It occurred to me this morning, as I rode a tandem penny farthing with Dick Van Dyke along what we initially assumed to be cobbled street but turned out to be a large serried mass of immaculately-iced cupcakes, that surrealism is undergoing something of a Renaissance.
I’m not talking exclusively about works of art - although the likes of ‘This Is Jinsy’ and ‘Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy’, which present images of rats playing musical instruments being used as cavity wall insulation, and a geriatric’s birthday party involving a game of charades between the celebrating pensioner, the voice of god, and the ghost of a flea, would be inclined to affirm this suggestion.
No, I’m referring to the news.
The Prime Minister deems it necessary, in a national address, to tell the nation that ‘One time I ate a pasty, a big one, in a station.” The leader of the opposition goes into Greggs to buy eight sausage rolls. Expats phone the British Embassy, asking consular staff how to erect a chicken coop, if they knew a good dog-minder, or if they knew how to say ‘I love you’ in Hungarian.
This absurdity seems to have spread to real-life people, not just the display-model humans on our televisions and in our newspapers. I was at a municipal dump the other day* , and observed two adult humans holding the following conversation, while trying to decide whether their defunct toaster should be abandoned next to the sign reading ‘small electricals’ or the sign reading ‘large electricals’:
“Our toaster’s quite small.”
“Yes, but I’ve seen smaller.”
“It’s not as big as a TV.”
“It doesn’t have to be. I don’t watch the game on the toaster.”
Truly, a line worthy of Lynch’s rabbits.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll have to wrap up this rambling piece of prose abruptly; my pen has just turned into a vermillion caterpillar, and a man with an apple in front of his face has asked if he can borrow my notebook.
* Why? Well, since you ask, to dispose of a broken ironing board. Despite being incapable of functioning, this ghost of laundry past has remained in the cupboard for a number of years, taking up space, resenting the new ironing board, and occasionally falling on those brave and/or stupid enough to open the door.