How many times have you been walking somewhere, seen someone stopping folk in the street and subsequently found a way to avoid them, despite having no knowledge of their agenda?
How many times have you, without hearing them (perhaps you’ve even got your headphones in) waved them away or told them you’re in a hurry? (Ok so those are two questions, don’t be such a pedant.)
LOADS I’ll bet; we’ve all done it. Once, I even pretended to be French in order to sidestep a particularly enthusiastic gouranga bloke. Unfortunately he spoke the language fluently. Rats. The jig was up. Then I remembered I could leave, we were out in the middle of the world here, not trapped in some tense social situation or…room. I fucked off post haste.
Anyway, today I was on my way to the library, cause I’m super-cool and thats where the super-cool kids hang out (round about the 828’s, if you’re interested) when I saw a young woman up ahead, stopping passers-by, most of whom ignored her; waved her away without looking, simply aware that a stranger was seeking their attention.
Ok, fair enough, normally I too would just keep going, but this time I didn’t have my headphones in, I’d decided to just listen to my thoughts and the world for a change; so, as I got nearer to the young lady, I kept my head up and waited to see what purpose was causing her to stop folk in the street.
“Would you like a free cake?” she asked.
“Haaah, there’s no such thing as free cake”, I replied, ever the cynic.
“Ohhh but there is! Its a lovely day, the sun is out, so, y’know…”
I ate that free cake. That sweet, light, sugary, agenda-free cake. It was delicious. I thanked the girl and carried on my way. An hour or two later, as I left the library, that girl and her friends and her delicious snacks were gone, like some sort of cakey dream. I smiled, and carried on.
So remember folks, amidst the charity workers, gouranga-hasslers, Big Issue sellers and junkies with dubious stories involving an unfortunate series of events which have caused problems that can only be solved by you giving them their bus fare, every now and then, someone is just trying to give you some free cake.
Take your headphones out now and then, see what happens.
Til next time folks,
love Shambles x
The artwork in this little story is by my good friend Neil Slorance. Buy stuff from him. Or from me. Y’know, whatever.