Be useful and industrious. Tell everyone that an important guest, Mr. G, is coming to dinner. Go out into the vegetable garden, cut a cabbage, then for the family dinner, make a big steaming bowl of chouxchoux à la manière de Samuel Beckett. Set an extra place at the table for Mr. G and keep them all waiting.
Be active. First thing in the morning, open the door and stretch and bend in the early morning sun, stretch and bend, stretch and bend, stretch and bend at the same time making a continuous humming sound from deep low down in the diaphragm. Mmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Be interactive. Phone a friend who lives in a cold, far-off, rainy country and tell her about the weather here and how life goes on and on outdoors because of all the sunshine here. Describe the clothes you are wearing and how bronzée you have become. Tell her about your natty sandals and about the gorgeous student you met who wants you so much he veel die wizout you. Describe in detail the alfresco lunch you had with the jolly Chevalier family on a long table under their apple tree (don’t forget to mention the bottle of Chateau Chambertine ’84 they opened in your honour).
Be adventurous. Take off all your clothes and proceed to the nearest river and practise walking on water. Note that this requires very little skill but a great effort of will power.
Be idiosyncratic. Put on a fancy waistcoat, find the glass ball you have had for years in the attic in the cardboard box labelled MISC and go into the street with what used to be called a ghetto-blaster. Do a silly dance and wave at the people who gather round. Smile. Turn the volume up. Proceed to juggle with the glass ball. Make fun of anyone who shows either embarrassment or hostility. At the first sight of a policeman, melt into the middle distance.
(If it’s raining, try 6 instead)
If you have any questions during your visit
please do not hesitate to ask the gallery assistants
who will be only too happy to: a) mime deafness;
b) tell you zey no spik Inglese; c) ask if you’ve heard
of the word ‘google’.
Be inquisitive. Go to an Art Gallery and ask one of these Curator chappies about one of the paintings: a simple question like ‘How old was Cadell when he painted this?’ will do for starters. Then try a more complicated one like ‘ Is what Guthrie said true? That Cadell used orange so much in his later paintings because in the summer of ’26 he got a bulk supply of the stuff at half-price?’
This will give him/her (but usually a ‘him’) the chance to show he/she is not simply there to prevent people from photographing or standing too close to the paintings.