Friday, June 23, 2017

No Peanuts, No Sitting

The heat conducted me through town this afternoon, and I happened to pass through Oxford Circus.
Amplified music signalled a pause in the journey: there, a fabulous sight greeted my eyes.
We are all still sinners, but the 'No Peanuts, No Sitting' man has changed his modus operandi to an infinitely more dramatic and arresting trajectory.
I'm not sure whether we are sinning more, or whether his performance art hasn't been appreciated by Arts Council England (is he serious?) but he has upped the ante considerably.
No longer is he a soberly dressed man in a mac with a little dark blue nautical cap and steel-rimmed spectacles parading piously through the crowds of shoppers. Oh no!
Probably inspired by an illustration in a frayed plastic-covered 1960s library book, he has fashioned a kind of leprechaunish costume: a hat, bright emerald-green shorts, and glaring red braces. I'm not sure where the idea for the large Star of David on his chest came from, but it's there in the mélange. All of this is topped by the sandwich board, mounted on a device to hold it way up above his hat so we can see what it's all about.
The loud music that had pulled me to a stop was a sort of improvised Jimmy Shand hybrid whose accordions tumbled out a senseless rhythm and rambling Scottish-ish melody; no-peanuts-and-no-sitting-man was bouncing around in time to the music, revolving manically with a fixed grin on his tense jaw, feet twanging out horizontally in turn from his raised knees in a parody of an Irish Jig.

Oh London, your joys are ever bountiful!
If you don't believe me, go and see for yourself.


Wilky of St Albans said...

You're remembering Stanley Green, who walked up and down Oxford Street with a board that had the message 'Less Passion from Less Protein' or something similar. He died about 20 years ago and I seem to recall reading that his board was donated to the Museum of London. It was always good to see him, a familiar face in amidst an ever-changing see of people

Wilky of St Albans said...

'sea' not 'see' obv