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Thursday 4th September 2003

The shopping centre in the middle of the Hammersmith roundabout has acquired a new statue.
It has popped up, as if out of nowhere, unannounced, unflagged, with no sign to explain what it's there for, what it means, what it's called or who created it. Where once there was nothing but space, there is now a big statue. It gets in the way a bit. The swathes of people crossing the road to go into the tube now have to go round the statue, where once they would have been able to march boldly forwards. London life has thus slowed down ever so slightly. This probably has some kind of tiny repercussion somewhere, which in time may lead to massive changes in all our lives.
The statue is of three men. The men are naked. One is kneeling, one is crouching and one is standing. I don't know what it is meant to represent. I looked at it for a while, but aside from it demonstrating three postures that you might like to adopt, I couldn't see what it was getting at.
The most striking thing about the figures is their genitals. The men are naked, and their chunky, flaccid penises are pointing down towards the ground. People stop and look and laugh or shake their heads. Very few look like they are enjoying what they're seeing. But then people are dismissive and suspicious of art because they don't understand it and it makes them feel stupid. I know I am. Thus it's easier to regain the high ground by laughing or sneering, or complaining about art getting in the way of commuters.
I suppose just causing bemusement is reason enough for it to exist.
I preferred the graffiti art though.
The genitals of the men are interesting, because they appear to be solely made up of penises. There are no testicles. Possibly, this means something. I don't know. I went for a closer look and I suppose you might argue that the sculptor has only made a brief attempt to suggest genitalia. You might argue that the blob of the penis is supposed to represent both the penis and the testicles. What you might call, the pesticles.
However, although this is fine when looking from the front I feel that the artist hasn't fully considered his creation from all angles.
I was sitting, reading my Douglas Coupland book, in the side window of Starbucks, which is directly behind the statue. From here you get a good view of the statue men's arses. Especially the statue man who is squatting. Because of his posture, you also see his chunky pesticle coming down between his legs. But from behind, largely because of the way he is standing, to my mind at least, the pesticle looks like a pooh coming out of his arse.
Whilst one man is kneeling in praise and one man is standing in triumph, their unfortunate friend is kind of crouching down and defecating. Possibly the excitement of whatever they're looking at (which if memory serves me right is a fried chicken shop over the road - believe me I know how exciting that can be) has got too much for him. A bit of pooh has popped out. Maybe he's in the act of trying to suck it back in, or maybe he's realised things have gone too far and he's going to have to release it and hope the other two don't notice (some hope, some of us may act like our shit doesn't smell, but I'm afraid it always does...even if it's made out of metal).
I was sitting next to a pretty girl in the coffee shop. She seemed familiar and I wasn't sure if I knew her, or whether she was off the telly or something, or maybe she was an actress who'd once auditioned for something I'd written. She didn't seem to be taking any notice of me and to ask her if she was an actress would seem like a very cheesy chat up line if it turned out that she wasn't. In a sense it would seem like that because that's what it would be.
I never really ever chat anyone up. I find the whole thing too embarrassing and strange. It's not the rejection that worries me so much as the foisting of unwanted attention on a well meaning person.
There's a part of me that wants to rebel against this paranoia and shyness and also a part that thinks the world might be a nicer place if we talked to each other a bit more. There's a part of me too, that would like to be able to talk to attractive girls, because that might be the first stage in taking things to another (not necessarily, but probably sexual) level.
But I find I still can't do it. I don't know what to say.

I considered asking the girl whether she thought that from this angle the statue looked like it was doing a pooh.
I reasoned that this would either be a devastatingly effective or disastrous opening gambit. She might laugh and then agree to come and live with me and do the whole looking into the eyes thing I mentioned yesterday. Or she might think, "why is this strange, hairy and bearded man talking inappropriately to me about faeces" and then move to another part of the cafe.
It's difficult to predict how a stranger would react to such a statement.

Like the statues I didn't have the balls to do it.

I just read my book.
I figured that was best.

Presently her friend arrived. He said hello to her and then immediately started talking about the statue. "What's that all about?" he asked. "Where did that come from? Look you can see their bollocks, that's pretty unusual."
He went on like this and she laughed at his rubbish observation. If she thought his rubbish schtick was funny she'd have loved the pooh thing. Dammit!
I felt like interrupting and saying, "No, they're not bollocks, they are cocks, or at best pesticles. And don't you think that actually it looks more like the crouching statue is doing a pooh?"
Maybe she'd deicde I was a much better person than her friend and she'd tell him to leave and drink coffee with me instead.
But I also thought that with two of them there (and him probably being her boyfriend), it would actually make me look even more strange and weird.
And that he might hit me.

So I said nothing. My pooh joke would have to remain my own guilty secret, for the moment at least (until I could share it with you. Oddly though you are probably a stranger I don't feel embarrassed telling you about this).
I'll try and put some pictures up at some point so you can decide if my pooh observation is amusing or rubbish.
The moment is lost. I will never know. I suppose I could try it again with someone else another time, but the lack of spontaneity would be obvious.
For want of a joke about pooh the lady was lost.

I really want to know where I recognised her from though.

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