There I was sitting outside a furniture shop, just minding my business and watching the world go bye. You say how can a dummy, a fool, think when he is just a stuffed piece of material looking stupid. I had my hay day, the highpoint of my vegetating existence. There I was, up on the band wagon, doing my part in the carnival procession. One of the half naked beauties even took me in her arms and twirled me around. Admittedly my feet were dragging but everyone found it very amusing. I was the life and soul of the party. After the procession the shop keeper realised I was just the thing to show people outside his shop. Everyone was still in the mood, turning night into day, and carnival was still in full swing.
After the carnival, things quietened down and eventually I had a sad existence in a dark cellar, stuffed between some old armchairs and sofas, waiting for the day when it would be decided to dismantle my legs and arms, take off the head and reduce me to a pile of old rags and straw. Fate had another purpose for me and Big Fat Dave arrived at the furniture shop, looking for some second hand furniture for his shop in down town. There were no fine businesses in that part of town, everything was special offers or second hand, but Dave decided that I would suit the scene parked outside the grimy doors of his shop in front of the glass panes, which had not been cleaned for a few weeks, months, or perhaps even years.
At least I would still serve a purpose, although the public was not the same. Instead of gentlemen dressed in suits, with white shirts and ties, it was blue jeans and t-shirts. Some of the t-shirts looked even worse than than my clothes. And the girls, well they would have suited the carnival parade. Black varnish on the finger nails, died blue hair and even black lipstick. I suppose it was modern, but they even had earrings through their nose as well as the ear and more than one pair. My little basket that used to be filled with flowers in my old place was now a receptacle for cigarette butts and bus tickets. It was even used for a disposal unit for chewing gum, but I said nothing and Big Fat Dave would even dress me in some other clothes now and again, although jeans were not my thing and a t-shirt with a sort of tongue sticking out, some writing saying Rolling Stones.
Then there were the customers. Now Big Fat Dave did not seem to sell very much of his second hand junk, but he still had a lot of customers. Young people, dressed very shabby, with rips and holes in their clothes and very dirty. Not my sort of thing, but they would come to Dave's shop and disappear into the back room. When they left they would be putting little pieces of paper in their trouser pockets containing some sort of poweder, rushing off, looking in all directions, as if they expected they were being followed. Some of them would be smoking a very peculiar brand of cigarette. There was not much difference in the smell of the tobacco and a cat's liquid recycling system, if you get what I mean.
One thing must be said for Dave, he always put me in the shop behind the dirty windows in the evening or on Sunday when he was closed. At least I did not have to sit in the rain or snow or brace the cold winds, although I think he only did it so that he did not have to change my clothes too often.
Now and again he did have a visit from a sort of gentleman type. Not exactly the type you saw uptown, but he did have a tie on. Always dressed in a black suit, brilliant red silk tie and had lots of bling (I picked that word up from some of Dave's customers, but I think it means jewellery). Nothing special, just gold and glittery. Dave always made a fuss of that man. After he left, the usual queue of down and outs arrived again, buying whatever they bought in Dave's back room.
One dark Winter evening I was sitting in my place in front of the window when I heard a loud noise. Glass splitters surrounded me (one of the few times I was glad to be a stuffed fool with no feelings) and two of those scruffy youngsters were standing in the shop making their way to the back room. They seemed to be in a hurry and managed to knock me out of my wheelchair.
"Hey, Pete, be careful, we don't want the old man to find his dummy on the floor."
"Ok, Mick, no problem."
and they picked me up and put me back in the chair. It was then that Big Fat Dave walked into the shop.
"What's all this noise" he shouted "what do you think you are doing here?"
"What do you think Dave" one of the two boys called "where do you keep that sugar, in the back room?"
"None of your business boys, now clear out."
"Or - you want to call the police Fat Dave? I don't think so."
It was then that Fat Dave took one of those second hand pokers in his hand from the shop and was going to hit one of the boys with it, but they managed to dive out of his way and gave him a push. Now Big Fat Dave was really fat, and I don't think that is so healthy for the living units amongst us. He sort of gripped his chest and fell over. At the same time he caught his foot in my wheelchair which propelled me in the direction of the two youngsters, knocking them off their feet, one of them falling on some broken glass, and the other hitting his head on the shop counter.
So there I was, just sitting my chair watching, surrounded by Big Fat Dave, whose face seemed to have a very distant look, especially his eyes, one young man who seemed to have a very nasty cut on his throat (he was breathing very strangely) and another young man who was laying on the floor unconscious.
The next morning the police eventually arrived and saw the scene. Seemed there were two dead and one on the way. And me. I just sat there watching.
Of course, being a fool, things did not really make an impression on my straw filled head, although I had a problem. If the shop would now be closed, would I be demolished or just left to crumble away.
All things come to a good end. When the men from the council were clearing the shop one of them saw me and his eyes lit up.
"Now look at that dummy" he said. "I know just the place for him. Dress him up in some nice clean clothes, comb his hair and my kids will just love him."
So where am I now? Sitting in a chair in a children's room. I get dressed in something different every week. I even get fed (well not really, but the thought counts when those kids come with something nice for me) and they realise that I exist. Sometimes I have to ask myself, who is really the fool?
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