Friday, 31 October 2008

Camera Boy, Part One

Sketchbook: Camera Boy


"If the wind changes direction,
Your face will stay like that,"
His mother always said.

And she was right.

She said it could happen at any time
But he never thought it might.

"He's always taking pictures,"
She used to also say,
"Do something George,
Make him stop,
Look, just get right in his way!"

He liked taking photos of buildings best,
Though somehow his albums always seemed
To be full of pictures of his father.

The two of them would flick through them before dinnertime,
And have his mother in a lather.

"You always go against what I say!"
She'd accuse him,
Accusingly.

"No I don't", he'd reply.

"Yes you do!
And you do it every single day!"

And she was right, of course.
Again.

He didn't mean to contradict her,
But she was so unreasonable.

Before he left, he'd sleep outside,
When the night-time weather was seasonable.

That was in March.

The day George left.

He took the front door with him
(God knows why),

But his wife did not report the theft.

In fact she never spoke again.
She sat inside and stared at the bed,
While thieves walked into the open house,
And cleared out her belongings
And fled.

The only things they didn't take were the boy and his camera
(And his mother and her bed).
Tables, televisions, cups and saucers,
No longer in the home,
Taken just down the road instead
And locked in someone else's shed.

She stopped scolding the boy
For taking photos of all the places that he went.
Well, she was never with him,
She just sat motionless at home in Kent.

The boy realised much too late
What a catastrophe
This would prove to be,
When the awful fate befell him
That only his mother had foreseen.

It was in December, during a period of unpredictable winter weather,
That the weatherman had predicted would be predictably cold.
He had predicted that the wind would come from the North.

But he was wrong.

(Of course.)

The boy was at Number 10, Downing Street,
Attending a conference on climate change.

He wasn't supposed to be there.

He had gone there to take photographs of the front door
From interesting and artistic angles,
And somehow became entangled,
When the delegates arrived,
With security, who ushered him inside.

The Prime Minister had bought
The boy's favourite chocolate biscuits,
But kept them all for himself.
The others were left with Ryvita which,
He assured everyone,
What extremely good for their health.

The Japanese Prime Minister led the protests.

"It's not fair!" he said
While the others nodded their agreement.
"You're worse than the American President,
And he gives pretty rotten treatment!"

"Hey!" said the AP
(which is short for American President).
"What's the beef?"

"The beef?" replied the JPM.
(I think you can work out JPM by yourself.)

"The beef?!" he cried. "The beef?!
Last time you fed me beef, good sir,
I nearly lost my teeth!"

On and on they argued,
And they didn't stop for lunch,
And they came to no agreement,
When push came to shove
And shove came to crunch.

And come to crunch it did,
With two broken arms and one cracked rib,
A punctured lung and a broken teapot lid.

Now, the boy thought that perhaps
The patterned tea service would make an interesting picture,
And the wallpaper too,
If only he could find a clear view.

The trouble was,
These damned politicians kept on moving into the way of the shot,
As fists flew left, right and centre,
And tempers ran hot.

After they were done fighting,
And the Prime Minister's wife had finished putting make-up on him to cover up his black eye,
They all stood together outside the front door of Number 10, Downing Street,
And answered questions from all of the journalists there,
Who worked for the world's most important newspapers and television channels.

Speaking to the journalists,
They cited irreconcilable differences
(That means they disagreed on some very important things),
And announced,
With fingers crossed behind their backs,
That the only thing they had agreed
Was to launch a new World Biscuit Tax.

"The biscuit industry is to blame,"
Said the German Chancellor,
"For the crisis in our changing weather,
It is vital that we tackle this scourge,
Now more than ever."

The Sultan of Brunei joined this chorus against baked products.
"You cannot deny their contribution," he claimed,
"To our planet's ever-worsening pollution!"

While they spoke to their audience,
And told them of their anti-biscuit mission,
There were photographers there too,
Taking pictures of the politicians.

And the boy took pictures of the photographers
Taking pictures of the politicians,
Until the moment came to fulfil
His mother's supersitions.

When

The

Wind

Changed

Direction.

And not just once.

But twice.

Three times.

In a matter of seconds,
The wind changed direction four times,
Until it ended up pretty much where it had started.

The King of Jordan had grit blown into his eye,
The Prime Minister's microphone stand fell down,
And the Brazilian President's wig ended up upon the ground.

And while they all made such a fuss
(Believing they're so much more important than the rest of us),
While babies cried as babies must
And down the road the elderly waited for the bus,
While crops were reaped and seeds were sown,
And schoolchildren taught what must be known,

A small boy stood just yards away
And noted that, with some dismay,
When he bent down to tie his lace,
His camera was stuck fast to his face.


(To be continued...)



Link of the Day: TravelFlea - my trip to Angouleme, where I drew the sketch and started to write this story.

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