When You’re Strange

8 Jun

Last weekend, plans were high for the Circus Serrando‘s annual summer performance. After a colourful dress rehersal, the trainers sat around to discuss the numbers and what was still incomplete. Everyone was given a task. Mine was the buy heat-resistant adhesive tape for the unicycle group.

I walked into the hardware corner of the store Abt, looked at various adhesives before I decided to ask for help. I stood at the Information stand for a bit until a woman turned away from her computer, gave me a big smile and asked how she could help me.

“I’m looking for heat-resistant tape.”

A man behind the second computer looked up in interest. “May I inquire as to what for?” he asked, mildly curious.

“Well…” I wondered: how to explain? My reasons would need minute explanations and would certainly take a long time, so I decided to take a short-cut. An idea for forming in my mind, so keeping my voice even, I said very slowly: “I need it to tape it onto little nine year old girls.”

The two salespeople stared at me in incredulous shock. I nodded seriously with a small, creepy smile. Finally, the woman spoke up: “That seems a bit … bizarre…”

“Yes, well, the whole concept is rather bizarre,” I replied, unpacking the version with minute details. “See, it’s for the summer performance of my circus. The nine year olds in question are portraying aliens on their unicycles, and part of their costumes is a shining line of tape, which apparently has to be heat-resistant. I’ve been sent here to buy some more, because we might need to stick it onto more little girls.” I smiled evily again.

The man behind the computer got up, obviously feeling more confident now that he had been handed a logical explanation. “Ah, yes, well, come with me,” he instructed with the flick of his finger. I followed dutifully and watched while he poked at several tapes before handing me the correct one.

“There you go, miss,” he said smoothly, his confidence regained. “Have fun taping it onto the little girls.”

As I walked out the store, I thought: “Well that doesn’t sound much better…!” But I smiled because it’s great being strange.


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