Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Matchstick Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs

I wonder if people have seen this picture and said, "That's me! Just to the right of the horse's nose, the kid with the cap and the sleeveless jumper, looking straight at the artist. I don't remember seeing him there but I often used to stand in just that spot. Just to the right of that horse."

There's a picture in the paper we get of a famous building. The picture is taken from some distance in order to get it all in. And in front of the building are several people, milling around or walking purposefully.

Two of the people walking purposefully are me and Betty. At least they are to us. At first glance. You see, we walk past this building a few times a year. So when we see a photo of it taken from this angle we're obviously going to think, "I wonder whether we're there?" Us being ever so slightly egotistical.

And there we are. As clear as day, the two of us, walking towards our usual destination. I know we're extremely small and not particularly in focus, but it's definitely us. Betty in front of me...


We usually walk side by side. Not arm in arm like retired couples or hand in hand like teenagers. But side by side. I don't follow the missus like I'm some sort of subservient husband. We are equals. Then again we could be walking in single file to let someone past. Although I can't see anybody approaching us.

I look closer. Betty would not wear that top. It looks like it's got a picture of a rock star on it. Or that could just be the light playing on it.

What about me? That's definitely me. He's got my stoop. He's carrying what could be a rucksack over his right shoulder. That's me, alright.

But where did I get that chin? I look closer. That's one big John Kerry chin. And yes, I've got a stoop but this bloke's got more than a stoop, he looks as though he's foraging on the ground for fag ends. And is that a rucksack or is that a hump on his back?

He looks about 2 foot shorter than Betty, too. That can't be right. I'm a short hunchback with a foot long chin, I'm walking behind my wife as if she owns me? And look, she's laughing at him! Betty wouldn't do such a cruel thing. It can't be her. How can the woman laugh at this hunchbacked, long-chinned freak when her own tits are nothing to write home about, look, they're down to her fucking knees!

They can't be us! They're a couple of fucking rampaging neanderthals, they don't belong in the 21st century let alone in front of a famous London landmark.

Look, there's a copper! Hurry up and arrest them, you bastard. Put 'em out of their misery. Transport 'em back to an earlier time, the bleedin' stone age! Come on, you lazy pig!

Shit, that's not a copper...

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