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Blog: Her Majesty's Staggerer

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Like, I guess, most people, I stood outside yesterday lunchtime for the Two Minute Silence, and found it all rather moving. All around the Square upon which our office sits were small clumps of people looking a bit self-conscious, and it was weird to think that so MANY of us worked in this one little area, and never really saw each other. Maybe we should do it again one day, just for the HECK of it, and do synchronised waving at each other.

During the silence we had a couple of people wander by, REALISE what was happening, and then stand still, looking even MORE self-conscious than the rest of us, but we also had the traditional CONFUSED DRUNK MAN who STAGGERED through the whole thing, with NO idea what was happening and a RIGHTEOUS FURY that everyone had decided to just stand around saying nothing. At first this was a bit disconcerting, but then I realised he was actually reinforcing what was going on - we NEED at least one person NOT to be standing quietly, to bring into sharper contrast the fact that the rest of us WERE.

In discussions later it turns out that MANY of us were supplied with such a person, and it got me to wandering - do these sort of occasions GENERATE this behaviour, perhaps? Does the PSYCHIC WAVE created by such unified actions always cause SOMEBODY to suddenly turn, and go a bit doolally for the duration? It would certainly explain why There's Always Somebody who shouts "Bollocks!" during The Quiet Bits in any ceremony. I always feel the temptation in the back of my mind to do something Inappropriately Daft but always cast it aside, but maybe that's the PSYCHIC WAVE passing by on the way to its VICTIM?

(just in passing - i've noticed such people are usually EITHER rolling a cigarrette OR look like they'd like to do so. A link, perhaps?)

Another thought then struck me - what if it's NOT a psychic occurence, but a secret ancient order of staggerers set up for JUST such occasions? This set my mind back to 1977, when we'd come down to London as a FAAAAMILY to see the Queen's Jubilee. The main aspects of the day i remember are:
  • I got lost for, like, 30 seconds, and my Mum STILL goes on about it. Cuh!
  • We had Dennis The Menace And Gnasher CHEWY BARS
  • Our sandwiches were wrapped in silver tin foil
  • I was stood on a bollard, and saw the Queen wave
  • Before all that, a man cam along The Mall on his BIKE, and we all cheered

  • It is this final item that drew my attention - how on EARTH had that bloked managed NOT TO NOTICE that the MALL was THRONGED with people? Or had he just thought London was particularly busy that day, and had determined to take his usual route home, no matter what? OR! Was he in fact the HEAD of the Secret Ancient Order Of Staggerers, and was carrying out the ceremonial duty of STAGGERING ahead of The Queen (NB on a bicycle, as it was a big event), thereby drawing CONTRAST between him and Her Majesty?

    It is an INTRIGUING THOUGHT, is it not? It intrigued me for a LONG time... until this afternoon when I saw the queue for people auditioning for the next series of The Apprentice at a hotel round the corner from my work. Surely if they're QUEUEING like that they're failing the audition already? Surely a top notch Big Business Tosser would have STORMED to the front by now? Or maybe they were all people's SECRETARIES who'd been forced to wait in line whilst their bosses went to the PUB?

    Such is life within my BRANE... anyway, have a lovely weekend all, I'm off to Peterborough now, and then Brighton tomorrow - all the FACTS, on my return!

    posted 15/7/2005 by MJ Hibbett

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