The Lady and the Box
Dive into Pete’s log, an android from planet Hy Man who, along with Mex has been sent to earth to discover the ways of us humans?
So far, they have discovered “hot” means more than just burn your mouth food, “cool” means more than just the inside of a fridge and the meaning of “chilling”, “chilled” and chilly” are as varied as dishes in an Indian takeaway.
Please read on…
It was Woody’s idea to take me to the Edinburgh festival and Mex was happy to follow. We were sitting in an Indian at the time working our way through a selection of curries as hot as Bunny’s temper .My stomach was on fire, I was burning up and sweating at the same time.
“What is this stuff?” I said.
“It an Indian.” said the blond on the next table- like that explained everything.
Normally I’d be enjoying the background music; but I was feeling all tight and crunchy, like one of those packets of crisps. What I needed was a long, lean stretch followed by a position of great twisting, that would help my digestion.
Then I heard of the lady in the box.
Apparently, there was a lady who could squash herself into a box and I was curious. I am a robot of great flexibility, a yoga expert and if a woman can squeeze herself into a box, I want to know about it.
“We’ve just seen a contortionist,” said the blonde on the next table.
“Cartoonist?” said Mex.
“No, contortionist—street performer,” said the blonde. “She folded herself up into a square box . . .”
“Whatever for?” muttered Mex.
“And she can twist…” said her partner “…into knots that would turn a seaman’s hair.
He produced a video that stopped the restaurant and almost put Mex of her Jalfrezi.
“All you could see in the end…’ sniffed the blond, “…was her leotard.”
* * *
I had to go. I took a chance and headed for the back door.
Nobody noticed, the blond was giving her partner “what for” about the seaman comment, while Woody was explaining to Mex the difference be seaman and semen and the waiter was trying to shut them all up with free mints.
* * *
As I entered the festival, I could hear the roar of applause. The street was chock-a-block with people and noisy-cars, buses, and drilling mixed with music, applause, and chattering; people speaking languages and accents I never heard.
I was buzzing off my Teflon tits.
The only music played on Planet Hy Man is the sort of elevator music that puts everyone into a comma and the cars we see are limos driven by robots.
I gazed up at the castle; a piper blasted into the street.
“Am I near the Royal Mile?” I shouted.
“Just around the corner,” said the teenager, “you’re almost there.”
I continued past a magician with a dog; skidded on a leaflet, righted myself on a drunk, ignored the insult, and continued.
It was slow work working through the crowds, but finally, I made my way onto Mount Pleasant. I passed a seedy-looking man with dreadlocks yelling into the crowd.
“You ain’t seen nothing like this, me hearties,” he yelled and pulled a bunch of flowers from his pants.
“Jesus!” muttered someone.
I walked on; past two men playing drums, past a dark man in a duffel coat sniffing into a bottle in a bag.
“Pound for coffee,” he said.
I gestured to my empty pockets then, reading the brown man’s upright-middle-finger gesture, quickly moved on.
The street was lined with performers competing for the attention of the crowd; it was hard to keep moving. I ended up sandwiched between a young girl lamenting her one-night stand and an elderly woman moaning about her bunions; right in front of a man wriggling about in a locked straitjacket.
“Let me tell you a story,” grunted the performer, “of Alcatraz and my escape.”
The crowd muttered and jolted forward. I was about to move on when I heard a chainsaw start up. I turned to see a large, hairy, masked juggler pose with a chainsaw.
The sound drowned out everything.
“Alcatraz the inescapable,” shouted the escapologist.
The juggler tossed the chainsaw into the air. The crowd gasped as his thick muscular arms caught the saw.
The escapologist watching his audience dwindle nodded to his sidekick, who wheeled on a unicycle . . .
“Alcatraz, oh Alcatraz, the place where no bird sings.”
The crowd was silent as he leveraged onto the unicycle, his arms still twisted in the straitjacket. He was a thin man with a thin ponytail and birdlike features, which at the moment were pinched with discomfort as he balanced on the unicycle.
The older woman cheered bunions forgotten.
“This is way better than the lady in the box,” she said. “I mean how long can you stare at a box?”
“Is she still there?” I said.
“Oh yes, she’s still there with a sidekick for comedy.”
“Comedy in a box?” said someone from behind. “hardly call it that.”
I marched up the steep hill of Cockburn Street past more food shops and the smell of waffles,
chocolate, and chips.
“You see the lady? The one in the box?”
“Aye, something else.”
The young man whistled through his teeth. “Just keep going, ignore the comedian he as funny as herpes.”
The street was lined with tables and chairs, people sitting, talking, artists drawing, manipulating balloons into weird shapes.
I pushed through the crowd, skidded to a stop and stared at the Perspex box. Her limbs folded about her body—and all I could see was her leotard.
“Come see the impossible,” shouted the comedian, “a woman who can tie herself into knots any seaman would be proud of.”
Nobody laughed until that I caught the comedian’s eye.
Full of festive spirit and desperate for a twist and fold to sort my rumbling tum, I shouted
“Bring me a smaller box and I show you a few knots a seaman has never heard off.”
Cont. next blog …