Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Rubber Mask and High, High Heels

Surely this must be one of the strangest photos I've ever taken.

Here's the backstory: I was walking home from the dry cleaners with Olga yesterday afternoon when I saw a man approaching us who just didn't look quite right. Another guy noticed him too, and pulled out his phone to take a photo. The first man, who by now I could see was wearing a rubber mask, crouched down in a shrub, and phone-guy and I both took pictures. The man in the mask never said a word. He simply stood up and kept walking down the street.

Olga, being sensible, was scared of him.

Who's that mask supposed to be, anyway? To me it looks like Boris Yeltsin, but it seems highly unlikely that someone would be walking around London in a tie-dye hat and a Boris Yeltsin mask. It's more likely to be someone contemporary and newsworthy. Unless Yeltsin is supposed to bring to mind that other Boris, Boris Johnson, who is London's mayor?

These two ladies were walking nearby, in shoes that didn't look exactly easy to walk in.

Speaking of Boris Johnson, I read in the paper an allegation by his sister, a Notting Hill resident, that noise from the recent Notting Hill Carnival made her sitting room ceiling collapse. Carnival floats used to carry steel drum bands, but these days they're tricked out with huge speakers -- leaving nearby residents "throbbing and pulsating to the ear-splitting decibels of the carnival, to the pimped-up sound systems called things like Far Too Loud and Rampage," in Rachel Johnson's words.

Which makes me even more glad that we left town.


Ms. Moon said...

I am not even going to try and make any sense of these pictures.

ellen abbott said...

Apparently he didn't mean any harm with his tie dye hat and peace sign. But yeah, wearing a rubber mask? Maybe he was spying on someone whom he didn't want to be recognized by.

And I will never understand why women will willingly wear shoes that in essence cripple them.

Ana Balka said...

Definitely Yeltsin. Definitely weird.

Elizabeth said...

I'm with Ms. Moon. What fascinates me as well is that you are at the exact right place at the exact right time to catch these moments -- whatever they are!

Vivian said...

oh my gosh...i cracked up...!! thanks for the laugh

Reya Mellicker said...

These pictures are truly fabulous.

I love the mystery of the masked man. You'll never know, most likely.

The shoes! I'm in awe. Those young Roman women strut down the streets in 5" heels - over cobblestone! - and never stumble. How do they do it?

Reya Mellicker said...

I went to Carnival in Trinidad one year. The vibration was intense from the speakers, even from several blocks away. I never removed my earplugs the whole time we were there.

Sharon said...

You got a great photo of the guy in the mask. A very strange encounter made even stranger by the fact that he's hiding in the shrubs.

The Bug said...

I can't walk in heels like that at all. I used to try, but I think it was scary for everyone who watched me. Ha!

I wonder if mask guy was a sociology experiment? Like the time two of my college friends pretended to be a pregnant lesbian couple in rural NC (only one of them pretended to be pregnant).