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Sunday 8th December 2013

Sunday 8th December 2013

I walked through Liverpool City Centre in the early morning on the way to the train station. Like most major town centres in this alcohol loving country the evidence of last night's debauchery and violence still littered the streets. The pavement crunched with broken glass, I had to dodge splatters of blood, but my favourite sight was a discarded jumper in a shop doorway strewn with chips. Somewhere someone was waking up a bit colder and hungrier than they should have been. Were they more upset to have lost their jumper of their chips. Or their blood maybe (as there was some nearby). I tried to recreate what had happened using all my CSI Liverpool skills. Had a man stripped off his jumper so he could fight unencumbered by the wool and then accidentally spilled his chips? Or had he been holding on to his chips whilst he was fighting and a well aimed punch had made him drop a few? Had his jumper literally been punched off him too, like in a cartoon? Was the fight because of the spilled chips or were the chips an innocent victim of the debacle? I was pretty sure the chip owner had come off worse or why else wouldn't he have gone back to the doorway and eaten his spilled chips (obviously he'd still leave the jumper, spoiled as it was by the chip grease now on it and the dog wee in the doorway, but those chips were still good to go).

Having something of a history of prize fighting on the Liverpool streets I felt in a position to make a judgement. But I had a feeling that this chip-based fight might have taken the prize of the funniest fight in the city. I do love Liverpool. It's a beautiful city, packed with great buildings, fantastic street art and people who have there own unique and complicated character (which is increasingly rare in the homogenous UK), but I feel that their city flag should be some chips on a jumper in a doorway. I will draw up a design if the proud people of Liverpool want to go with it.

As I left the station I took a picture of the Ken Dodd statue that stands on the forecourt. I love that this man has been honoured by his home town (and it's rare that comedians get a statue whilst they are still alive, so it took me a second to remember that he hadn't died). I hoped that the statue would still be standing in 500 years time, when people are no longer really aware of who this bizarre tickling brush holding buffoon might be and perhaps have created some myth around him. Though as a couple of people pointed out, the tickling stick is hard to render in metal and looks more like a kebab, which can only add to his myth. I'd like to see more statues to buffoons and less to soldiers and politicians. If nothing else if this statue is pulled from the ruins of the city in 5000 years time, it is going to raise some odd questions for those future archaeologists.

I'd also like to see a statue of some chips on a jumper in a doorway. Now I think about it there are so many works of experimental art on the streets of this city (who can ever forget the Lambanana?) that the chips on the jumper might have been a priceless work from the Scouse Banksy. It certainly made me think about life more than anything that Tracey Emin has come up with.

And the important thing is that I survived another visit without having my shirt ripped off me or my own blood spilled. I return to the Unity theatre, where that crazy night began, in February. I wonder what University lecturers will be there to assault me this time.



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