This is going to sound fairly arrogant but I am it… I speak the truth, I am it. There’s a game in which I have become an unwilling competitor and I have been tagged as “it” more times than is generally good for me and I need to explain…
You’re probably going to think that this is nonsense and how can a man of your size be a part of the world’s biggest game of “it”? For me though, it’s a real thing and I spend much of my time wandering around my hometown of Brighton with a careful eye on what’s around the next corner or behind that tree.
There’s a proper nutcase who always seems to find me, despite my stealth and verve and when she does find me, I know that I’m in for a barrage of nonsense, the like of which has rarely been heard outside of Rampton Secure Hospital. So bizarre are these rants that I can only liken them to a printer that’s gone bonkers after an electrical surge. It’s quite surreal.
For a start, this woman wears two hats at all times. Summer or winter, two woolly rasta hats hold sway over her somewhat elongated skull. I wonder whether she had her head bound, Inca style, when she was a kid? These hats are a bit torn but held together by the adhesive qualities of dried hair grease and rain shrinkage. One hat worn over the top of the other creates a look which is unique and a useful incubator for headlice and assorted creatures.
Recently, she has informed me that she’s being watched by both Chinese and Russian governments who have “surveillance mermaids” listening to her and who know her every move. This has risen, she tells me, since all the communists arrived, possibly on a day trip, which they enjoyed to such an extent, that they stayed here. The man with the t-shirt, you know, the one with the bike, has news about who killed Princess Diana and until that problem is solved, all old people should be allowed outside between the hours of 07:30 and 09:00 on weekdays. Yesterday, she was particularly upset that “someone had started talking about birthdays in front of a child and that is outrageous. No child should hear about someone’s birthday.” I informed her that kids actually like a good birthday and she declared that to be “a terrible thing and one more reason to leave the country forever.”
I can’t seem to go anywhere without seeing those two hats running towards me or jumping out from behind a bus shelter. I’m trying to hone my urban “hide n’ seek” skills but she’s just too good at this sort of thing. Before you know it, there’s two bonnets and a shower of spittle and we’re off again with untold shades of fruitcake fanaticism. I do wonder how she got into this sad state and whether there’s a family out there who still care about her well being. Somehow, I doubt it. She’s a solitary figure with a mound of problems that I could never understand and a small but very well utilised hat collection.
I will just have to carry playing “it” whilst I’m out and about, looking left and right at all times and hope that they don’t set the mermaids on me.