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Sunday, 8 June 2008

Of Chocolate Mice (Warning: Some "Adult" content)

His name wasn't Pete but let's say it was in order to protect the guilty. He was on the same course as me at Uni. Pete's famous catch phrase was "Have a chocolate mouse for effort!" which he deployed anytime something impressed him favourably or otherwise. It's a good phrase and a quick Google suggests it has fallen out of use. It needs revival!

Anyway, one of the occasions Pete used "his" phrase was during the little difficulty encountered the year he decided there ought to be a departmental float for the Rag Week procession. These days, the float design might be described approvingly as an "installation" - but it wasn't at the time. Such is the lot of an artist.

The core of the installation was a tower about 6' high made out of large tins. At the base were two footballs in hessian sacks. The top was a slotted hemispherical drain cover he nicked from somewhere. He sprayed the whole thing pink, let the paint dry and put it on a bed of dark horsehair scavenged from an old mattress. Finally, he bought an aerosol of shaving foam, ready for the "big" day.

As this took shape under the bridge that led to the library block, our interest in accompanying him on the float waned totally. Everyone claimed prior engagements, which in my case was true so I missed out on seeing the installation meet its grateful public.

Pete survived though and was there at the entrance to our final exam. He'd bought a gross of chocolate mice and was handing them out.

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