Act two Chapter Sixteen
Spot A ‘Shit-On’
-‘For this I come to see the horse’s mouth.’-
Course I remember, we showed them our shit-on routine..
It was just after Macker arrived.
We were in the thick of our tedious weekly house meeting, debating the sorry state of our roof.
Nine year old Josie was leading Macker through the meeting. He with a finger to his lips.
Moonbeam was sitting up on his shoulders, waving precariously at everybody. I was waving back.
The doorbell started ringing, insistently.
-‘That’ll be the Mexicans arriving at last.’-
-‘Meeting suspended for now okay?’-
We all got up to welcome those phantom Mexican visitors. Josie skipped through to open the front door first. Then the notorious Lucia Perez materialized, for the first time in our hallway. Waving her arms and kissing everything in sight.
Next Sol, her sidekick, bald with a monster rucksack, coming in backwards and dragging a trunk on wheels.
-‘Hooray hoo ray we’re here at last… Barney! Is that you! You’re real! What a big boy!’-
Lucy knew us only through the Net.
She just dropped her bags, and shocked us all with her now famous leap, into Barney’s arms.
Knocking him back staggering into Jerry and me, so we fell against each other and the chairs, all squealing and yeowling. Chaos came to visit us that night, with Sol in the middle shaking hands, waving his arms and kissing us as well. Camera equipment dangling and tangling.
-‘This is Jerry, and Danny, and Bernie.’-
-‘LooTheeYa, spelled L U C I A… Maggie! Maggie Maggie that’s you. Let’s see you wow so beeyootiful in real life!’-
-‘And you’re even more gorgeous.’- said Maggie, nodding politely.
-‘Fatter! Is that..?’-
-‘Moonbeam, Macker and Josie.’-
Lucia rubbed noses with Moonbeam, who Macker let fall into her arms, and she continued her round, holding her up to be kissed as well.
-‘Let’s go Macker this is boring.’- said Josie, tugging his Clan Earth tassles.
Bernie was clapping her hands for silence.
-‘Why don’t we ask Lucy and Sol to say something about their project, while we’re all here?’-
-‘Good idea.’- said Maggie, stretching her neck.
-‘If you’re not too tired.’- Jerry added. -‘There’s tea on its way, come and sit down. We’re just finishing our house assembly.’-
-‘No no that’s why we came here for.’- said Sol.
His English was a bit off, but Lucy’s was perfect, in fact she’s only half Mexican.
-‘Shouldn’t we do the C’Credit Cards?’- Jerry suggested.
-‘Good idea. Point number seven. Let’s just do the Credit Cards first then.’-
Jerry pretended to sound a trumpet. Who said he was shy?
-‘Excuse me c-can you all be seated. Everybody ready?..Roll up Ragwort P-Poolers for a historic moment. Roll up. Roll up, Little Agnes Street, numbers t-t-two to four..’-
He was dealing some green plastic cards out onto the table. -
‘Yes f-folks, er, with these brand new cards we can NOW access nearly all the magnificent g-goods and services in this Pool of Cooperatives and um, many other locations in the known g-galaxy.. absolutely FREE TODAY.’-
Pausing for wows, guffaws and silly quips, he proceeded.
-‘Our credit has made a giant leap, if they w-w-work that is. I got them for everyone except Moonbeam and the g-goldfish, even Josie I think, sorry, esp-pecially Josie, and even Visitors Cards, for Macker, Lucia and Sol.’-
There was cheering and laughing as we examined the plastic cards.. [ref 7]
-‘I can’t believe this, I just walked in.’- said Lucia. –‘How much can I spend?’-
-‘Nothing.. um. Or as much as you like. But if your account shows you took all the b-beer, they break your leggies.’- Jerry explained, badly.
-‘With their armies.’- said Macker. And got a laugh.
-‘It works with a formula, an algorithm. Melding supply and demand with s-social and environmental variables, the Market m-mechanism and a nominal monthly credit level.. plus a lot of trust in the p-public.’- said Jerry .-‘They say it works down the country already but…’- …. [ref.16.MoneyFree]
-‘But the people are a little crazy down there.’- said Barney.
-‘That’s a blatant Shit-On, Barney.’- I said, laughing. -‘Put that in the book Bernie. A Shit-On by Barney, racism against country people, how can he commit so many?’-
-’Okay I confess, but it was an affectionate joke, not, uh, nasty. I mean, I do come from the country myself…’-
-‘What a pathetic excuse.’- said Bernie.
-‘Thank you Jerry for this Card of Credit.’- said Sol, an arm around him and examining it. -‘Maybe we destroy capitalism today! Who knows?.. Later we make some interview about this Money- Free okay?’-
-‘Tell us why you’re really here then Sol and Lucia.’- I said, though I kind of knew.
