Dulltown, UK: Today’s elephant in the room is the one turning all the furniture upside down looking for her lost spectacles.
In the middle of the pedestrianised area in town yesterday there was a group of people standing chatting, about five or six of them, a mix of men and women. They were having an animated conversation punctuated by occasional bursts of laughter.
The reason I’m bothering to relate this everyday scene is because one of the men, a tall chap in dark clothes, with his back to me, was standing in a posture that was quite, er, eye-catching. I found it amusing, and had to put my hand up to my mouth to hide my smile as I walked past – he had his legs apart, not slightly apart, but wide apart, (not unlike the Colossus at Rhodes) – I reckon each limb was at about sixty degrees to the horizontal.
You don’t see that pose very often, away from the theatre or dance stage that is – hang on, is it a ‘pose’? Yes, I think you could call it that…
I seem to remember at the annual Conservative Party conference a year or two ago the top people adopted that strange stance on the stage; the audience lapped it up and bayed in appreciation, even Theresa May tried it, that did look a bit odd… (click) I reckon they must have hired some ‘drama person’ to sort out their body language and presentation to make them look a lot more ‘powerful’ and ‘aggressive’…
Anyway, this chap was standing like that, and it set me wondering what was at the root of this oddness. I suppose if you were unusually tall and were conversing with normal-sized folk, instead of crouching, you might do it to bring yourself down to their level (not metaphorically of course, but physically). That would be reasonable enough.
Of course it is more likely to be to do with enhancing one’s self-image and making one’s, er… virility, more publicly visible.
I remember once at a music night in a pub, the singer from the band that had just finished their set sidled across to a female friend of mine who was sitting at a table near the stage. As he approached her he said, ‘Hey…’, or ‘Hi…’, or even something cooler – he stopped about two feet in front of her and quickly adopted this aforementioned pose. He stood there like that for about ten minutes chatting her up. (If I’d tried that, my thigh muscles would have been really aching after a minute or two! You have admire his stamina!) I smiled on that occasion too, or even possibly laughed out loud, but didn’t bother hiding it. By the way, my seated friend seemed to be really enjoying the attention…
There’s not a great deal of logic to the stance is there?
‘Excuse me, but why are you standing like that?… If you don’t mind my asking…’
‘No, I don’t mind – it’s because my genitalia is so large that I find it difficult to stand normally.’
‘Oh right, I see… I’m most terribly sorry, I didn’t realise it was a medical condition, I do apologise…’
‘It’s not a medical condition you cheeky bastard! Take that!…’
When I spotted the chap ‘spreading’ in public, I immediately thought that this may be an opportunity for a session of blog post writing in the cafe later on – I got my little notebook out to make a note of it – instead of writing something I just did a quick little drawing at the top of a blank page to remind me: