Heavy Plant

Walk past a "Heavy Plant" warning and wonder vaguely if the trees thought it was for them; if whoever put it up had enough imag...



Language becomes the programming mechanism for reality; vocalise it - it can be so.

The software paradigm infects the idea of real, interfering what measurably exists - some kind of epistemological crisis invoked by describing what is not. Calling forth ideas into form; a new magic.  The more an idea is heard the more it is believed, the truer it becomes the more likely it seems to be (real).

Begins the manipulation. Options are; become conditioned to act as if an idea is true and give it greater weight, look stupid or confrontational for challenging the spoonfed truism. It becomes truth. Programmed.

The descent

Perhaps it shouldn't have come as a surprise that the moment I realised my descent into suburbia was total came at a casual game of tennis, but it did. It sat there in front of me like the proverbial dead cat. One moment I was wondering whether my hangover was actually mild enough for me to be engaging in physical activity and the next, there it was; I had had a conversation about decking treatments.

"What's that on your face mate? You alright?"
"Yes, I'm fine it's probably just the decking oil..."
"Ultradeck? Good stuff that. I used it at our place, keep it up to date and it'll see you right. Every six months I do ours."
"Ultradeck? You don't need to do that every six months unless its in the sun."
"Well, some of it..."
"Yeah, do those bits more often then or it'll crack"

...And so on it went. I withheld the fact that I had also mown the lawn for fear of a protracted comparison of two and four stroke lawnmower models.
At that moment I think I realised that for the sake of my own sanity I was going to at least pretend that I was some sort of sleeper agent whose purpose it was to point out the raw strangeness of suburban comfort.


Surprise! 1

Starting as a peculiar sort of unease it came, a strange suspicion of being followed from a distance, a persistent presence that could be felt round corners, dogging carefully quietened footsteps. I made it to the gym without seeing anyone or anything behind me but feeling very slightly anxious. Whatever it was didn't follow me inside. I checked through the glass doors.

Heading outside after a swim and a shower I put on my headphones to drown out the traffic with music. I was thinking through the day ahead until the same dogged presence was on me again. Removing one earbud I looked back behind me and saw nothing. Perhaps a hint of colour, one of the gym-bunnies in their fluorescent lycra heading inside for a spin class. Nonetheless the sensation continued. Having got into the habit of missing breakfast maybe the source of the problem was missing calories and caffeine.

After a pit stop at a cafe my nerves were more settled. I dismissed the thought almost entirely. I am simply not interesting enough to be followed. There was a long straight stretch of pavement with nice clear lines of sight, completely empty in both directions and I set off calmly, this new thought in my head. Once again, more slowly this time the feeling crept in; I was being followed by something. I picked up the pace looking in front and then spinning sharply round to see only an empty pavement behind. As I turned back there was a blur of motion and TOOOOOT!!!!  A clown had jumped out and blown a child's party tooter in my face. One of the ones with a paper and wire extension that rolls out like a tongue in a cartoon.

Before I could open my eyes from the surprise both clown and tooter were gone again. I couldn't have imagined it! I saw it right in front of me, felt the displacement of the air as the clown leant forward, the sharp tug and slight pop as the earbuds were pulled from my ears by their cord. I had heard the rustle of baggy trousers, the rasp of the reed in the tooter but there was no one in front of me and nothing behind. Rattled, my heart thumping in my chest, I fair ran to work, feeling much safer behind a card-entry door.

How to explain my alarm? "You look like you've seen a ghost" No, actually it was a clown. A disappearing clown with a party tooter who stalked me for over an hour just to make me jump. I must have sat silently staring at a blank screen for 10 minutes before the air conditioning chilled the sweat on my back enough to bring me to my senses. I don't think I really recovered from the shock of the morning, though I dismissed it quickly enough as a rather odd prank. I had a restless awkward day through which I crept, going outside only unwillingly, constantly on alert for the sight of brightly coloured clothing in my peripheral vision or the distant sound of a size 30 footfall.



Hey, you. Yeah, you.

Wanna buy some writing? Wanna buy some thinking?

No? You'll regret it later when you've got nothing to do and you end up numb in front of the TV again.

Go on, just a lightweight concept or two.

No, really?! Well, fuck you then! I hope you suddenly come to in the middle of your reality TV program, see how little reality it contains and your brain dribbles out of your nose because of your ludicrous ineptitude with abstraction.

Up yours man! On your way.