Thursday, September 07, 2006
Somebody left the door open and the wrong dogs came home
I just made this Iraqi border town Airfix model
I was in a hobby shop off Denmark Street in London with my friend Pete. I was approached by that bloke from Channel Four News who asked me if I would mind being interviewed on camera about the Airfix company going bust. I agreed. This much was straightforward.
Bloke: So how long have you been making Airfix Models?
Me: About two weeks.
Bloke: .....Okay....and what attracts you to them?
Me: I'm a musician and making music is killing my life so I've started revisiting a childhood I never actually had. I like the idea of having a world that I CAN COMPLETELY CONTROL. (This last sentence was the only bit they broadcast, making me look like a social retard)
Bloke: So why do you think that kids today aren't interested in making models?
Me: They are too into computer games. And drugs.
Bloke: (looks at assistant, looks back at me) . Urr... we can't use that really.
Me: But it's true.
Bloke: Yes, but we'd have to consult our solicitor.
Me: Well okay. Kids can't relate to wars that happened over sixty years ago. Most of the people in this shop are old men. If you go into Forbidden Planet you'll see that they sell loads of pre-made scale models of characters from movies. If Airfix had aggressively pursued contracts with major studios for, say, Batman figurines you can actually build and paint yourself, they may not have gone bust. They haven't moved with the times. They should have employed me as their marketing manager.
That was it. They didn't broadcast the two sensible things I said.
Things to do on boring journeys
By train: Find a nearly empty carriage. Approach someone who is sitting alone by the window at a four berth table, point at the seat right next to them and ask 'is anyone sitting here?'. Before they can work out how to respond, sit down next to them, spread a broadsheet newspaper across the table then promptly fall asleep.
By coach: At regular intervals, crawl down the gangway, rest your head on the driver's shoulder and ask "are we there yet?".
By taxi: Many taxi drivers make tiresome small talk for the duration of the journey. Disarm them by talking excitedly about your new wallpaper. Phrase your witless meanderings as though they are questions. If the driver attempts to change the subject, run with it for about twenty seconds then elegantly steer it back on course.
By plane: These days, security regulations are used to excuse miserable, sour faced service and deeply humiliating immigration procedures. If you so much as look slightly wrong this can be used as a reason to deny you boarding. As such, there is little scope for stupid behaviour on air travel. Pretty much anything but blind obediance is seen as insubordination. If you really want to push it, you can keep asking the air stewards if there is anything you can do to help, praise the quality of the food and try to strike up a conversation with them when they end the flight with the traditional but clearly anachronistic individual farewells.
By ferry: There is fuck all of interest on ferrys, and little you can do about it. But outside, what can you see? Waves, sky. Oh, but look down, look down. Swirling black nightmare drowning downwards forever and ever those railings could simply give way at any time no-one will even notice you've disappeared for at least an hour oh my God this is actually happening. Meanwhile, indoors: greasy food, fruit machines and the smell of dusty vomit-caked carpets. Disco disco disco disco disco. Find a cabin and drink yourself into a coma. If you venture out of your cabin at night you are likely to be intimidated by gangs of drunken fat neck Brits on the piss. If approached, pretend to be retarded, show them your scale model of the ferry, tell them the Captain gave it to you and play with it on the carpet.