Percy’s Paint Pots - Part Two
Percy and his brother George once secured a very lucrative job in one of Cambridgeshire’s premier department stores, decorating the ground floor. The work had to be done in the evenings and on Sundays. Working these odd hours seemed to effect our Percy in quite a strange way which would cause his brother George much consternation and frequently say to his brother “Pack it in or we will get fired off the job!” You see Percy loves an audience and here was his opportunity. The shop front went on to one of the busiest streets in Cambridge and what's more the Regal Cinema was just next door which meant that people would queue past the shop to get in to the cinema. Picture the scene. Manikins nicely placed in the shop display, Percy goes on to the platform and sits in one of the display chairs near a coffee table with a bowl of artificial fruit. Yes you have guessed it! Percy goes into the shop window. Percy would pretend not to move. People would queue and stare. It would be kind of double take. They would look away and just stare back. Was this for real? Why was a manikin dressed in white overalls sitting on the chair? Of course Percy would play up to this audience. He would occasionally change positions, which would completely fool the gathering crowd. One such evening it was particularly busy. Percy reckoned there must have been at least 100 people queuing. There he was motionless. Then all of a sudden he lent across to the coffee table and picked up an apple and pretended to eat it. The crowd were riveted to the window and roared with laughter. I think one old lady even fainted. Percy loved all of this. He played his other trick. He had a pair of glasses on, one side did not have any glass and so at one point he slowly but deliberately put his finger through the frame and scratched his eye. This brought great amusement to the gathering crowd. Percy was on a roll. Up he got and proceeded to dance with one of the manikins. He even did a sort of individual funny dance a bit like moon walking. The crowd loved it but all of a sudden it went quiet and parted. Percy stopped, took a bow with his dummy and as he looked up a policeman stood watching him. The policeman was not amused. Percy gingerly put the manikin back in to its position and disappeared behind the back drop curtains. His last appearance in the shop window.