Chicken bone man and extreme porn

Public places, shops, cafes and transport are endless sources of fascination, full of half heard conversations, snippets of drama, humour, puzzles and mysteries.  The underlying question for me is always; how do we all manage to rub together so effectively? Old Garfinkel helps out with that question, especially with his rule breaching exercises where he got students to go and deliberately break social rules in order to make visible the intricate layers of shared understandings people have about what is acceptable or otherwise.

Richy Rich and I were ordering a takeaway coffee in the Cafe Bonjour the other month. It was busy as usual with two elderly women sitting at one table, and Chicken bone man sitting next to them. Chicken bone man had a magazine open on the table. W.H.A.T??????? WHATTHEHELL??? OH….MY….GOD??? It was a porn mag.  Extreme porn too, not a glossy lads mag effort but full on, sent over from Holland in a brown envelope, type porn.  And he was browsing through it like it was a Littlewoods catelogue.

Richy started making pantomime eye movements towards the mag, as if I hadn’t noticed and, as if he was no longer able to speak.  I looked around. The two elderly women didn’t seem to have noticed, but the two staff, and a couple of other customers were all doing eye movement stuff. Nobody was talking, just eyeballing and it was impossible to disentangle humour from horror in these looks. Chicken bone man’s actions had caused a big old rift in typical, everyday, taken for granted, cafe life.

A member of staff came out from  behind the counter and went over to the table. “Sorry mate, I don’t think you can read that here”, he said, quietly.

“Oh, ok”, said Chicken bone man, closing the mag and putting it in his bag.  The chatter returned.

2 thoughts on “Chicken bone man and extreme porn

  1. Pingback: LB, the unlikely ethnographer | mydaftlife

  2. Pingback: The tiny woman with the chair | mydaftlife

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