Friday, October 03, 2003

Homage to the Blainster

"Yeah, the great man, the boy Blaine is over the bridge"

"Thanks very much". And with that I’m off across Tower Bridge accompanied by a whole raft of expectant gawperatti. Half way over and I see him, well not strictly true, I first see the crane, then the tiny, tiny bit of clear plastic dangling from it - and within that there appears to be a gently undulating bin bag lying on the bottom.

Closer still and the pushing and shoving intensifies, I’m over the bridge now and wending my way down the stairs towards the tatty bit of waste ground underneath the plastic box. The place is humming, and all manner of seedy low-life is here….

"Sprig of lavender dearie?…. Or how about one of these beautifully designed light-flashing necklaces?"
"Begone, ancient wizened old hag!" …..
Tyburn obviously doesn’t have a show today…

So here it is ….’Above the Below’ – so not too pretentious a title there then. Channel 4 have erected naff pvc banners all over the place – ‘David Blaine, Above the Below’

He is ‘above’ – and the ground, plebs, chancers, gawpy people and winos are all below. All below with cricks in our necks and wonder in our hearts that we are here in the presence of the great St Davieness. I feel blessed, anointed even, or is that just condensation or body fluids dribbling from the box joints above?

God, this place is tatty. I look around and there are lots of young dolly birds shouting "David, David, DAVID…. Give us a wave!"

The bin-bag clad shape in the box duly obliges.

"OOOOOOhhhhhhh, he waved at me!" One of the dolly’s squealed.

I queue to get into the compound directly underneath the box… everyone is getting searched by big, ugly, bulky, baldy blokes with ear-pieces. Well I can understand that, after all, Dave’s a Yank so he’ll have enemies all over the place. They’ll have to check that none are bringing in weapons and stuff. One of Dave’s crew approaches me. Christ, he’s massive.

"Looking for weapons?" I enquired as my hands shoot skywards. He doesn’t answer.

"Got any eggs, fresh, rotten, hard boiled or raw, golf balls, satsumas, tennis balls, sprouts, hamburgers or equivalent?"

"Err no, the only thing I have in my pocket is this"

"Best keep it there" he says. I readily agree.

Satisfied, the gate opens and I’m in. I gaze up to the egg-stained, food-spattered plastic box…….. and there he is – isn’t he? A podgy face peers out from the bag he is residing in. David is not in, but his fat, pie-loving, pizza-hugging twin brother is.

Geez, whatever they are putting in the water, it’s keeping old lardy arse up to his bouncing weight all right.

"Hi Dave, how are you doing, been anywhere interesting lately? Do you want a sweety? Are you keeping regular?"

He looked at me like I was the Prince of Titheads. "Miserable sod." I muttered. I circle the box and put on my most menacing countenance – like I’m from the magic fraud squad…. I’m looking for smoke and mirrors. Is he really in the box – or is it just a projected image? Is he actually in L.A. and eating a pie, The Big Apple and eating a pizza or sunning himself on a beach somewhere and eating a seafood banquet?

But what’s it all about, what’s the point of it all? World peace, saving the rain forests, inflating David Blaine’s ego, inflating David Blaine?………

Are there any loaves and fishes here – or do we have to get our own meals? Is Dave gesticulating to us telling everyone to go forth and multiply? Is he thinking outside the box – is the box an envelope? Is it a window on the World or a box of delights? Is Dave mad, bad, sad and pretentious to know?

Who knows …. who cares?

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