Wednesday, October 23, 2019


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selfie stick

Some good work was produced by the double prompt challenge which was put forward on this occassion. 'I turned around and there was a baby in my trolley' was augmented by an alternative sugestion '101 things to do with a selfie stick'. There were some very interesting ideas put forward about the selfie stick and I decided I just couldn't do things by half so I met it full on and came up with this.


Selfie Stick

Aw! Come on folks, give me a break. What am I supposed to do here? Writing club prompt “I turned around and there was a baby in my shopping trolley” Oh! Did I tell you I’m in the Dunbar writers club? They like a challenge and they usually set themselves a task at every meeting. It’s a bit like homework except you don’t have to do it. They provide a prompt to inspire your writing but Brenda, what were you on when you thought of this one. She did suggest someone else took the chair on a Thursday maybe this is a ploy. Her way of escaping is to set impossible prompts. Under what circumstances could a baby end up in my shopping trolley? Too hard! I might have to skip my homework this week.

Wait a minute. It looks like I’m not the only one who’s flummoxed by that one. Andy has an alternative. Good, he’s just read the first page of his new book. It’s going to be a thriller set in Africa. Maybe his prompt will be something better. A kind of Wilbur Smith type jungle adventure prompt. What? Andy, I take it you don’t want the chair either? ‘101 things to do with a selfie stick.’ Is this the writers club or the Dunbar photographic society?

I know selfie sticks are all the rage but I’ve never used one and quite frankly I don’t see the point. Why would you want to take a selfie? Well why would I want to take a selfie? I don’t think I’m particularly photogenic. I have one of those plain unremarkable faces that most people don’t remember. Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining. Having that kind of face has served me well in the past. I used to work in the surveillance trade where being in plain sight without being seen was a key element of the job. Blend in, be there but don’t be remembered. It’s easier than it sounds if you have the right face and can make use of a prop or two. Wait a minute. Could a selfie stick be a good surveillance prop? Now that I think of it, the first thing every prospective candidate for the surveillance courses acquired was a litter picker. Councils all across Scotland must have lost millions of them. A litter picker and a selfie stick have similar operating systems. You pull a lever or press a button at one end and it snaps at the other. Up and down grass verges all over the country under cover spies, in florescent jackets, were picking up litter whilst their unsuspecting targets went about their dodgy business. There were all sorts of other props like a tin of paint and a paint brush and most cops would boast that with the right prop they could blend in anywhere. Maybe if I was still in the job I would get myself a selfie stick.

Funnily enough as I was walking along the beach the other day, I saw a young Japanese girl waving a selfie stick in the air. I wasn’t sure what she was doing at first. It looked more like a dance than a photoshoot and she must have taken millions of pictures. In fact, it seemed a bit odd unless, maybe she was on surveillance duty. Nowadays the prop of choice for the contemporary spy may well be a selfie stick but she looked quite young and why would anyone want to spy on me?

I haven’t done anything and I don’t think I hang about with anyone dodgy unless, no surely not, I’ve heard our creative writer, Claire Askew, has done a runner. Could she have been up to anything dodgy? A wee bit of subversive treasonous poetry perhaps. I don’t know anything about that but my god, I’m getting Paranoid. I’ll have a quick look around for anyone with a selfie stick. No I’m quite safe, no selfie sticks but wait a minute. We’ll they say you’re getting old when the cops start to look young but that one is definitely baby faced and he’s sitting in my shopping trolley using it as a prop. Claire they’re on to you!