-‘Okay yes, really we have too many projects. And we are not married with each other.’- said Sol. His arms raised. –‘I am very eligible..’-
-‘Sol is available, ladies only, take notice.’- said Lucia.
Somehow wiggling her eyebrows independently up and down.
-‘First of all, we’re sorry to be late. We had a shocking horrible trip, all one day on the ferry.’- she went on.
-‘The sea was like climbing mountains. All of the persons were vomiting…’-
Sol was on his feet again, short and rotund, acting out the waves and the vomit.
-‘Then the Immigration Police got us. Taking off our clothes to interrogate us…’-
-‘Oh no!’- said Maggie. -‘What bad luck.’-
-‘They want to imprison us to wait for being deported.’-
-‘Then Barney saved us. Hoo ray!’- Lucia hugged him again.’
-‘Barney? How did you save them?’- I queried. Feeling a stab of stupid jealousy.
Barney was on his phone again, nodding and grinning, with Lucy’s arm around him.
-‘My mobile suddenly started working.’- she explained. -‘Barney told the police we are registered for a Visitors Exchange Agreement, by the Soli-Fest network.‘-
-‘It’s true, they check it.’- said Sol. Nodding energetically. -‘Barney send us a super air-taxi for no buses today. A very fast three wheeler with eight tanks in just four minutes. I was filming it all, through the city jamming up, ammonia-vans, horses and bikes, wind generators and also with..’-
Hands all over the place, he acted the dramatic taxi ride.
-‘I make short programs for the Latin Teleweb Notícias .’-
Then he was up on a chair with his camera.
-‘Windmills, solar-factories, air-tools, bikes, cars, lorries. Clean Air Tech has arrived!’-
-‘The tea’s over here then, self service.’- said Jerry with the tray.
-‘But Sol, um, sorry, I thought you were here for an Indigenous Federation.’- said Jerry.
-‘I am an accredited delegate..’- he said with dignity.
He had taken off his baseball cap, swept back his greased hair and turned off the camera. Paused a moment, facing us, palms up and staring in eyes. A longish calming pause.
-‘Of course yes, these films are a hobby for me. We come here for the Solidarity Festival next week. We bring some materials here and meet the groups organizing in the morning..
Bueno, I am what you call Indian, from the State of Guatemala but I live in Mexico, then we make solidarity here, you know, community exchange, with the computer net, it really works! Me and Lucia gonna make publicity, to save some prisoners and refugees and orphanos. We have some horrible rich fascists and gangsters, who pay gangs and police to really kill and torture. These are not good persons.
But still we are more and got our own heroes, the kids don’t want only Hollywood stuff… Then I wanna film a little bit your style over here, like, to inspire our friends as well.’-
Sol was speaking to Bernie, but projecting to us as well.
-‘But first I am the assistant of Doctor Lucia here of course, Famous in all the world now for the Women’s Rescue programs on Free Net TV. yes yes.’-
He dropped on one knee, as Lucia began, throwing her arms wide.
-‘Okay this is my chance I’m so so happy to come here and meet you real great family I only knew you on the message screen, no?
-‘Tell us something about your project here.’- said Maggie.
-‘Yes yes we make a report and video of your fantastic ‘Catch Yourself On’campaign. I am working like a doctor of Social Psychology, yes and a Mama as well. But we are more women, also grandmothers and street kids, and men also of course. My speciality is ‘Deconstructing Institutions’ then I have some legal problems…’- [ref.9, ref.11, ref.21]
-‘Yeeeee HA.’- Maggie whooped, startling everyone.
-‘That’s why Lucia’s here you see. She knows Maxie was in the first video.’-
-‘For this I come to see the horse’s mouth.’- said Lucia solemnly.
I was stifling a giggle, then everybody was laughing.
-‘You’ve seen me the cops molest me on that tape? – I said, and she nodded, squeezing my arm.
-‘We need to know how you make this campaign. Why does it work here?’- I couldn’t answer.
-‘Exactly why. who knows? ‘- said Bernie. –‘It caught on because it was cool, it isn’t only about sexism it’s, um..’
-‘Some kind of crazy music and, and some constructive revenge also and..’-
-‘But how terrible for you Maxie.’- Lucia was saying. Her arm around me.
-‘Not really,’- I said. -‘You don’t see my face on the video, course I don’t watch that part myself but..’-
-‘We used bits of that film to show anti-woman terror in a gang rape situation.’- Maggie explained. -‘The gang being the Special Police who everyone hated already for abusing their powers, yeah. Everyone was on our side.’-
-‘We repeated the exact same sexist phrases, but now in normal work or school scenes .’-
-‘Only now they don’t seem very innocent or friendly!’- said Bernie.
-‘They spelled it out so nobody could deny it.’- I explained. –‘The same words they used when they were getting off on abusing me. So we exposed the rapist in their heads!’-
-‘Um..You will explain me later, okay?’- said Lucia.
