Today I gathered together a pair of pants, a T-shirt, a jacket, a pair of shoes and socks, a hat and a Bible. I then took these items and arranged them in a “I was just sucked up into heaven” pose on a sidewalk. The sidewalk I picked was a rather busy sidewalk leading to the Saturday Farmers Market in Corvallis, Oregon.
Once I had everything arranged on the sidewalk I then retreated to a stealthy hiding place to watch the reactions (well, actually, I simply sat in my truck about 20 feet away). And there I sat for about two hours.
Within those two hours I’d estimate that 250 people walked by (I stopped counting at 75 after about 30 minutes). I’d say that roughly ½ of the people who walked by either didn’t notice my scene, or thought it was just a pile of discarded clothes, or simply ignored it (a few people even walked directly on it.)
Another ¼ of the people quickly “got the joke”, smiled and went on their way. And much to my glee, the remaining ¼ of the people stopped, laughed, and discussed the scene, with many taking photos.
During my time at the scene I only overheard two negative responses. One woman looked at the scene in disgust and said “This is so tacky!”, while a man a short time later said “Someone needs to get a life.” (I must admit, that one rather stung. Although, he was walking with his wife while wearing a papoose with their baby in it. While I’m sure such behavior might seem “paternal and sensitive” to many women, when guys see such a thing they think.......well, I’ll just leave it there for now......)
Two people also rearranged my scene. The first was a gentleman who thought he would ‘improve’ the scene by standing the bible on end (I promptly restored the scene by laying it back down). Later, a young boy thought it would be funny to put the shoes at the ends of the coat sleeves (I must admit I did find that funny, but I quickly restored the scene again).
The most interesting thing that happened was when a woman riffled through all of the pockets looking for valuables. (I purposely put a small cardboard box in the back pants pocket, simulating a stuffed wallet). This, while her husband/boyfriend “stood guard”.
All and all I had fun doing this. And additionally, I find myself feeling good that I was able to amuse and entertain many people today.