A Journey to the Heart of the Millenium Dream
Chapter 11 - Monsters and Hampsters
Everything is getting shakey and ropey. Flakey and dopey. We nip into a non-descript looking exhibit. This place looks like it should be relatively.. Holy Fuck! what the hell is that? The room is full of art and sculptures. Frightening Art, terrifying sculptures.
I compose myself and try and take stock. Other than the freaky decor this place is thankfully quiet. We are alone save from a single minimum wage attendant who is staring blankly into space, like a cat watching dust in a ray of sunlight. He looks like he's not paid enough to make the effort to focus, let alone ever get out of that chair. The consulting chap goes to inspect the object d'art.
"What do you make of this one?" he asks.
"It's bloody terrifying." is my reasoned response, which is not at all unreasonable, considering that the thing is a bowler hat topped, brolley weilding, tubby London banker. Ripping it's way from his back is a chrome demon with evil, four inch metal teeth, all the better to rend me with. The sign below explains that this is a commentary on the racisim underlying British culture. I don't get it. I try and look at it from the point of view of another culture, but I and I still come to the conclusion that Jah only knows what it is.
Maybe I just don't get art, although the art nearly gets me. The metallic monster takes a couple of exploritory snaps at me with its industrial incisors. I decide to ignore it and hope it goes away.
As an act of will, possibly defiance, and maybe even predestination, I turn my attention to something else. Circling the room, attached to the wall of the installation are thousands, OK, hundreds of perspex pipes. Milling around inside is an entire tribe of guinea pigs, or maybe rats or hampsters, I've never been able to tell the difference, as far as I'm concerned they're just more of these warm little beasts I'm not fond of.
The whole thing's pretty fucked up. Scampering rodents trigger little switches which makes food appear or disappear from other points in the system. When one of the little buggers goes to get that food it sets off more triggers which keeps them scurrying around the system.
"What's this one supposed to mean?"
"Dunno, someones nicked the sign."
"Probably some kind of metaphor for life."
"Shit. You know what we should do then?"
"Yup." I grin.
Unscrew this, detach that, open the thingy. By the time the attendant pays any notice to what we're up to, the room is awash in a fuzzy tide of vermin.
"Not again" he says, "You sods." Then he mutters into his walkie talkie.
"Shall we watch the fun?"
"Why not?" I'm anticipating chaos as incompetent muppets chase around trying to catch the nimble beasties. Boy am off target on this one. Three bored, be-dome-uniformed teens push in something roughly the size and shape of a photocopier.
"Second time this week."
"Yeah." the room attendant sighs.
The kids extend several jointed metal tubes from the front of the device. The tallest of the three, maybe the leader by right of challenge, pulls a wriggling rodent from his trouser leg and then bolts the largest of the pipes to an orifice in the edifice.
"That's it." he says, "Turn the bitch on."
Someone activates the machine. Emperor Nortons Ghost! it's a bloody vacuum cleaner! The kids casually mooch around the room using the pipes to suck the squeeking fur blobs back into their cage.
"Kinda cool." says he who doth consult.
"Yup." we watch for a few minutes.
"Novelty kinda wears off though, don't it?"
"You wanna go home?"
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