First we had the closed door. Simple. Beautiful. Impenetrable. We sat comfortably behind it, answering it if we chose, hiding behind it if we didn’t. For centuries we were safe.
Then the telephone happened. Telephones gave everyone a key to the supposedly impenetrable door. We felt slightly irritated by this. So we invented the answerphone. We relaxed again. We picked up the paper, put our feet up, and were able to vet our calls.
Suddenly telephones moved out of the home and onto the street, into the pocket. We didn’t even need to be behind our door to be contacted. Exasperated, we made it possible to see who was calling, and call divert came along. Once again we were able to vet our calls. Harmony was restored.
And on it goes. Just as technology diligently provides us with ways of being contactable wherever we may be, so humanity recoils in horror and invents a way of not being contacted. It’s like a strange mating ritual. Back and forth. Poke and hide. That’s all very well when the contact is via telephone, email or any other ignorable modern form of communication. But what happens when people actually talk to us? With their face?
For those of us who value our limited time here on this planet and therefore like to avoid – at all costs - having lengthy conversations with people who, frankly, bore or irritate us, there can be nothing more tiresome than being cornered by someone who bores or irritates us. Face to face. No call divert. No door to hide behind. No escape. Until now.
Behold the Decoy Face. That’s right, the Decoy Face. This remarkable device is the very first breakthrough in face-to-face avoidance, a trailblazer in every sense. Taking its cue from the disruptive coloration of certain types of Butterfly fish (whose tail markings resemble an eye to either trick predators into going for the wrong end or simply dazzle them with effortless backwards swimming), the Decoy Face tricks the predator into going for the wrong end. A replica of your face is worn comfortably on the back of the head, giving the false impression that you are giving 100% attention to the dullard stalking you. Meanwhile you go about whatever it is you would rather be doing.
So. While your next-door neighbour, Larry, is telling you all about his recent lawn mower purchase in great detail, you can relax and continue reading the paper. Larry is so wrapped up in his 4-wheeled rotary mower he doesn’t even care if you’re listening / interested / alive, he just wants to bang on and on about what a great deal he got because he noticed a small nick in the camshaft, or whatever it is that lawnmowers get nicks in. He wants you to be enviously impressed, to quietly agree with him and smile in a way that suggests you are fascinated and amazed by Larry and his lawnmower bargain hunt genius. You just want to read the paper. It’s win-win. No-one is hurt. No-one has to call anyone back. Larry gets everything off his chest and you get to completely ignore him without him being upset.
Decoy Face is modelled exactly on the dimensions of your own face by master modellers from the Ukraine. Details are shady about the exact process and the exact materials used, but who cares? This thing will change your life. It will be particularly useful for those of us who don’t really dare to tell people to go away, or who can’t face the strain of trying once again to shake someone from their dogged belief that horoscopes really do predict the same future for every single person born in the same month. And you don’t have to read the paper, either. Here are some other things you can do while using the decoy face: talk to someone more interesting; write a letter; play a PSP; operate heavy machinery; observe the stillness of nature; go fishing; write a political speech; cook burgers on the barbecue; urinate.
The Decoy Face is also available in ‘sympathetic’, ‘asleep’, ‘unwell’ and ‘moron’.
Sholto Crow is a mograph artist/illustrator/guitarist/hobo/englishman/gun-for-hire/fantasist and aspiring inventor. Sholto has recently packed up his life in London in order to explore the world and the universe and all they have to offer, in search of the truth or, at the very least, his keys. He can't remember where he last had them. His website is www.crowmotion.com.