So after my successful pursuit of Mr Cocker, I turned my attention on Greyson Perry, articulate arch-lord of the freaks and frock-wearers of the world. But it never happened. “Grayson isn’t taking any press until Autumn” came the definitive response from his PR. I couldn’t find the emoji for ‘Ooh, Get You’ and so didn’t bother replying.
Which is why when I bumped into him on Saturday morning at Sheffield Doc/Fest, I can’t be held responsible for my actions. If you don’t enlist me as a journo, you’re lumbered with me as a fan, which is never a pretty sight.
“Greyson!” I call as he glides by in his pyjama-like civvies.
“Yes?” He squints at my face, and shakes my hand when I offer it.
Why does he look so confused? Oh, yeah.
“Oh, you don’t know me. I just love your work.”
He pulls his hand away.
Then he breezes off into the distance.
I realise afterwards that he only offered 2 words during our exchange while I emptied my mouth like a handbag and 11 fell out. He saw my dirty tissues & screwed up receipts and everything.
I imagine only a select few get to see inside Grayson’s handbag:
Talking of scraps of paper, Grayson’s talk made me feel much better. There were far worse freaks than me abroad tonight, especially the first person who stood up to the mic for the Q&A, who waffled on about making a piece of origami for Grayson and held aloft the smallest piece of paper I’ve ever seen.
“Yes, but have you got a question?” Grayson asked impatiently.
“Err, no, I just want to give you my origami.”
After an uncomfortable silence, he shuffled back to his seat, probably discovering that screwing up origami in shame just makes it into even smaller origami.
Last week, they cleared the dead man’s house next door. We knew this because we were woken up to the sound of objects being lobbed lovelessly into a big open top van by two men. Thud, thump, and crunch they went, all bleeding morning.
“It’s like each thud is a lump of his flesh” said Esther.
My hoarding instincts told me to run round and grab armfuls of the stuff. My OCD warned me that each item would be smeared with the anti-vandal paint of death, visible only under moonlight. My OCD won.
It was the degree show this week. If I see something I like, I tell myself, I’ll buy it. In my head I’m a slimmer Saatchi, a Serota capable of smiling. Luckily for me, being penniless, there was nothing worth buying this year. Degree Shows can be summed up as:
- installations about childhood
- pornographic self portraits
- knitted vaginas
It’s always the same every year because self-absorption clings to the same reference points like cat hair to tights. In fact, the only good thing I can remember seeing was last year’s show, where someone paid a bouncer-cum-invigilator to stand in the way of their painting and block any attempts to see it, thus rendering it the only thing worth seeing and the only thing no-one saw #wishidthoughtofthat
It reminds me of the greatest example of people going to see nothing I’ve ever heard. No, not Olly Murs, but the Mona Lisa after it was stolen:
In other news, I found a lifesize dog teddybear in St Luke’s charity shop yesterday. It did something funny to me, lobotomised my adult bits for a minute. I’ve made up a new collective noun for this sort of feeling: An intervention of soft toys.
If I’d had a spare cuddly toy, I’d have probably offered it to the busdriver on Friday. Getting off last means that everyone before you has gone through the full vocabulary of gratitude:
nice one fella (for students who haven’t had their Southernness beaten out of them yet)
I can offer nothing more and so walk past him mutely. Of course, I realise now that mute people aren’t universally known for being rude, they can say thanks in their own way. Unfortunately though, the sign language for thanks looks like you’re blowing a kiss.
Next time, I think I’ll just do a peace sign.