-‘They picketed the homes of the cops who tried to rape me.’- I told her. -‘And the police station as well. When the film came out on TV we called a demo, all the yunkers came and there was a ruckus. Then it all kicked off..’-
-‘Some famous fellas got publicly shamed and ridiculed, like…’-
-‘That’s it. I need to see how you do that’- Lucia insisted, so I tried to show her..
-‘Just be a good girl darling and we’ll take care of you.’ says the copper, after ripping my clothes. Then he slaps me, laughs nervously and looks round for approval, the other one nods and laughs. ‘Don’t get silly and hysterical dear.’ He slaps me a bit harder. ‘I’m sorry sweetie you’ll have to be punished now.’ See how it works?’- I explained.
-‘Of course but….’-
-‘Just be a good little girl darling and we’ll take care of you.’- Maggie repeated. In a sinister, cajoling voice .-‘But you’ll have to work late again tonight love.’ The manager Mr. Doily pats his assistant’s bottom, and leaves for an early lunch. Then outside the door he’s suddenly surrounded by secretaries and temps, who work under rubbish contracts..Gets spun around. They hold his arms, chanting…
Shit on Me. Shame on You. We can change so You can too. Ooo oo,
Here’s a plate of sticky goo! Shplat shplat fancy that!..’-
-‘A masked woman mashes a putrid fruit pie in his face..’-
-‘Give us a job gi’s a part gi’s some cash gi’s a start..’-
Me, Maggie and Bernie had whirled into the dance routine, spinning and clapping, though we were out of practice and had no music.
A cup fell. Sol was dodging our chanting dance, leapt up on a chair to film us.
-‘Shit on me… Shame on You
There is something we can do. Ooo oo.
Now it’s you we’re gonna screw. Ooo oo.
For you the Shame For you the Blame….’-
-‘Hang on hang on that’s not it.’- I said, stopping with my hands in the air.
Barney and Jerry were pulling back the table to make more room.
‘It goes like this.. scary music.. thundery voice.. faraway shrieks..
An ancient curse still blinds your brain…..But we don’t hafta play.. we’re not insane.
A million years of praising smelly dicks. A million years of cleaning for the rich.
We itch we itch we itch we itch we itch..
Coz we won’t play. Not every day. Your prehistoric Slave-Girl Games..’-
The others were clapping in time and joining in the chorus, as we whirled in a frenetic rhythm.
-‘That’s it, that’s it.. We got it’-
Sol was filming and Lucia was cheering .
-‘Give us a one..up your bum. Gi’s a two.. fuck you too.
Catch his ears or catch his snout. We know what it’s all about.
Catch yourself on catch yourself out. Last chance now to work it out.
Catch yourself on and catch yourself out. Out out out out out out out out OUT!..’-
Me and Maggie half collapsed, cheering and coughing, into each other’s arms, with Bernie slapping our backs.
-‘At which point in the film they let him escape, followed by the cameras and us jeering.’-
We raised our arms for applause. Lucia clapped and cheered and Sol looked shocked. The others joined in, more or less, they’d seen it often before.
-‘The shame game. -‘Spot a Shit-On Campaign.’-
-‘We can do more of them.’-
-‘Go on go on please.’-
-‘You can see real ones on the Net.’- I said -‘Or in the street.’-
-‘I really love that Mother Superior one. I saw it in… ’-
-‘Come on girls let’s celebrate it. Sister Hairy’s liberated…’-
-‘Yeah, and the Bag Boys CLAN was a panic..’-
-‘Bag Boys, Bag Boys, Bag boys CLAN.’-
-‘How does it go?’-
-‘Later later come on Lucia and Sol we’ll show you everything.’- said Maggie bossily.
-‘Lucy you can stay in me and Moonbeam’s room if you want, and Barney’s offered to share with you, Sol…Yeah okay..so let’s get your things upstairs and you can rest a bit or whatever. Don’t forget we need you Lucy to translate for this Spanish language session, at eleven…’-
-‘How great you arrived, it’s perfect timing.’-
-‘Machacando machistas, but didn’t the cops arrest you?’-
-‘Ha ha! The police went apeshit, wading in with batons . The politicians went potty.!’- !’-
-‘C’mon baby wash my socks..’-
-‘Shit on me Shit on me Shame on You.’-
-‘The Brother-Hood were haywire. The bishop went apoplectic.’-
-‘Then they started those Spot a Shit-On competitions.
-‘And er, theVomit-On Video... and the Shit-On Song Contest.’-
-‘These big bags we leave down here okay. Is the material for the Solidaridad Festival, the Soli-Fest persons, they pick it up pronto tonight.’-
-‘Just as well.’- I said. Barely shouldering a heavy rucksack
Then Lucia, Bernie, Maggie and me were disappearing upstairs, talking and laughing non stop.
Arm in arm and staggering with the bags.