Just to be different

Weekend shoppers thronged the High Street, many with children in tow. One young girl stopped to stare with wide eyes at a copper statue of a man with a hat. Her mouth dropped open when the statue bent over to smile at her. Behind him was a copper-coloured boom box playing happy music gently. On the ground in front of him was a copper coloured cap for donations from the passing public.

I have seen similar street theatre in Dublin, silver-sprayed men and women posed in tableaux, rigid for lengthy periods, then changing positions for another statuesque pose. For the expectation of donations.

I can just imagine the dialogue that must have taken place at home.

“We need to raise some money. Fast. What can we do?”

“I know, I’ll spray myself with copper paint and stand in the High Street on Saturday.”

“Do what?”

“I’ll be a copper statue.”

“But what will you DO? I mean, why would anyone want to give you money just for standing around pretending to be a lump of copper?”

“Because I’ll be different. I’ll be an attraction. In fact, I’ll stand on an orange box, so everyone will be able to see me from a distance.”

“But won’t you be bored, just standing on a box all day?”

“I’ll take my boom box and play gentle music.”

“But won’t that give the game away? Won’t people know you are not a proper statue?”

“I’ll spray the boom box too. And the orange box as well. In copper paint.”

“So you’ll ruin a suit, a hat, your specs, your shoes and your boom box, just to be different, just to get noticed?”

“Black is beautiful, but copper is cute. And besides, what is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare? Besides, no one else is doing it.”

“Did you ever wonder why?”