I decided to have the day off (although I had a gig in the evening) and took it even easier than usual, just managing to rouse myself from my pseudo-coma for a visit to the supermarket and later a session at the gym.
I saw a few things today which really made me laugh. I don't know if it's a full moon around about now, but people seemed to be acting eccentrically.
I went for a coffee before the supermarket and there was a middle-aged woman sitting outside with a small stuffed toy of a tiger, which looked battered and dirty and well loved that she was stroking. I think she was probably genuinely mentally ill, but it was still an odd sight.
After the coffee I went to the toilets in the supermarket. A dad and his son were in the cubicle as I could hear them talking so I went to the urinal. The cubicle family finished their business and came out, but the dad needed a wee as well and went in the urinal next to me, telling his son to wait by the sinks, but he didn't and instead came and stood between us. I looked to my left to see a small lad of maybe six or seven unashamedly staring at my penis as I urinated. If it had been his dad (or indeed anyone over 10) doing this it might have caused an incident, but it just made me laugh out loud. I thought about saying something like "Have a good look mate!" or "Yeah, that's much bigger than your dad's isn't it?" but in the current climate it is not a good idea for a grown man to start talking to a young by about his penis, so I finished what I was doing and got on with the day.
On the way down to the gym I passed a chugger (charity mugger) who was clearly going a bit off his head after a day on the mean streets of Hammersmith. He was singing at people as they went by - I can't remember the song, but it was something plaintive like "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?" I thought it was a bit extreme and that it was unlikely to work as a tactic. He obviously felt it was unfair that so many people were ignoring him and was trying to chastise us, but I think he'd got that wrong. He is encroaching into our lives. If we want to talk to him, fine, but if not then that is not a snub.
I had a coffee before the gym and then went to look round the shops. I had a quick peek into Curry's where the entire staff seemed to be conducting an experiment to see if they could get alarmed items passed the shop's alarm system without setting it off. One assistant walked through the alarm with a box held way about his head. The alarm didn't go off. Then he placed a box on the floor and kicked it under the alarm system. The alarm didn't go off. He threw the box to a colleague standing outside, looping it above the alarm - it didn't go off. I thought to myself that this was maybe an experiment that they should have conducted when there weren't customers in the shop as I now had three good ways to steal smaller items from the store.
As I tried to postpone the gym trip further I went into the shopping centre in the centre of the roundabout (where the pesticle statue is located). There are various merchants selling tat from carts in the middle of this centre - like watches and nuts and sunglasses. One of the carts was selling hats and inflatable pillows. I saw a middle aged woman looking at the items on the cart, and then saw the woman running the stall coming around the cart with a vivid pink inflatable airplane cushion round her neck, doing a strange little dance. She got to the woman and then sort of sang/shouted, "Good afternoon" at the startled customer. Not surprisingly this behaviour was so odd that the middle-aged woman immediately left - it wasn't entirely clear that the cushion woman was even anything to do with the stall. It was a great way to scare off custom and it really made me laugh.
After the gym I saw the chugger again. He was shouting at some woma n in the street about how much he loved her. She was walking away.Maybe she loved him too. The world seemed mad.
But the thing that made me laugh most was a comment on my New Statesman blog page (I basically copy the best blog of the fortnight and they put it up there, though occasionally it's something different). One of the commenters on the most recent entry (about motherfucking) has pointed out that it's a lot of fun to go to the blog in question and then select the "Listen" feature. You get a computerised lady's voice reading out all the bile. It made me laugh a lot. Hope you enjoy it too.