracting your staff. Hey! Am I distracting you? See.

Now you're doing it again.

No. I don't want to talk to Owen.

Thursday, 23 July 2009


There’s a giant inflatable ball within a ball set upon a contraption where it rests on upward facing wheels that spin and so spin the ball. A person can enter the ball within the ball and be spun and tumble around inside. It is part of a Nivea anti-perspirant promotional campaign.

There is a tramp. A die hard, homeless, grey matted hair, wild eyed, ground in filth and dyed in the rotten wool, park bench sleeping, White Ace lifestyling mad man. This man, God knows what this man sees. He’s a professional hallucinator. And he is swearing at the ball. Except he’s not saying anything out loud, he’s just emphatically mouthing his scorn and gesturing wildly. Gesturing with his hands, smacking his ass, flicking his chin, slapping the back of one hand into the palm of the other in that way politicians do to emphasise sincerity. The tramp is sincere. He’s putting his hands up, palms facing him and gesturing at the ball, at the people operating the ball, at the people handing out free samples of anti-perspirant, as if to ask Why? And he’s mouthing Why? and What? and wincing in disbelief like it’s the apocalypse. And he’s mouthing curse words at it all, at the scene. He is disturbed by it all.

Confused and upset, he begins to question the empty space around him, asking Why to nobody, to nothing. People gather to watch the man silently but emphatically object to the giant inflatable ball within a ball. He becomes more entertaining than the promotional campaign. The crowd watches him suffer alone in his mind. Everybody looks at him and wants to buy deodorant.