The Day I Shrank

Monday, June 02 2003

Today I thought I was shrinking. For real. I was walking from the Tesco’s Canteen (a supermarket cafeteria where the Mac & Cheese is worth every pent) and as I was walking past a billboard, thought that I was for sure shrinking, rapidly. I yelped, then realized what was really happening.

But first, a disclaimer. I keep telling this story to people, and explaining myself to those who saw me duck and heard me yelp, and they don’t get it. It’s all a matter of cultural differences. Where I come from, there’s no such thing as a billboard in front of a store that suddenly, without warning, scrolls up and replaces it’s previous advert with a new one. It doesn’t happen.

So when you’re standing next to one, and entire view and peripheral view is consumed by this, and it goes and does it’s thing, you think “good grief I’m surely going to shrink to the size of a mouse” and you yelp. You shriek because you think “this can’t be happening, how will I explain this to my wife?”. You don’t think “mechanical billboard” or “maybe I’m falling down” or “maybe that billboard is taking flight”. You think “I’m shrinking, rapidly”.

Consider peoples in far off tribes like in Africa or South America or somewhere who may have never seen or heard of something as crazy as say a car or a TV. Everyday objects to us, but totally mysterious and crazy magical items to those who’ve never seen or experienced them. Do we think they’re stupid when they look at the back of the TV to see how we fit people inside? When they cower in fear because they think we’ve trapped lions under the hood of the car? Heck no! We just call them inexperienced.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.